The Myth of the Neutral Public Square

In an almost unbelievable new twist to the Margaret Court/Israel Folau saga, Tennis Australia has managed the impossible – to invite Margaret Court to a celebration of her tennis achievements next January, and simultaneously to give her the middle finger by labelling her religious views as hurtful, demeaning and degrading.  All because she thinks marriage is between a man and a woman (to the exclusion of all others, for life).  This is the view of a large minority of the Australian population which most of the world shared until about eight minutes ago.

Like all Australia’s bleeding heart corporate sporting bodies, who endlessly confuse their role – in this case running tennis tournaments – with moral philosophising and lecturing the rest of us as to what we should think on matters of sexual ethics.

Has anyone done any real social science on whether homosexuals are actually “demeaned” and degraded” by religious people who, like the 40 per cent of Australians who voted “no” in the same sex marriage plebiscite?  Or even if they feel demeaned and degraded.

Perhaps they are, and perhaps they do.  It would be a tad surprising for someone to be personally “offended” or “demeaned” just because there are people who have different views, or even views that are antithetical.  It would be interesting to see some numbers.  After all, this claim about offence is made ad nauseum as if it were self-evidently true. Know what, it just might be total BS.

In the current debates, what you generally find is that common or garden-variety homosexuals aren’t the ones chirruping noisily from the sidelines about “antediluvian views”, “this is 2019”, the “embarrassing racist grandpa at Christmas dinner” (that from Gideon Haigh, of all people), and so on, or suggesting that the views of people like Margaret Court “have no place in society” (an alleged comedian on Triple M).  Hence my suspicion that the claim about gays being mortally offended by the existence of traditionalists is overblown.

No, most of the chirruping is done, not even by the surrogates of homosexual activism acting on instructions, but rather by two distinct cadres in the vanguard of the Great Awokening.  The first, the left liberal shills in the media.  The second, those cowed organisations of our time who fear above all else being thought of (by customers or stakeholders) as homophobic or whatever.  The first are ideologues, the second useful idiots of the homo fascist activists.  Tennis Australia is a node of useful idiocy.  The docile actions of corporate sporting bodies provide content and a platform for the media and academic ideologues to air their own morality tales and gambits.

There are certainly those who have a far broader, moral relativist agenda that is not born of any especial liking for homosexuality in theory or practice.  What they specifically and slyly seek is to make stick the claim that Christians and others who believe in the traditional family as the foundation of Western civilisation are beyond the pale.  They are to be beaten up in the public square, prior to being escorted from the premises. 

Yes, these two groups of megaphonic agents are indeed virtue signallers, conspicuously displaying their (selective) tolerance, but they are also in the business of being seen as signed up to a particular view of the world, and the very practical actions they implement – like Tennis Australia’s committing of considerable resources towards “education” programs on diversity – shows that they are deadly serious.

These groups, whether from Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia or the media, are, in effect, agents for the homo fascists who are using soft power to try to eradicate all traditional views from society. 

Conservapedia has defined homo fascism as follows:

Homo-fascism is the phenomenon when homosexual activists strive for advancing themselves beyond favored status to supremacy. In line with instructions in After the Ball (the LGBTI equivalent to Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto), the homosexual movement avoids using such terms as “favored status” or “supremacy”, but rather outwardly pretend their goal is “tolerance” or “acceptance”. Supremacy is then the stage in which the homosexual movement and its allies take effective control of most or all of the centers of power of a government or other organization. When they have achieved this level of control they use and abuse their power to suppress and/or punish those who openly disapprove of the homosexual lifestyle or its agenda.

Forever and a day, leftists have branded conservatives and Christians as “behind the times”.  Here they are merely embracing presentism on steroids.  It is as if, on a planet around four billion years old, what matters most is what a bunch of people think in calendar year 2019.  What is different now, though, is the new tactic of branding old school views on core social issues as “hurtful”.  That is harder to rebut, because almost any answer will land the holder of those views in even deeper poo. But it is likely based on a myth.  And it wilfully misrepresents the views and impugns the intentions of those who happen to think that marriage is, was and should be between a man and a woman.

Meanwhile, in the US, Chick-fil-A has withdrawn sponsorship from some charitable organisations in the face of hostility and blackmail by homosexual activists and advocates.  What the activists who have been intimidating the well known Christian chicken sandwich making company are demanding is that organisations like them not support any third organisation that does not “affirm” homosexuals and homosexuality.  Wow.

Now I was a bit unsure what “affirm” means, in this context.  Half a minute’s online research reveals that, when it comes to churches, for example, there is a world of difference between “welcoming” and “affirming”.  Affirming means accepting the substance of the homosexual lifestyle, not merely tolerating difference and avoiding being judgemental. We have to like it!  And, in the religious context, it also must be acknowledged that homosexual lifestyles are not sinful.  End of discussion.  The demand that all “affirm” homosexuality is taking things even further than the activist charge that conservative social views “hurt”, “offend” or “demean”.

So Chick-fil-A cannot support (sponsor, donate to, etc) any organisation that does not embrace the homosexual lifestyle as fine, OK, normal, whatever.  Or we will make you pay. 

There is more than a hint of similarity here with what Martina Navratilova recently said about Court, that she was offended because Court regarded her as a lesser person for her lesbianism.  This claim is patently absurd, but it not just a casual piece of absurdity. It is all of a piece with the homo fascists’ core strategy. We cannot (yet) control what you think, but we sure as hell can control what you say.

And if you dare to have a publicly expressed different view to us, we will brand you unfit to have a public voice.  (This is  what the Triple M gnome mentioned above, the alleged gagster, Lawrence Mooney, actually said.  “There is no place in public life” for the homophobic Court – who he labelled as “criminal” for being said homophobe, further noting, “It has been legislated against”.  Gosh!  He of course then threw in the “this is 2019” bit.  He said Court’s utterly mislabelled views were “abhorrent” and she should be “thrown out of the sport until she falls into line”.  Of course the oldest trick in the book is that if you simply “say” homophobia often enough, people will believe that support for traditional marriage is, indeed, homophobic.  Mooney should get an award.  Homo fascism with a gold star.  A very useful idiot indeed).

All of this has been wonderfully deconstructed by Douglas Murray in his epic new book, The Madness of Crowds, a sort of update for the age of woke bootcampery on Charles McKay’s 1840s classic of the same name.  Murray, not unreasonably (whether because of his own homosexuality or not), suggests that the early wins for gay rights and African-American rights, indeed women’s rights, were moving society in a good direction and eliminating embarrassingly bad and unfair rules and cultures.  Most conservatives and indeed most people generally agree.  What Murray calls out is the activists’ going too far. Why couldn’t they just stop when they got to “equality”, or at least an approximation of it?  Why assume superiority?

What has happened, though, is not merely a pendulum swinging too far, but rather a sinister new attempt to use extra-parliamentary means to wipe out opponents who have different views on issues that each group regards as sacred.  A massive upping of the ante.  Perhaps Murray, as an atheist, understandably doesn’t clearly see the anti-Christian aspect of the agenda and so under-emphasises this wilful, though hidden, underpinning of the woke movement.

Murray rather optimistically, perhaps even a tad whimsically, sees all this as “madness”.  What he is really saying is that the dumb punters who fall for the homo fascists, #MeTooers, the transgenders of life and other assorted social activists, who either dismiss the activists as crazy or who are cowed into silence in the face of the relentlessness of it all, are themselves the ones who are suffering from a form of madness for falling for all the woke propaganda.  Murray thinks this will all pass in twenty or so years, and that we will all move on to something else.

I am not so sure.

Margaret Court may or may not come to Melbourne to celebrate her tennis achievements.  She may or may not be booed by the homo fascists.  Israel Folau may or may not win his legal battle over his right to hold and express unfashionable religious views.  But each effort at chipping away the rights of traditionalists to express publicly their views on issues core to their being is a further step down the road towards the virtual extradition of the silent minority from their own country.  Even though they still live here.  They won’t get public recognition.  They may be forced out of a job, even a career, hence a future. They will be unplatformed. 

Mainstream conservatives in the US, like the right-liberals David French, Jonah Goldberg and various other anti-Trumpers, like to think, and say, that we have a “neutral” (liberal) public square.  In such an environment, where all views have a right to be aired and where everyone gets a go, so what if public libraries are used for transvestites to lecture children?  As Sohrab Ahmari has pointed out, though, this claim is rubbish on stilts.

The myth of the neutral public square which (according to the French view) every good liberal and conservative should welcome, is dangerous.  The public square is rigged.  It is a minefield for the believers in tradition and the believers in the Jewish and Christian God.  Those who would do harm to the beliefs and the public expression of them use the so-called neutral public square to their decided advantage.  And, what is more in Australia, they get a mighty (one billion dollar plus) leg-up from the public broadcaster, whose blatant (and ceaseless) anti-conservative and anti-Christian bias is a national disgrace.  Ditto the publicly funded universities.

Soft power indeed.  Well played Tennis Australia.

19 thoughts on “The Myth of the Neutral Public Square

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “The myth of the neutral public square which (according to the French view) every good liberal and conservative should welcome, is dangerous. The public square is rigged. It is a minefield for the believers in tradition and the believers in the Jewish and Christian God. Those who would do harm to the beliefs and the public expression of them use the so-called neutral public square to their decided advantage. And, what is more in Australia, they get a mighty (one billion dollar plus) leg-up from the public broadcaster, whose blatant (and ceaseless) anti-conservative and anti-Christian bias is a national disgrace. Ditto the publicly funded universities.”
    Quite a spray there. If the ‘conservatives’ had shut down the ABC, or had prevented it from even getting started in the first place, we would never have had Four Corners and its numerous and fearless investigations, or for that matter Quentin Masters’ The Moonlight State which did so much to terminate the REAL national disgrace, which was Bjelke-Petersen’s rort of a government in Queensland.
    I am not aware of any believers, no matter how abysmal their doctrine, being prevented from being heard in any public arena, though of course no broadcaster is obliged to give air time to any fanatic or barrow-pusher who walks in off the street.
    The right of free speech in the public (including online) square in Australia is only (IMHO rightly) limited by the laws of defamation.
    But nobody has the right not to be offended. Long may that continue.

  • Stephen Due says:

    IanMcD: What a pity it is not possible to edit one’s comments on this site. On the other hand, maybe “Nobody has the right not to be offended” deserves to be recorded in perpetuity. Inadvertently, you seen to have put your finger on one of the great truths of wokeness.

  • Stephen Due says:

    “This is 2019” always makes me smile. That really is a joke. After all, the documented history of homosexual love, especially man-boy love – which, of course, is now just waiting in the wings to be reintroduced – goes back long before Christianity (among other things) was even thought of.

    Strangely enough, it was through bitter experience that advanced societies decided that unnatural sexual practices such as sodomy were not a very good idea after all. Bad physically, bad psychologically, bad for relationships, bad for society. Precisely because it is 2019 one might have imagined that homosexuality could not be brought back into vogue except among… What a shame, the precise word eludes me.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    I repeat. Nobody has the right not to be offended. Long may that continue. But as for “what a pity it is not possible to edit one’s comments on this site.” Please explain..?

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    If it were possible, Ian, you would correct your error in crediting “Quentin Masters” for bring down Bjelke-Peterson. As I recall it was Quentin Dempster. I always apply the “Opposite Case” Test to issues like the bias of the ABC. What would be your attitude to the ABC and it’s behaviour if it were the left of politics that was being censored rather than the right? We all know the answer to that. You’d cry like a baby, so please spare us your partisan drivel.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    DT: “As I recall it was Quentin Dempster.”
    Ah yes. Well you were wrong weren’t you, Smarty Pants..! ?
    It was Chris Masters, not Quentin. So you got both Christian name and surname wrong, and I only the surname. So I win.
    As for the left/right issue, I am a centrist politically. One some issues, I agree with the Right; eg Islam and Islamism, free markets, (non-monopolist and non-resource) free enterprise and the Right’s critique of socialism; also its support for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars following 9/11 and hostility to the Russian and Chinese oligarchies. On some issues, I agree with the Left, eg on climatology (along with the scientific mainstream) on the Vietnam War, and on the need to rein in monopolists, and in particular the mining barons.
    If the ABC attacked the Left over say, Iraq, I would support the ABC. But as far as I am aware, it has stayed out of it. On climate change, as far as I can see, it has supported the mainstream science, without bothering to ‘balance’ its presentations by always presenting the minority antiscientific pro-coal opposition as represented by some turkey from the Coal Lobby. However, as I recall, it has had the odd pro-coal galah on occasionally to ‘balance’ the odd presentation; though I cannot recall it ever giving a forum on the same basis to a Neanderthal Flat-Earther to debate a mainstream astronomer or geographer.
    So on any given issue, I use a liberal-democratic yardstick to determine where I stand. What do you use, Sir?
    Obviously, it has to be something different, in keeping with what is clearly your more knuckle-walking philosophy.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “Inadvertently, you seen to have put your finger on one of the great truths of wokeness.”
    And I just out of curiosity looked up ‘woke’. If Leadbelly endorsed it back in 1938, then that’s OK with me. I will wear your endorsement as a badge of honour.

  • deric davidson says:

    Ian always manages to deflect back to his topic of obsession – global warming.
    “Mainstream science”? You mean government subsidized science. Let’s destroy the economy for goddess Mother Earth.
    Sodomy has already proved itself to be a rather nasty form of sexual practice in all sorts of ways. The anus is not a sex organ. It is a means of excreting waste. Sorry to be so blunt. Why should I have to approve (be forced to approve) of this disgusting practice and admire the people who carry it out?

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “Why should I have to approve (be forced to approve) of this disgusting practice and admire the people who carry it out?”
    Nobody is asking you to do so, or for that matter expecting that from you. But if you read down from the very top of this thread, Tennis Australia is copping a serve for “labelling her religious views as hurtful, demeaning and degrading. All because she thinks marriage is between a man and a woman (to the exclusion of all others, for life).”
    TA has issued a statement, in part as follows:
    “The tennis court and club should be a place of fun and comfort to everyone, where people from all walks of life get to know each other without fear of judgment or harassment.
    “Inclusivity is at the very core of what we do and that also involves creating an environment where people feel comfortable to be themselves and live their lives as they see fit without causing harm to others.”
    Tolerance is tolerance, live and let live. It has never implied approval, except in the minds of control-freaks and authoritarians. Christians like Court and Folau IMHO should be free to air their opinions in public whenever they choose, if that is what their ideologies incline them to do. Listeners likewise should be free to respond to those opinions as they please. Otherwise, it becomes a pretty phony world, and very quickly.
    Personally, I have always been put off by sexual advances from other men, of which for God knows what reason, I seem to have had more than my fair share over the years. I have never been able to get my head around the homosexual mentality, and pity the poor bastards who are that way inclined; because I have never known a happy one. (They commandeered that lovely word ‘gay’, thus depriving those of us who would like to use it in conversation for its original meaning of ‘happy, high-spirited, light-hearted’ as in that nostalgic WW2 song “the last time I saw Paris, her heart was young and gay…”)
    If I was to go into a celebration of some kind announcing to all and sundry “I really feel gay tonight…” eyebrows would lift all over the place; so much so that the roof might come off the establishment.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Ian Mac, I concede your point about Chris Masters and the Four Corners programme, My admittedly defective memory recalled that it was Dempster who did much of the heavy lifting in bringing Jo and his gang down. He wrote a devastating book about it. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quentin_Dempster?wprov=sfti1)

    As to the rest of your obfuscation, I didn’t ask you whether you agreed or not with any particular political position. I asked you whether you would support the ABC’s unarguably unlawful political bias if it were directed against the political left rather than the right. You dodged the issue. I rest my case.

  • pgang says:

    If the earth is 4 billion years old (or 10 billion, or a gazillion, or in an infinite time loop, who cares really), then the progressives are right: what people think in 2019 is all that matters. Whoever controls the agenda is right. That is the only purpose that humans can have.
    Conservative Quadrant wants to control the agenda too. But what makes their view any more right than the progressives’? Why protect the weak or provide fundamental equality for all people? Why nurture children or look after the poor? Why democracy?
    As for Gideon Haigh, he is clearly a progressive. Being a great writer doesn’t make you conservative.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    DT: “I asked you whether you would support the ABC’s unarguably unlawful political bias if it were directed against the political left rather than the right.”
    The ABC gives the Left an occasional platform. To the Right, this is evidence enough of ‘bias’. For them, it should be Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton plus assorted knucklewalkers from the IPA, etc, etc, etc, all night every night; with perhaps the occasional token appearance from Malcolm Turnbull, for ‘balance’.
    For many on the Right, liberalism is a total obscenity. For the rest, it is just a moderate obscenity.
    So I do not accept you premise. The ABC is middle ground in the modern Australian context. Please prove it is otherwise.

  • T B LYNCH says:

    My grandfather had a poem about MacDougall types: “Empty vessels make the most sound”

  • PT says:

    The cat was out of the bag on the agenda to attack anyone who didn’t support SSM and to hound them out of work years ago, long before the attacks on Margaret Court. I’m talking about Brendan Eich being forced out of Mozilla, an organisation he founded, because he made a $1000 donation to the Proposition 8 campaign in 2008!

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    TBL: Please be more detailed. How have I displayed ’emptiness’? By not agreeing with you 100% perhaps…? In your valiant ‘scientific’ stand against AGW, as endorsed by 198 scientific organisations worldwide..?
    Do tell. The suspense is killing me.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    PT: For the record, I voted against SSM. (What’s next..? Bestiality..? On that one issue Cory Bernardi and I appear to agree.)
    If Brendon Eich was forced out of Mozilla, (!) [are you sure it wasn’t Taronga Zoo..?] I fail to see how I can be held responsible.
    Though of course, I am always open to persuasion. 😉

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    I did not realise that Margaret Court had the guts to take on QANTAS and boycott them.
    No wonder they are after her. Its not about free speech or religion, its about oligopolistic power.
    The really big organisations in Australia are singing from the same song sheet,telling people what they should believe.
    Recent examples are Myer wanting me to put my change [twenty cents] as a contribution, to ‘help the farmers’, Officeworks asking me to donate to some worthy cause while stranded at the checkout or NRMA showing endless ads planting a few trees to save koalas, when cars, urbanisation and running freeways through habitat marginalises them, not climate change.
    Now QANTAS would be a good place to start an austerity program and redistribution to the poor farmers and employees.
    As always good example with leadership starts from the top.
    Say, place a nexus between CEO salary base plus bonus rates and pilots salary.
    Now that’s innovation.QANTAS could be on the cutting edge.
    Tithe the CEO salary, say 10%, just like those Fundamentalists.
    As the CEO salary and take home is north of $24,000,000,a year there is plenty of space for negotiation.
    It would seem that those, such as Court, with religious based beliefs, are now second class citizens, the first class passengers of our society pulling in the wages and calling the shots.
    Perhaps we should all fly Emirates.
    Whatever their Government may believe, they don’t ask me my belief system or tell me what to believe before I fly.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    “Tithe the CEO salary, say 10%, just like those Fundamentalists.”
    I can suggest something even better. The Head Sherang of the ADF is paid $800,000 pa. Nobody in Australia has a greater area of responsibility than he has, because he is responsible for the security of the whole country.
    Therefore, $800,000pa should be the income phase boundary: Companies can pay their CEOs and executives whatever they like, but when they go over $800,000 pa by so much as one dollar, they get taxed at 100%, and no deductions allowed.
    They can retain bragging rights for cocktail party conversation. But none of the money.

  • Bwana Neusi says:

    The Doogle is becoming tiresome with his obsessions. Please fellas don’t feed the Doogle

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