Here go again: two HGTV presenters canned due to their views

Two guys who were going to host a show on HGTV were canned due to them expressing anti-gay and anti-pro-choice views - http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/08/showbiz/tv/benham-brothers-hgtv/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Much as I massively oppose their views, these guys have shared their views based on the principles of free speech, and have shared them respectfully. They have not tried to oppress the rights of others, they have not performed any criminal acts, and they have not forced their views on their audience.

It does worry me that we are promoting tolerance by creating a culture where any dissenting view is met with intolerant witch-hunts.

I am not quite sure I see celebrating that someone else closed like an abortion clinic. It seems like immature and juvinelle we won you lost to me.

Also I think there are certain things that sometimes change in society and if a public facing person said. “Heterosexual Marriage is a tool to preserve wealth and create an oligarchy.” I think they might end up being fired as well but by jono’s argument they should be allowed that view.

D.A. Carson suggests that our definition of “tolerance” has shifted. Previously tolerance was the acceptance of the existence of different views, whereby for someone to be regarded as tolerant, they have to accept the right for alternative views to exist. Nowadays, tolerance is the acceptance of different views, whereby for someone to be regarded as tolerant, they have accept alternative views as having equal substance to our own, and not to oppose them. It’s a subtle change, but it makes a huge difference.

From that article: “The brothers believe HGTV was bullied into its decision because of the media firestorm.”

Fear and intimidation are very powerful tools. Mozilla learned that also.

I think XKCD nailed it for me XKCD Public Service Announcement

Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that homophobia and pro-life intimidation is a thing of the past. Or that a couple of dismissed hacks is anything like equal to sins of the opposing side.

Yeah we can split hairs over whether sacking TV suits is the best way to promote a liberal agenda. But frankly, until millions of LGBT people around the world aren’t under daily direct threat of physical harm, until all women are granted their human right to decide how they govern their own bodies, then there’s no debate here. There’s just bluster and hot air that attempts to justify stone age behaviour.

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Let’s not make too many vast leaps here…

Firstly, let’s not conflate political or religious opposition to something like gay marriage with homophobia.
Secondly, let’s not conflate any part of the gay debate with the abortion debate.
Thirdly, let’s not conflate the abortion debate with the worldwide issue of atrocities against women.

I do conflate political and religeous objection to gay marriage with homophobia, because I think they are different shades of the same colour. It’s like saying “I’m not a racist, I just have a political or religeous objection to black people sitting in the same part of the bus as me or marrying white folk”. It doesn’t make it ok to be a racist any more that it does to be a homophobe.

On your second point, ok, on a venn diagram not all homophobes are pro-life and vice versa. However, they are both massively underestimated ideologies that are the stated excuses for terrible injustices.

And on your final point, again, why the hell shouldn’t we? That’s it’s acceptible to dictate to a woman what she does with her body, is absolutely intrinsic to understanding the worldwide catalogue of atrocities against women. If you say it’s ok to force women to have unwanted babies against their will, then it’s a very short step from that point to say that it’s ok to deny them contraception, to deny them education, to have their genitals stitched up to make sure they don’t enjoy having sex, et al ad infinitum.

There’s no squirming off the hook for homophobia and sexism because there is no acceptable face of homophobia and sexism.

I concur. No debate from me. But, as jono was hinting at, if everyone who disagrees with a particular viewpoint suddenly becomes a “phobe” then all that’s happening is that we’re creating the same version of the society we’re supposedly railing against, but with the opposite point of view “on top”.

There is so much emotion tied to the subject at hand and it always shows through. But name calling and automatic labeling of the ‘opposing’ viewpoint is not dignified and lacks respect. That only causes ‘heels to be dug in’ and irrationality, to the point that, if one’s thinking is shown to be in error (for what ever reason) then pride prevents that one from making adjustments. Then what is accomplished?

I think you are confusing two different things, and I think this is the crux of where this becomes such a dangerous thing.

There is a difference between an objection to something and someone actively stopping someone from doing something. I don’t think there is anything wrong with someone objecting to gay marriage and even to homosexuality; everyone has the right to their views and opinions, much as I may vehemently disagree with them. Where it gets to be a problem in my mind is when someone actively stops someone else from doing something.

As an example, if someone opposes homosexuality due to their faith, they should have the same rights and freedoms to express that as anyone else expressing any other opinion. This is the nature of freedom; we don’t get to hear complimentary views all the time.

Now, if that person tries to actively stop someone who has an opposing view sharing their views, or that person tries to actively stop someone from exercising their legal and social rights to be gay, I believe that is homophobic.

What concerns me about this situation is that “having a critical view of homosexuality” is being equated to “being homophobic” which I think is unfair. I know many people who disagree with gay marriage but treat gay people fairly, with respect, and would never dream of humiliating or belittling them…for whatever reason, they just disagree with gay marriage (typically due to tradition or religious reasons).

To make an entirely non-comparative comparison, but one where the gist applies…I don’t like pop music, and I feel I should have the right to share my dislike of pop music. But for me to then go and stop other people listening to pop, belittle those who do, or try to outlaw pop music, that is an entirely different matter.

You don’t like pop music eh? That’s ok. But if it was bagpipes or Polka, that would be unacceptable. :wink: Next thing we would hear is that you don’t like ice cream!

Nobody’s 1st amendment rights have been infringed here. If I were working for Fox News and did a bunch of Obama puff pieces, I’d get fired and I’d have no beef, because that’s not what the first amendment promises me.

Here’s the rub. On this very podcast, I’ve had my views on religion labelled as “insufferably smug” and other such (ep2 was it?). Now I thought that was a little bit hurtful. You might even see it as disrespectful to me as an Atheist. But am I demanding it be withdrawn? Have I even hinted you might want to retract it? No. And for a simple reason. It was a reminder of one of the key factors of modern secularism, that respect is earned not granted. And therefore there must be aspects of the Atheist argument and doctrine that have not served our view well. It’s on me to absorb that criticism and use it to refine and improve future argument. I contrast this with the pro-life reaction to failing to have abortion criminalised. Abortion clinics have been threatened with Anthrax, firebombed, their doctors and nurses kidnapped, assaulted and even killed. The day Humanists or Atheists start raising Catholic Chruches to the ground, then I’ll be the first to denounce them (as I already have with hunt saboteurs who share my views on wildlife conservation, but defaulted the position when they resorted to violence). There is a factor of perceived equivalence here that I maintain is invalid. It can’t be argued that “liberal totalitarianism” exists or even could exist. It’s a complete paradox, and one that distracts liberals from achieving progress. We’re so concerned with being fair to the other side, we’ve lost the ability to speak up in any meaningful way about what we think is right.

I find these to be a commendable attitude.

I say commendable for the latter because such actions offends the sense of justice and morality. I say commendable for the former because it shows a sense of balance and fairness.

I must ask, should it be concluded from this, and other statements made, that all who object to abortion and homosexual acts find that these evil acts of violence against women and homosexuals acceptable?

If they don’t make it absolutely clear then how do we know that they don’t tacitly approve?

And I’ll make the counter argument against my own position. Should I have to clarify whether I support or condemn “Anti-theist” dictators (Stalin or Mao for instance) who have committed atrocities, before I was even born?

The answer is yes, absolutely I must. Because unless there is clarity on these issues, there is every chance those atrocities can happen again. Tacit acceptance is a powerful influence which shouldn’t be ignored.

One thing I have always appreciated is when one gives me the benefit of the doubt when it is not clear to them as to my motives or thoughts. If it troubles them enough, then they are more than free to ask for clarification.

You mention the awful dictators in times past. For me, until given reason otherwise, I would never have considered you being one of their supporters or admirers. My father drilled this into my head at a young age. He said “assumptions are fathers to mistakes.” I do know that there are so many, many bad things being done by bad people. I hate it. But, I guess it’s my nature to ‘assume’ that a person is not “bad” until I am shown otherwise. Perhaps I’m just incredibly naive.

But this is precisely the problem that I am outlining. You are basically suggesting that atheists take a peaceful approach to their objections and anti-abortion people take a violent or anti-social approach. This is unfair. You are comparing most atheists and some anti-abortion people.

Every community and grouping has its crazies. What is important is that we compare and contrast the general culture of a community to another general culture of the contrasting community.

Most pro-life people are good, non-violent, non anti-social people. They believe in a right to life (to be clear, I disagree with their views), and they share their views in the same way most atheists do…with passion, but with respect.

Some pro-life people bomb abortion clinics. Some atheists burn churches down. These people are not the norm, they are the exception; let’s not compare one group’s crazies with another group’s majority.

This is also where I think the problem lies. There is no universal declaration of right and wrong. Sure, there are some pretty obvious ones…killing people is bad. Raping people is bad. There are some documents that help to find commonality in these clearer examples (e.g. Declaration of Human rights). In many cases though the definition of right and wrong is entirely dependent on a vast range of things: age, gender, culture, experience, faith, etc, and the devil is in the detail.

Take for example being gay. I believe that many people are born gay, they feel gay, and they have no control over whether they are gay or not. I believe that the right view is to acknowledge that being gay is being human to some people, and that gay people should be equal in terms of love, marriage, and rights.

Now, some people believe that being gay is not a natural part of being human and that the right view is to protect the traditions espoused by the gospels (e.g. marriage).

I disagree with the latter, and I personally don’t feel it is right, but I don’t think it is fair to presume that everyone else should share my views of right and wrong. It might be maddening and illogical to me, but the way in which I logically view and prioritize the world may well differ from someone else.

I have always believed that the truest testament of a person is providing respect to others who may share diametrically opposing views. I don’t think this is politically correct or compromising; I think it is the foundation in which people in general have been able to bridge drastically different views. Humanity has never evolved based on digging your heels in and branding the opposition wrong…it has evolved by exploring ways to evolve the debate itself.

Whoa there. You can’t say there is no universal right and wrong, and then go on to give some universals. Are you a moral relativist, or not? You can’t argue for relativism as a path to saying “everyone’s entitled to their view”, but then cop out of difficult questions about murder and rape by saying “well obviously, those things are moral absolutes”.

How do you define what’s one of your “universals” and what isn’t?

And is the principle you have outlined in answer to that question a universal principle (i.e. everyone should make those determinations the same way as you), or a relative one (everyone else also gets the right to choose how they make such determinations, and may come to different conclusions, and that’s OK)?

To be fair to Jono, what he actually said was that there was no “universal declaration of right and wrong”, as in no all-encompassing, agreed by everyone, document that outlines right and wrong. I don’t think he was espousing moral relativism.

mrben: That sounds a bit like moral relativism to me… (note the use of “should”).

The statement that there exists no universally accepted document outlining right and wrong is a true statement. But that fact says nothing about whether there is, or could be, a document that everyone should universally accept as outlining right and wrong. Jono, in the quote I give, seems to imply that he doesn’t think such a document exists or could exist or should exist. Which seems to me to make him a moral relativist.

I agree that sometimes it is necessary for a person or organization to speak out and make a position clear. But for the most part, I believe that the overall actions speak much clearer than words.

Tacit acceptance is powerful though. How much acceptance of the people living in Nazi Germany was tacit and how much was overt due to propaganda? Or how much inaction was due to fear? There were a few courageous people speaking out against the horrible abuses. And that is one of many examples.

I will admit to a bit of hypocrisy. While I express disapproval when someone assumes another’s attitude or viewpoint and are suspicious of them based on those assumptions, I, personally, am immediately suspicious of politicians and the clergy. However, you would find that if I interact with such ones, I treat them as I do everyone, with dignity and respect.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.