Monday, August 6, 2012

And the Winner for the Most Hysterical Comment Goes To...

... some genius named John Benante for this bit of casuistry on my Sunday column...

I know that Spencer is a right-wing ideologue, but he is worse than that. So, he would take issue, apparently, with same-sex partners "french kissing in a public place" - but not, I must assume, with opposite sex partners doing the same thing? What about mixed-race couples? They would have been fair-game for the likes of Spencer just a couple decades ago. Also, it seems to Spencer as if it should be perfectly fine for a restaurant to actively discriminate against serving homosexuals, as the restaurant supposedly wouldn't be "breaking any federal laws." People like him felt the same way about blacks a few decades ago. I've never much respected Spencer, but I find him completely loathful now. And here's something for this... gentleman to chew on. How about if a restaurant chooses to deny service to people with disabilities because their very presence makes some people feel uncomfortable? Would he be okay with that, if no federal law was being broken? Or would that be "different" somehow because no holy book that he's aware of condemns disabilities. (Though that's not completely true. People who were not physically "right" were not permitted to enter the temple. Old Testament. I don't know the verse(s), but it's there.
Benante apparently missed Friday's column in which I made it pretty darn clear that I am against both same sex AND opposite sex couples' Public Displays of Affection. As in...
Two dogs copulating on my lawn - I spray them with a garden hose
Two gay people copulating on my lawn - I spray them with a garden hose
Two straight people copulating on my law - I spray them with a garden hose.
So let me add mixed-raced and disabled couples to the mix, plus any other sort of combination of people one can imagine...


As for simply serving the disabled... the biblical verse Bernante is looking for can be found in Leviticus:

“Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, or a man that is broken footed, or broken handed, or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; no man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish, that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.”
Benante is apparently unfamiliar with the Americans With Disabilities Act. While God is allowed to refuse service to the disabled if He so desires, Red Lobster isn't. And doesn't. It even serves "shellfish," another Old Testament no-no. And while restaurant owners are under no federal obligation to serve people based on their sexual orientation, there are plenty of state and local law forbidding such discrimination. As if they're really necessary.

The point of the column has to do with the government (and its administrators) respecting the First Amendment, specifically the right of free citizens to speak their minds without fear of government retribution.  

I hope my position is now clear to the unfortunate Mr. Benante. Unlike his feelings toward me, I do not find him "completely loathful." I do find him sadly and pathetically ignorant. And utterly lacking of a sense of humor.


Anonymous Richard J. Goeke said...

Dear Mr. Spencer,

While it is your column and your blog, and therefore can say what you want to say, your taking the very narrow view that God somehow ostracizes the disabled is incredibly short-sighted and hurtful. I encourage you to look beyond the Old Testament for a framework on how you view people with disabilities.

In the New Testament, specifically John 9:1, Jesus amends the Old Testament view of disabilities with the following: "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned', said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life'".

Thus, Jesus did not ostracize the disabled (as described in the Old Testament), but clarified how we are to view/treat the disabled.

Your use of only the Old Testament to somehow justify that God ostracizes the disabled, but Red Lobster cannot (due to the ADA) is not correct. I believe that God loves the disabled as much as anyone, and Jesus made sure that we recognize them for what God is doing through their lives. Having been married to a woman with a muscular dystrophy for the past 20+ years, I can assure you that God has moved through her life (and mine) in a way that I am truly grateful for.

As a final challenge, I encourage you to sit in a wheelchair for a day, and see how your life changes, including how you're treated by society. It will be interesting, then if when it comes to disabilities, you prefer the Old Testament (as your blog suggests) or would you rather include the New Testament?

August 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard after reading this , I am pretty sure he was using what is referred to as sarcasm. He doesn't actually believe it, he was just referencing to what a reader had said to him in his letter.

August 6, 2012 at 10:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely wild stuff!

August 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM 
Blogger Bendat said...

Gil's response was a beautiful work of art. I suspected, however, that it might set off a flurry of psycho-bible-babble, and Richard confirmed my suspicion.

If there is anything to be said of this issue, it is "lighten up, folks."

Lighten up and open your mind, as well as your ears. Good job, Gil.

August 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 6, 2012 at 9:39 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

I'm very confused. In what post/column was Mr. Spencer taking the very narrow view that God somehow ostracizes the disabled? In what post/column was he incredibly short-sighted and hurtful? You need to be more clear, Mr. Goeke. Unless you can, I for one conclude you jumped on a bandwagon that has no music or wheels to support it.

August 6, 2012 at 9:42 PM 
Anonymous Richard J. Goeke said...

Dear Mr. Spencer (and everyone else),

After re-reading your blog and the original comment that you were responding to, it does appear that I was taking your comments out of context.

It's now clear to me that you were only trying to use sarcasm to address the original comment, but I took your comments seriously.

Please accept my apologies for not reading the entire context of the dialogue, and for my over-reaction to your responses.


Richard J. Goeke

August 7, 2012 at 7:25 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

No problem, Rich. Thanks for the note and thanks for reading.

August 7, 2012 at 8:44 AM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

Very Spencer-like, Mr. Spencer. As is your well demonstrated wont, you have graciously accepted the apology. Thus my intended comment based on the post is now in the trashbox based on Mr. Goeke's response herein penultimately posted.

August 7, 2012 at 8:08 PM 
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