September 09, 2003
The face of those who really do hate America

The top picture here is what Americans who hate America really look like. Via Angry Bear.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 09, 2003 to National news | TrackBack

Aren't you proud to see some of New York's finest citizens welcome kids back to school? (Harvey Milk High School)

It amazes me in the year of 2003 when scientific studies have proven that homosexuality is known at an early age that people like these "protesters" exist. Here's a hot flash for them: Your Diety probably wouldn't like you! In fact, since these so called Christians think they're right, here's another hot flash from a theology professor who is also both a friend of my mother and a high ranking Roman Catholic nun: The New Testament was written as a rebuttal or rebuke of the Old Testament, not as an addition.

The good news out of this was that the demonstrators in favor of the school outnumbered the protestors by about 10 to 1. In fact, Newsday reported that 10 of the 12 protestors were from a anti-homosexual group in Witchita, KS. Therefore, the actual legitimate ratio was about 50 to 1.

Posted by: William Hughes on September 9, 2003 3:51 PM

You know, I'm old enough to remember seeing contemporaneous television of Ole Miss and Birmingham; that photo is remarkably reminiscent.

Posted by: Linkmeister on September 9, 2003 8:31 PM

Fanatical protestors aside, society has taken step back when we create a separate high school for gays. You've think Brown vs. Board of Education had never been decided.

Those who support this segregation -- they're anti-American as well.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on September 10, 2003 12:58 AM

Thank you so much, Owen, for making moral equivalence between people holding up signs saying "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God For 9/11" and those who are the targets of their hatred. Are you so blinded by your own intolerance that you cannot see a distinction? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 6:29 AM


I don't think Owen was discussing this in an anti-homosexual context. In an ideal world, the school wouldn't have been created since it wouldn't be necessary to seperate those who have been bullied, shunned, and in some cases, thrown out of their homes for something that was pre-determined. In an ideal world, homosexuals and other individuals with gender issues would be welcomed for who they are. That seems to be what Owen's argument is.

On the other hand, Owen, this is not an ideal world. As I indicated above, there are people in NYC who have been abused, neglected, and shunned by society for who they are, and this place gives them an atmosphere where they are safe. A similar argument took place several years ago when all-girls school was formed, which shows how much times have changed. As Charles and I know, our high school was once an all-boys school and remained that way until 1969.

Anyway, the point is that I think Owen was making a different argument than the one that was implied.

Posted by: William Hughes on September 10, 2003 7:48 AM


I can and will draw an parallel between those who have such a pathological intolerance of gays that they wave such vile slogans and those who are so extreme in their support of gays that they would deign to demand separate schools for homosexuals. Both of these sets of people are an embarassment to America and trample over its ideals.

Now, are the ideals behind the segregation as revolting as those behind the protestors' slogans? No. However, the segregationists have actually won on a policy issue, while the protestors... Well, let's just say that they've probably been evicted from their toolsheds. I'm much more concerned with fanatics with power than fanatics without.

And please, don't trot out the tired accusation of 'intolerance' against me. It's a term relative to the moral position being forwarded. I could just as easily accuse you of intolerance, and it would be just as logically sound.

My moral opposition to homosexuality aside, I find scant common ground with the idiots who protested, just as you should find little common ground with the left-wing zealots who fought for public recognition of a gay high school.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on September 10, 2003 11:30 AM


You're mistaken if you believe that I see nothing wrong with homosexuality, but you're correct that I have no animus towards individual homosexuals. However, having no animus is not the same as tolerating leftist segregationism disguised as compassion.

Many students feel 'abused, neglected, and shunned by society,' but students don't deserve separate schools for that based upon some dubious category. Should we have a separate school for the goths? The geeks? How far are we willing to take this?

Gender-segregated schools are a different matter, as gender is a biologically relevant part of an individual, one which isn't merely cosmetic. Yet even then, I question the desireability of state-managed single-gender schools. But an all gay-high school? You might as well start trotting out Jim Crow again if that's acceptable.

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on September 10, 2003 11:39 AM

I can and will draw an parallel between those who have such a pathological intolerance of gays that they wave such vile slogans and those who are so extreme in their support of gays that they would deign to demand separate schools for homosexuals. Both of these sets of people are an embarassment to America and trample over its ideals.

Fine. You are no longer welcome here.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 12:10 PM

Charles, "no longer welcome" is a bit extreme, in my opinion. It is your board, so you have the say, but that's a bit reactionary. I think, as William pointed out, that there is a point to be made in that self-segregating shouldn't be necessary if people were treated as individuals. To me it shows the failure of our school systems.

I agree with you, Charles, that there isn't a moral equivalence between those protestors and people who want to make separate schools for homosexual kids. I think Owen was wrong to tie them together in that sentence. I do think both groups are wrong, but I feel that of the two, I don't want to be near the "God hates Fags" crowd.

They're closer in religious convictions to extreme Islam than to Christianity, IMHO.
*puts on flame-proof hazmat suit*

Posted by: elgato on September 10, 2003 1:40 PM

All right, I think I've cooled off enough to explain myself a bit.

First, I agree with William and Elgato that there is a point about self-segregation. I agree that in an ideal world, there would be no need for a Harvey Milk high school. I agree that isolating oneself from the rest of the world is generally undesireable. I'd even go so far as to say that creating separate high schools for different classes of students represents a step back and not progress.

If Owen had made that point without attempting to compare the children who attend Harvey Milk High School to people who thank God for terrorists killing thousands of people, then I'd have had no particular quarrel with him. Instead, he took William's attempt to see his point and used it to confirm that he meant what he said. There's a reason why I consider having "deeply held principles" to be an insufficient cause for admiration, and I'd like to thank Owen for deminstrating why.

As for Elgato's closing remark, Mark Evanier made a similar comparison recently. I don't believe that extreme Muslims are any farther from the core of their faith than extreme Christians like Fred Phelps and Paul Hill are from theirs, but I can't say I've studied the question in depth.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 3:17 PM

Oh man, I missed that about Paul Hill. Did he take the big sleep yesterday? If so, good. That's that much more O2 for the rest of us.

Now while he's placed himself in the same boat as many of the Islamic nuts, there's a difference between extreme Christians and extreme Islamists. I haven't heard of Christian honor killings or suicide bombers.

The rhetoric is close at times, but the horrific actions are pretty much in the Islamic camp, not the Christian.

Posted by: elgato on September 10, 2003 7:23 PM

Yes, he got fried. I'm not thrilled about him becoming a martyr to some, but good riddance nonetheless.

I don't really want to debate the who's-got-more-fanatics question, but I will note that a number of violent hate groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center are Christian-based. The KKK is based on a warped form of Christianity.

From my perspective, it's the fanatics and not the faith that worry me. Fanatics can make any belief dangerous.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 8:57 PM

In case anyone happened to notice it while it was here, I've deleted Owen's most recent comment. I don't like doing that, and I hope I don't have to do it again, but he is not welcome here any more. He's got his own blog and can say whatever he wants to there. I hope this is the end of it.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 9:51 PM


I commented on Owen's blog, you can read it there. I respect your decision to ban him, although it's not the course of action that I would have taken. I think that right-wing nuts comments say much more about themselves than I could ever say, and for that reason, I've never banned anyone from my site even when there's been appropriate cause to do so. Anyway, good post by the way. I've had mixed feelings about the whole "gay school" idea, but it's good to expose the far-right America haters.

Posted by: ByronUT on September 11, 2003 1:39 AM

Here's a substantive question: if one supports this sort of self-segregation in some instances, then doesn't it logically follow that one should not object to the self-segregation of purely private organizations (such as, say, the Boy Scouts, or certain golf clubs), however stupid and irrational some segregation might be in one's opinion?

As for comment banning.... being the big free-marketeer that I am, I do of course recognize your right to delete comments/ban commenters for any reason. But as much as it pains me to say this, it might be worth posting some sort of policy on the matter. I'm disinclined to delete/ban based on arguments I find offensive on either PubliusTX or Reductio, but I have banned a comment spammer and deleted an impolite comment (which prompted an elaboration of the policy, as well as a more prominent link to it from the comments area). I would think banning itself could turn into a pain, given the easy availability of proxy servers and the like (I use a proxy server that changes frequently at work, for example, for various reasons).

If you ban/delete without a stated policy (based on arguments you find offensive), you do open yourself up to the accusation of this being a less open-minded forum than I think you intend it to be. That's certainly your prerogative. But I do tend to think of this site as a left-of-center blog where those of us who fall well to the right have always been welcome. Even the more strident and passionate among us. I'd hate to see that change.

Posted by: kevin whited on September 11, 2003 9:07 AM

I've always felt that the best thing about blogs is the opportunity they provide for the back-and-forth exchange of ideas. I believe it was Aristotle who taught that the best way to acertain the truth was through a dialectic discussion. So I am disappointed in Charles' decision to ban Owen Courreges from making comments on this blog.

Owen is an idealistic college student who vests a large part of his self-identity into being a "conservative." And yet his willingness to reach out and engage other bloggers - especially those of us on the left - shows a refreshing degree of open-mindedness that should be encouraged.

I think Owen even made a positive contribution in this thread by questioning the decision to "segregate" a group of students from the rest of the student population. Imagine if a public school system in Mississippi decided to set up a Martin Luther King Jr. High School for black students because they claimed to be unable to provide a safe and harrassment-free environment for them in the rest of the schools in the district. Would we applaud such a move? Or would we condemn it as a backwards step towards racial segregation?

I happen to disagree with Owen's contention that homosexuality is immoral. I believe it has more to do with biology than with environment. I think that Old Testament condemnations of homosexuality are about as relevant today as similar condemnations against eating pork. I don't know that I could ever persuade Owen to be less condemning of homosexuality, but I'm certainly not going to get very far in that debate if he is banned from the discussion thread.
So, please Charles, reconsider your banning decision. After all, "Can't we all just get along?"

I disagree with Owen's contention that homosexuality is immoral

Posted by: Mike Thomas on September 11, 2003 9:53 AM

Mike and Byron, I appreciate your opinion and I'm sorry you disagree with me. But I'm not sorry I revoked Owen's commenting privileges. I regret that I felt the need to do it, and I hope I don't have to do it again, but I do not regret what I did.

To answer your other point, Mike, as I said earlier in this thread, I would not consider that to be progress. I'd consider it a step backwards. "Separate but equal" was discredited generations ago, and we are all the better for it. Had Owen merely made that point instead of lumping a group of schoolchildren with Fred Phelps, I'd have had no quarrel with him. He chose instead of equate these schoolchildren with a group of people who were publicly directing hatred at them. I will not have that on my blog.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 11, 2003 10:23 AM

Kevin, I'll say it again: I don't support this form of self-segregation. That wasn't my reason for posting this. However, I do think one can disapprove of the notion of self-segregation while still wanting to support the kids who are the targets of Fred Phelps' venom. I also think it's important to show the lengths to which some people will go to express their "disapproval" of the "homosexual liefstyle".

You're right, I probably should post some policy on comments. I haven't wanted to, but I've obviously put myself in a situation where I can't avoid it any longer. I will do so shortly.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 11, 2003 10:32 AM


When you say "and I hope I don't have to do it again" do you mean specifically in terms of Owen's comments or just anyone else in general?

I ask, because I'm hoping there might be room here for some sort of compromise. Is it your intention to ban Owen permanently from ever posting a comment on this web log again -- a death sentence of sorts - or did you just intend to ban him from making further comments on this particular thread because you feel that he went over the line on this particular issue -- a penalty box or a timeout per se.

I would urge you to consider the latter option as you draft your policy for posting comments.

Posted by: Mike Thomas on September 11, 2003 11:12 AM

Funny that the rhetoric heating up in this room makes for a good microcosm as to why a school like Harvey Milk is important and beneficial to its students. I trust Stanley Fish most on this issue: Since there is no 'ideal' situation available, and anyway in most neutral Americans' minds that 'ideal' would contain neither a non-white majority, nor a non-straight majority, nor a non-Christian majority, the status quo would appear to be the actual ideal. Given such predilections, I'm forced to agree with him: You can only fight discrimination with discrimination. It's his reasoning for affirmative action, and it's my reasoning for considering Harvey Milk High the best option for queer students considering general heterosexual hostility toward them.

Posted by: Kriston on September 11, 2003 11:43 AM

My final answer is here. Thank you all for your feedback.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 11, 2003 1:33 PM

Interesting times all around. Owen was just symptomatic of the top blogger (Instapundit) who have compared MeCHa to Jim Crow and Cruz Bustamante to Lester Maddox.

Remember: if you're making an analogy and thinking to yourself "Man, I wonder why no one else thought of this!"-- well, given that you are, in all likelihood, not all that clever... there may be a reason why.

Posted by: Norbizness on September 11, 2003 1:35 PM

Charles: Actually, that question of mine was just thrown out there in general, not for you specifically (but thanks for the answer). Just in case anyone wanted to pursue the topic. :)

Posted by: kevin whited on September 11, 2003 3:26 PM