Thursday, February 11, 2010

Governor Robert McDonnell Of Virginia Is A Homophobic Bigot

Not very southern gentlemanly of me, but we are really getting past the time when anybody should tolerate or pull punches on what the recently installed (Jan. 15) governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, has pulled. Since the late 1960s, every new incoming governor of Virginia has issued within 24 hours a proclamation outlawing discrimination in hiring in state government offices. Initially triggered by the issue of racial discrimination, the list of reasons for which discrimination in employment by the Commonwealth has expanded to include gender, religion, ethnicity, political opinion, and disability not related to job performance, if I have not left something out. The two most recent governors added "sexual orientation" to this list.

However, Governor McDonnell took nearly a month to issue his proclamation, and it removes this last item from the list. I see no justification under any grounds for such discrimination, none, meaning that this unpleasant label of homophobic bigot applies to this politician. Clearly it is him returning to his roots at Regent University, founded by the Pat Robertson, who blamed 9/11 on the US tolerating gays and lesbians, and the earthquake in Haiti on their supposed love of voodoo. Yes, it says in the Old Testament that gays should be stoned to death, but it also says the same thing about disobedient children and married couples who have sex while the wife is having a period. Furthermore, the Bible clearly tolerates slavery and the oppression of women, and if one accepts the argument that Africans are the descendants of Ham, then their enslavement, a point emphasized by many Protestant preachers in the US South when slavery was prevalent there. The Bible is no excuse for denigrating human beings and unfairly discriminating against them in employment. This despicable conduct should be labeled what it is: immoral bigotry.

15 comments:

Jonathan Woods said...

Quite possibly the dumbest thing I've ever read in my life. I like how people completely rail on someone they haven't met. Gov. McDonnell is a very decent man. This person CLEARLY was ranting on something that hit a nerve. The biblical references are just superficial and wrong. Someone who knows nothing of the Bible wrote this. Or of Regent University for that matter - to say that because someone who is NOW crazy started that school didn't have good intentions or that in some way he's still what the school looks to for everything is totally irrelevant. This is a poor amateur post/writing at BEST.

Eleanor said...

Who is Jonathan Woods and what is he doing at Econospeak?

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Jonathan,

I'm afraid that you are the one engaging in empty rhetoric with nothing to back it up.

1) I have no doubt that in many ways McDonnell is "a very decent man." In the Old South, there were many people who owned slaves and later supported racial segregation who were in other parts of their lives "very decent men." At least you did not give us the parallel of that old line used to defend anti-Semites that "some of his best friends are Jewish." It may be that some of his best friends are gay, but that he does not know it.

What I said about the Bible is "superficial and wrong"? I suggest that you had better be a bit more specific on that one if you do not wish to look like an ingorant fool. Which part is wrong? That the Old Testament called for the stoning to death not only of gays but of disobedient children and married couples who have sex during the wife's period? Or maybe the stuff about how southern Protestant preachers used to justify enslaving African-Americans because of the Curse of Ham? You want me to start citing chapter and verse, Jonathan? Sorry, all that is in there and more stuff the fundamentalist hypocrites in Virginia do not like to talk about.

As for Regent University and Pat Robertson, he was crazy when he founded the place, and is a joke of a school. McDonnell spent much of his campaign having to live down statements he put in his masters thesis there about women. I accept that he got it about women, but he did not get it about gays, whom he bashed then and whom he is now objectively supporting discrimination against.

Which brings us to you, Jonathan Woods. Do you support McDonnell's actions? Are you also an immoral homophobic bigot?

r l love said...

I wonder if a comprehensive study exists on the frequency of 'deviant sexual behavior' by -- "very decent men"? Perhaps I have been mislead by the media coverage regarding perverted Priests, Evangelists, etc, but, the term "very decent men" always seems to come up regarding 'deviant sexual behavior', and on both sides of the same coin. Therefore, moreover, and furthermore, I believe a study is needed.
I think it might also be interesting to compare religions by a historical tally of 'kills and torturous acts'. I think I read somewhere that The Battle of The Somme holds the record for the most 'kills' on a per hour, per day, per week, and a per month basis, but I don,t remember if that comparison included WW2 or not. It seems too that Verdun has some claim also, and then too The Battle of Stalingrad may have some claims although if I remember correctly the Soviets counted the bodies by the dubious method of extrapolations based on the square footage of mass graves. So I suppose any such conclusive comparisons might be very difficult to come by. Maybe it is enough just to say that Christians and hypocrisy are all too often found in the same places at the same times, and that could just be a coincidence!
The Inquisition probably has the unassailable distinction of holding the all-time record for 'torturous acts'; although, there may be some controversy because 'this' torture was done in the best interest of those being tortured. And of course torture being administered by 'very decent men' is different than other types of torture.

jamzo said...

i have always been amazed at "christians", "people of the new testament", who draw so much justification from the "old testament"

Martin Langeland said...

Albeit they excel at it, I don't accept that hypocrisy is an exclusive preserve of Christians. Rather it is species specific. It gets in the way of much that might be good without its interference.
--ml

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

r I love,

Regarding battles, a lot of this depends on kills per unit of time. The battles you mention were all long and drawn out affairs, going over many months. It is my understanding that in sheer totals, Stalingrad is the tops at over a million dead, despite some fussing over counting. Verdun was pretty godawful too, as someone who has visited there and seen the Ossuarium (full of bones) and the bayonets still sticking out of the ground from some of the trenches. OTOH, the Somme may have the tops for a monthly total, with over 60,000 dead during June, 1916. Not sure which battle is at the tops for a single day.

And for all of you, I think that pretty much any religion, as well as supposedly humanistic or atheistic non-religions, have their histories of hypocrisy and immoral conduct and oppression of others to answer for.

TheTrucker said...

Way to go. ya'll. You just keep rising to the bait. There is nothing that will lose a congressional election faster than "gays in the military". And all gay issues and discussion will be tied to that particular issue if it is ever voiced by any Democrat. You poll and you poll and the male persons tell you that they are not the least bit concerned about gang showering with slobbering slavering gays. But when they go to vote it all changes because they get to vote in secret.

I am not the least bit ashamed of saying that I am extremely uncomfortable around gays and I have had direct experience with this crap in the US Navy even with "don't ask don't tell". I think we may have gotten rid of this one bad apple that used to assign work details as "shower cleaning" for any infraction he could find.

I don't care if you marry your dog or your billy goat or your best buddy. But I don't have to be with you in close quarters from which I have no reasonable escape. "Gays in the military" does not approach the all time award winning progressive "foot shooting" prize winner of the 17th amendment, but it will remain a Republican election season mainstay for a very long time. Why do Democrats continue to try to win elections by going against the majority? You will claim I am wrong in my assessment of the male voting public. I am not.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Trucker,

A lot of this is age-related. There is a major generational shift goign on, with 75% now approving of gays in the military, a big change from a few years ago. The change in the top brass view on this has been crucial, and reportedly this is no longer a big deal among the troops themselves. Heck, most of our allies openly allow gays and have for some time, including the tough as nails Israelis, with no reported problems at all, none.

Of course the issue here I have raised has not been that one, nor the matter of gay marriage, which, while I support it, I recognize that religiously oriented people are more likely to raise religiously based arguments about. It is the matter of job discrimination in state government, indeed taking away a right that had been in place for the last 8 years.

What on earth is the religious or other foundation for allowing job employment discrimination against gays in state government? This is not an issue of legal marriage or people taking showers together or anything else of the sort. I simply see no defense for this, and while maybe the Republicans can still score points on this in some districts in the South, this is an issue that is rapidly moving away from them. It will be very soon that this sort of thing will be viewed as just as out of touch as those past governors who defended racial discrimination.

Anonymous said...

My recollection is that the British alone lost 19,000 dead (out of 60,000 total casualties) on the first day of the Somme. It would be hard to top that.

On the hackneyed subject of gays in the military, my retired military old friend has the rather different take that the "I don't want no queers around" set is just what the military doesn't need.

Gene O'Grady

Jack said...

Trucker,
I'm surprised at your attitude. You must know that some of the best fighting men in history liked a little roll in the hay together.
It was a long and lonely march from one field of battle to the next back in the days of Alexander and later when Rome sent its Legions half way across the known world. Why even when there were girls readily available the really tough guys still liked to reassure each other in a rather Platonic way, you know. Just what was it that Plato was teaching all those nice young boys?

Why is it that "straight" men always assume that gay men want them? The one truly different aspect of gay life is that intimate interactions are generally more readily available. Gay men don't need straight men for sex any more than the average straight woman needs to go looking for any man for a sexual encounter.

Jonathan Woods said...

John,

When you said, "he Bible clearly tolerates slavery and the oppression of women" - that is one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard. Why would you base everything in that statement on old testament writings? I mean if we're being objective and logical and quoting a book CLEARLY you can't take something out of context, you must accept the whole document. The entire bible. The ENTIRE teachings of Christ and all must be taken into account. So yes, that's one of the most hilarious things I've ever written - and if you're speaking from an Atheist point of view, than why would you quote the bible, much less even BE and atheist? I mean labeling yourself something clearly means you're setting yourself apart from something else meaning that there IS something else, so if you were or are an atheist or something of the sort, you're justifying the means and validating that there IS a God and that the teachings of Christ are real, and they NEVER speak of what I quoted.

Also - if we're going to get into pointing fingers, I like that you go right on the offensive with me, rather than something real - As in EVERYTHING you speak of in supporting your topic is based on "Southern" protestants and shit from the past. It's completely out of date which makes it immediately irrelevant to your point.

You've gone off the deep end here. No I don't want you to quote me verses. I know them better than you anyway. The point here is, as a Christian I take the bible as a whole, as a learning experience from start to finish. Not take things out of context. Or only use verses that I need for certain situations or support.

Grow up, no matter how old you are.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Jonathan,

Um, first of all I do not go by "John," but let us leave that aside.

I see that you do not actually dispute any substantive point I made about what is in the Bible. Rather, you claim that I am taking it "out of context" or something of the sort. There is not much that can be said seriously about such nonsense.

So, if you are a Christian who puts things aside from the Old Testament that are not in the context that fits your views of the world, tell me and us just exactly what Jesus said about homosexuality? When and where did He denounce it, since you are such a great expert on the Bible. (And keep in mind that neither Paul nor Timothy were Yeshua bin Yusuf.)

If you wish to come back here, do try to do a better job of making your case. You utterly failed.

Bob said...

My conclusion is that J Woods is an ignorant theist who confuses the concept of "thinking about something = that something exists" with "thinking about something = the IDEA of that something exists in the brain." The former is ignorance beyond all belief.

Something anybody who ever took even an introductory philosophy course in college would know.

I don't believe the world is flat, but according to this guy, if I talk about something other people have thought, that means I either believe it too or I'm being nonsensical.

And as for that "taking verses out of context" crap, a 'context' that's been superimposed by generations of priests, biblical scholars and the like, for their own convenience, does not a singularly correct interpretation make. Or even an honest one.

Debbie said...

This posting seems to have gone cold, but I will offer my two cents anyway. It seems that Mr. Woods likes very much the argumentum ad hominem form of debate, as many of these attacks are on Rosser as an athiest, not on his position, and I am a bit offended at the notion that someone who disagrees with a particular take on the Bible must be an athiest. Further, I would ask Mr. Wood for a clarification of the version he uses; is it the King James? The American Standard? or does he go back and read the "original" in Hebrew and Latin, the only real way to escape the interpretations imposed by translations and editing. You see, Mr. Wood, what we fear is not gays, nor Christians; what we would like to see is a little Christian charity.