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08/25/2011

On gag reflexes, cesspools, and NOM's odd idea of 'victory'

by Jeremy Hooper

Over on the official Facebook wall, National Organization For Marriage staffers have posted the following:

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Okay, so the free speech thing I can understand. I reject it, because Jerry Buell's situation didn't involve whether or not he had the right to say what he said free from government interference, but rather whether his choice should lead to any sort of disciplinary action from a public school system that has a commitment to make all students feel safe. But that being said, I do get why a group like NOM would try to work a "free speech" claim, both out of political expediency and, perhaps, even a generalized belief in speaking out.

But as for the "victory for marriage" part? How, exactly? And why? And if NOM thinks of this as a victory, then what do they see as the fight at hand? Because to remind you, this is what Mr. Buell wrote on his Facebook wall:

"I'm watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about New York okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don't insult a man and woman's marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???"

"If one doesn't like the most recently posted opinion, based on Biblical principals and God's law, then go ahead and un-friend me. I'll miss you like I miss my kidney stone from 1994
."

So where is NOM's victory in all that? What, do they have a fundraising pitch based on Mr. Buell's gag reflex? A planned ad campaign that'll followup 2009's "Gathering Storm" spot with a "Gathered Cesspool" sequel? I mean, seriously -- how does Mr. Buell's right to write such comments (which, again, was never really disputed) and still maintain public school employment in any way benefit NOM's "protect marriage" efforts?

Who knows, maybe NOM will recruit Mr. Buell to be its new Carrie Prejean. I same "game on!" on that one. Because if they do "un-friend" pragmatism and get behind this non-victory for obviously beyond-the-pale comments? Well, I'll miss NOM's alienated support system like I miss my oversized flannel poncho from 1994.

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*ONE MORE THING: I should add, going back to the "free speech" thing: It's pretty damn funny to see NOM celebrating "free speech," considering how aggressive they are in shutting out discourse on most all of their online properties.

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*ONE MORE, ONE MORE THING: Buell may not even be in the clear. Check this out:

Jerry Buell might not have violated a Lake County Schools ethics policy, but according to his lawyer the school district believes he violated the constitutional provision of separation of church and state.
...
On his school webpage, Buell wrote that he tries to "teach and lead my students as if Lake Co. Schools had hired Jesus Christ himself."

His syllabus also offered this warning to students: "I teach God's truth, I make very few compromises. If you believe you may have a problem with that, get your schedule changed, 'cause I ain't changing!" On a separate document, he also said the classroom was his "mission field."

Mihet said the webpage was since removed and Buell has been instructed to remove some parts of his syllabus.

Buell lawyer: District believes teacher violated church-state provision [Orlando Sentinel]

Buell also appeared at a "pro-family" rally tonight, where he said he "knew exactly what [he] was doing." Cocky.

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