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06/07/2007

Gather 'round, kiddies, for the latest TVC comic has arrived

by Jeremy Hooper

Well, we know you've been waiting for it, so here it is. In an apparent attempt to distance themselves from the words "credible," "reasoned," or "not six years old," the reliably silly kids at the Traditional Values Coalition have issued yet another comic:

 Images Comics 060707-612

So what is this one all about, you ask? Well, back in 2003, an email was distributed among employees of Oakland, California's Community and Economic Development Agency, wherein information regarding a National Coming Out Day rally was conveyed. Upset by this, two Christian workers decided to organize something called the Good News Employee Association, which they described as "a forum for people of faith to express their views on contemporary issues of the day...with respect for the natural family, marriage and family values." To promote their new Christian group, the ladies decided to post a flier entitled "Preserve Our Workplace with Integrity" on a company bulletin board (reportedly very close to a gay employee's workspace). This prompted a lesbian employee to complain, and the company told the ladies they needed to remove the flier. However, they also told them that they could repost the message if certain editorial guidelines were followed. Yet instead of making changes, the ladies decided to file a lawsuit. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker rejected their claims in February of '05, and so they appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court ruled in March of this year (pdf of the ruling) that the CEDA did not, in fact, limit the employees' speech, which brings us up to speed.

Now, in the Court of Appeals ruling, it was specifically spelled out WHY these ladies did not have a case. Basically it goes back to the fact that while freedom of speech protects a citizen from having the American government stifle their speech, employers are CERTAINLY allowed to place limits on speech (see the Imus situation) in order to protect their interests. As the court noted in their ruling, "the only limit placed on appellants’ speech was the removal of a single flyer from the wall." Furthermore, the employees were only given a warning for the action, and they were given the option of submitting another flier that was editorially approved by the company. So essentially, it was determined that employer's administrative interests (protecting all employees from perceived threats) outweighed the employee's claims that their "freedom of speech" was violated or that they suffered any adverse employment action.

But of course since the employees identify as Christians and the message is seen to this crowd as merely a benign Biblical message, they are leaping to turn this situation into something it's not. They are highlighting the words "marriage," "natural family," and "family values," painting it as if the employer banned those specific words because they found them offensive. Conservative news site WorldNetDaily even ran a piece this week with the simplistic, duplicitous headline:

Picture 16-15

But it wasn't that the word "family values" that was banned -- it was the entire message and its carriage that was found to be disruptive and discriminatory! The problem lies in the fact that Christian antipathy for gay marriage and gay families is always so code-worded behind hijacked terms like "family values," that whenever gays protest against their campaigns, they are made to look like they are the ones who are on the attack!

So getting back to the TVC comic: Not only is it poorly executed and just plain silly, it is also a complete and utter lie! The judges most certainly did not issue "a memo saying that Christian city employees in Oakland can't use words like "family values" or "marriage" in emails or posters." In fact, just think about hoe f***ed up that line is for a second. Someone at TVC actually found it appropriate to assert such an insanely baseless claim!

They also say in the comic, "The city of Oakland California's sexual orientation policy protects the freedom speech of homosexuals but not Christians." This of course shocked EVERYONE who thought that Christianity was, in fact, a sexual orientation! But once they got over that shock, they would of course want to remind TVC that while the sexual orientation stipulation do not protect Christianity, religious speech is MOST CERTAINLY addressed and protected by the city. If only this matter were about a citizen's right to free speech and not an employee's right to disruptive employee action, then they might have a claim!

This writer is seriously about to blow a gasket over this, so it's time to wrap up this piece. Though he would like to leave TVC with one suggestion: In your next comic, you should have Mr. "T for Truth" take a break and let his more forthright cousin fill in a bit:

Bs-1

TVC Comics -- The Ninth Circuit Goes Wild [TVC]

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Your thoughts

Hm... I see the 't' character now also stands for 'traditinal'. Congrats on the promotion, t! :)

(I'm sorry but the stoopid has reached a level where I just can't say anything serious about these guys.)

Posted by: williehewes | Jun 8, 2007 4:23:58 AM

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