Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dennis Prager is complaining about discrimination against conservatives

Dennis Prager
Conservative radio pundit, Dennis Prager, is also an aspiring conductor (music, not choochoo). Apparently he has impressive skills for an amateur.

According to Prager (via Heritage Foundation's blog) about six months ago he was invited to guest conduct a piece for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic).

Prager then explains:
However, about a month ago, a few members of the orchestra, supported by some Santa Monica city officials, decided to lead a campaign to have me disinvited.

As I said, this is a new low for the illiberal left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.

To its great credit, the board of directors of the orchestra, composed of individuals of all political outlooks, has completely stood by its conductor and his invitation to me.

But the attempt to cancel me continues. It is being organized by three members of the orchestra, each of whom has refused to play that night.
Prager claims that these three wrote an open letter to symphony members stating: “A concert with Dennis Prager would normalize hatred and bigotry.”

Prager's self-serving response includes:
One example of my hatred and bigotry includes my belief that in giving a child over for adoption, adoption agencies should prefer a married man and woman before singles and same-sex couples.
That is intellectually dishonest and certainly not a representative “example” of Prager's hateful homophobic and transphobic bigotry. Praeger's pronouncements remind me of those of the Catholic bishops who attempt to obfuscate their bigotry with BS about love and compassion (much to my embarrassment I believe that Prager is Jewish). Here is a more representative “example:”
Consensual, private sex between adults is not always acceptable. Even most gays judge consensual adult incest such as father-daughter or brother-sister (or brother-brother) sex wrong. Many gays even believe it should be illegal. Therefore, heterosexuals who draw their line of acceptance at homosexual sex are not necessarily any more bigoted than gays who draw their line at consensual incest.
Even most gays” oppose incest? Apparently we more predisposed to accept incest than heterosexual people. Prager seemingly disapproves of gay sex (although he writes in the abstract) and to get a pass he claims that disapproval of gay sex is no more bigoted than disapproval of incest.
The gay movement’s constant linking of gay equality with equality for the trans-gendered (someone who acts like the opposite sex) undermines its moral credibility and feeds the belief that the movement seeks to undermine Judeo-Christian and Western liberal society. It is one thing to demand that gays not be fired for their private behavior or sexual orientation. But it is quite another to demand that men who wear women’s clothing in public must be allowed to keep their jobs.
I scarcely know where to begin. I feel obliged to start with a reference to a recent post of mine that an attack on transgender people is an attack on all of us. Prager has just called people who suffer with gender dysphoria immoral for employing the only thing known to reduce their anxiety and depression. Prager has no clue about trans folks and should not be discussing them.
“Homophobic” is an epithet; often as ugly as “fag.” Activists for homosexuality-heterosexuality equivalence should make arguments, not smear all those who believe in the heterosexual ideal. Likewise activists for the heterosexual ideal must never deny the humanity or dignity of the homosexual human being.
Presumably he would prefer “bigot” over homophobic. The two words are somewhat equivalent. Calling a gay person a fag is a statement of bigotry. Calling a bigot a bigot or calling a bigot homophobic is usually a statement of fact. Mr. Praeger is a homophobic bigot and if he does not like that statement then he should meet with members of the LGBT community to learn why his speech is considered hate speech. Ignorance is no excuse.
Gay activist groups are radical organizations. Opposing them no more renders a person anti-gay than having opposed communist parties rendered one anti-worker.
Apparently seeking justice and equality renders an organization “radical” because Prager disapproves of gay people and their sex acts. When Mr. Prager and others like him become proponents for including sexual orientation and sexual identity in the Civil Rights Act those groups will be less necessary.
None of these propositions in any way contradicts the opening statement: The homosexual is equal in God’s eyes to the heterosexual.
Remember what I wrote about those Catholic bishops? Prager's disingenuous religious sentiment is irrelevant. When he replaces that with advocacy for equal protection and due process — which affect the lives of LGBT people every day in this country — our opprobrium is likely to decrease. But Prager won't do that because he disapproves of LGBT people. Apparently we should all undergo some form of reparative therapy.
As an opponent of the most radical redefinition of marriage in history (more radical than outlawing polygamy), I have argued for the Defense of Marriage Act before Congress and have written and spoken on behalf of amending state constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I believe that the ultimate aim of the LGBT movement and the rest of the cultural left is nothing less than to end gender distinctions.
Ah, yes, the ulterior motive of gays is to wreck western civilization. When does Occam's Razor apply? The notion that gays want marriage equality to do anything other than to make an emotional commitment and to legally protect themselves, their spouses and their children is absurd. Prager immediately follows with this:
But I am not anti-gay. Proponents of same-sex marriage may conflate opposition to same-sex marriage with being anti-gay. But conservatives must not.
Even were that true (that opposing marriage equality is not anti-gay) and it is not, comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy is anti-gay. Claiming that we don't really want to marry but to erase gender distinctions is an idiotic conspiracy theory. It is also anti-gay. Likening gay sex to incest is anti-gay … and so on.
Those of us who fear the consequences of redefining marriage — asking children if they hope to marry a boy or a girl when they get older, banning religious adoption agencies from placing children first with a married man and woman, denying the importance of both sexes in making families, choosing boys to be high school prom queens, and girls to be high school prom kings, and much more — must make it clear that we regard homosexuals as fellow human beings created in God’s image just as heterosexuals are.
“Asking children…?” What on earth is Prager claiming? Does he think that gay people make a choice and then ask parents for permission or something? In the alternative, does he think that parents ask children which they would prefer; gay or straight? Prager probably does. At the same time he is claiming that agencies should have the right to discriminate when they do the work of the state and are paid by the state to do it. He is also suggesting that same-sex parents are inferior to opposite-sex parents and that simply isn't true. I think what he opposes are transgender boys being prom kings. What is wrong with that and what does it have to do with marriage? Then there is the insidious “God's image” crap. If he believed that to be true then his treatment of LGBT people would be markedly different.

Media Matters provides the following quote with the headline: “NRO's Dennis Prager: LGBT Non-Discrimination Efforts Breed 'Fascism'” —
I have never written that there is a threat of fascism in America. I always considered the idea overwrought. But now I believe there really is such a threat -- and it will come draped not in an American flag, but in the name of tolerance and health.

[...]

Take tolerance.

Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an event photographer's refusal on religious grounds to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple amounted to illegal discrimination.

[...]

This is what happened to a florist in Washington State who had always sold flowers to gay customers, but refused to be the florist for a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened to a baker in Oregon who had always sold his goods to gays, but refused to provide his products to a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened in Massachusetts, Illinois, and elsewhere to Catholic Charities, historically the largest adoption agency in America. Their placing children with married (man-woman) couples, rather than with same-sex couples, was deemed intolerant and a violation of the law. In those and other states, Catholic Charities has left adoption work.

In the name of tolerance -- fighting sexual harassment -- five- and six-year-old boys all over the country are brought to the police for innocently touching a girl.

In the name of tolerance -- girls' high school teams in California and elsewhere must now accept male players who feel female.

In the name of tolerance - businesses cannot fire a man who one day shows up on the sales floor dressed as a woman.
Getting back to today's post at Heritage:
I hereby extend an invitation to Chwe and Apter to come on my radio show to explain to my listeners why my conservative positions render me a hateful bigot and explain why people with conservative views should not be allowed to conduct classical music.
Chwe and Apter are two of the musicians opposing Prager's performance. They are also professors at UCLA. Meeting with them is a good idea but making it a media event on Prager's turf where he controls the microphones and the discussion is absurd. It turns any meaningful discussion into a debate appealing to Prager's audience. That serves no relevant purpose. Prager knows perfectly well that they will not agree to that. If Prager is serious then he should sit down with these two people privately for a meaningful discussion. Prager will not do that. He does not want a serious discussion. He really doesn't seem to care why others consider him a bigot.

In spite of it all, I was not entirely sure that Prager should have been barred. Then I read this:
Another reason is to ask readers in Southern California to attend the concert. Here is a rare opportunity to combine a terrific evening (especially if you’ve never attended a classical concert) in one of the world’s greatest concert halls with a chance to defeat the illiberal left.
So he has turned this into some kind of competition. Moreover, while there is more to Prager's nuttiness than his anti-LGBT bigotry, there are many conservatives who fully support LGBT rights. They are equally offended by Prager's discriminatory attitudes. Prager is content with “stick it to the left” to gin up support. Support for what I wonder? Haydn, Brahms, Bruckner or Mr. Prager?

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