The Sunday Edition: SJWs, the Internet, and Free Speech

j_annoyedj_annoyed Did you know the United States elected Donald Trump? I can forgive you for missing it. It was kind of an ‘under the radar’ sort of thing. Super easy to miss. Anyways while this was all going on a very interesting thing happened. See every year one side or the other teams up with a news agency and reports on who donated to which campaign. This is normally done to call into question how it is anyone can expect that a president will rule fairly and morally if such and such is a donor. But in this last election we had a switch; people were looking into campaign donors not to embarrass the presidential nominees, but to embarrass the donors. One of the founders of the Oculus Rift donated money to the Trump campaign, and there were a lot of people pretty upset over it. A large number of game developers decided that it was vital that they immediately stop developing anything for the Oculus Rift. A couple games were de-listed on Steam or had their support pulled for already released products. I remember talking to Ulfast about this and he said — to paraphrase — that it sounded about right. The markets would punish this guy for donating to the Trump campaign and the company would have to re-think some things (maybe that’s why the Rift is now $200 off?)…

But I have a serious problem with that.

I mean, yeah Trump is a huge piece of shit and OMG Democratic Nominating Committee what in the actual fuck were you thinking? But I digress.

My issue is more with how we’ve decided to treat people for their opinions. Now, I need to warn you about something. What I’m going to talk about is serious, but my solution if you bring it full circle is nonsensical. Just… bear with me.

See the issue as I see it right now with the internet in some ways comes back to entrenchment, in other ways it’s just something we as people do; we vilify people we perceive as having done wrong. In some cases that’s good. Martin Shkreli is a huge piece of crap, and the pressure put on him and drug companies for jacking up prices on things like epi-pens to prey on people who are using them at a greater frequency than ever was just vile. His smugness as he was called before congress and taken to task on his villainy made me ashamed to know people named Martin.

Sorry Mr. Scorsese, Mr. Freeman, and Mr. Sheen but you’re all on notice.

And the pressure put on Turing Pharmaceuticals prompted an exit out the side door for Martin… Not right away mind you. It took ’em fricken years and they STILL haven’t lowered prices on the majority of the drugs they gouged people over… But still… Success! (kind of… not really… whatever). Right? The villain was slain and this is a great example of SJWs putting the pressure on and results being positive. Woo-Hoo!

… But is there a down-side? Depending on how you roll you might have heard that Eugene Peterson — a very prominent figure in the church today and the chief architect in a plain language translation of the Bible — is retiring. On the way out an interview was done with the man on a variety of topics, not the least of which was Donald Trump. You’ll be relieved to know of course that Mr. Peterson does not and did not endorse Trump (I was telling someone about this and they thought this was the shocking part. That a religious leader denounced trump. Only something like 16% of all religious people voted Trump if you’re curious). But the topic of gay marriage came up. Of course it did. Remember that plain language Bible he wrote? Interesting enough homosexuality isn’t mentioned. It’s not mentioned in any of the Old Testament passages or New Testament passages that are frequently “sourced” to vilify gays and lesbians. It is worth noting however, that only Bibles published after 1947 mention homosexuality. But again, I digress. In the interview Peterson basically says everyone needs to calm the eff down about homosexuality, that it’s not that big of a thing and we need to stop vilifying these people. He is also asked directly if he would perform a marriage for a same sex couple. He answers very plainly “Yes” and moves on.

Can you guess where this is going? It’s the internet and a prominent figurehead in the Church just endorsed gay marriage… so of course everyone lost their minds. And in the process of that Mr. Peterson found himself under an incredible amount of stress and pressure. Two major publishers and book chains — that we know of — threatened to pull his numerous books unless he recanted. One can only imagine how much flack he took in private, and if he glanced at the internet comment sections… well you get the idea.

He recanted. He claimed that he was pressured and cornered into the question and after much prayer he decided to recant. Various Christian news sites rejoiced of course, they heralded the recanting as a massive triumph for Christianity… The problem is it doesn’t make much sense. If he was pressured… why did he need to pray about it first? He was given first pass at the article and in the weeks before it was published, said nothing. And perhaps he forgot, but a recording of the interview was made and… well you can listen for yourself but it seems to me like the reporter was professional and courteous. What myself and the interviewer think is more likely, is that the SJWs got to him. The original article blew-up and was shared thousands upon thousands of times with very few if any comments being anything remotely close to “reserved”.

See the problem? SJWs in one instance stopped(not really) a tyrant who was taking advantage of sick people… and on the other hand also stopped a man with one of the largest pulpits and some incredible weight in the church from correcting a hundred year old injustice.

I have always believed that free speech should be complete and absolute. If David Irving wants to deny the Holocaust let him… But here’s the thing, we then can’t punish him for having that view meaning while I want absolute freedom of speech I… also want to curb freedom of speech. Hey, I did warn you it was nonsensical. But that’s the thing! We had this beautiful opportunity to FINALLY get a major religious leader to exercise his freedom of speech and speak out against this nonsense that the gay community has had to put up with for 100+ years… and it’s gone because he was bullied and intimidated by people exercising their freedom of speech.

I know, I know. I’m pissing in the wind and then complaining that my pants are wet.

– Have a Good’er.