Monday, March 15, 2010

Social Groups, Humor and Bigotry:

A little while ago I raised the issue of whether it's okay to poke fun at the stereotypes of religious groups. I got responses like whereas race is 100% immutable and unchosen, religion is 100% chosen, 100% about beliefs and therefore "fit" to be mocked.

I think this view misses that we are talking about people who are members of social groups. And regardless of whether the basis for that social group is 100% genetic/immutable (race), 100% about chosen beliefs (religion), or something more complicated (i.e., being Jewish or gay) someone's social group basis merits some degree of respect as a citizen.

It is ironic, I note, that one group -- conservative Christians -- whose status is far more chosen and mutable than the other group -- gays -- tend to argue that gays aren't a real "social group" because their status really isn't "immutable."

As a fair minded libertarian pluralist I believe -- forget all of this fancy debate about mutable, immutable, chosen whacko religious beliefs and chosen perverted behavior -- if you are a part of a peaceful productive group of citizens as most gays, blacks and conservative Christians are -- you are a legitimate "social group."

I'm not a humor prude. To the contrary, I'm a longtime Howard Stern fan. And it's precisely because he's an equal opportunity offender that he resonates with me. There is a double standard in various circles where some groups are off limits.

That bothers me.

The truth is whatever social group to which you belong, there will be those among you who fit the garish stereotypes. I don't have a problem with poking fun at them as long as 1) all groups are fair game, and 2) we realize that most folks within that group DON'T fit the garish stereotypes.

Perhaps it's a failing on my part, but these clownish folks entertain me. I eat up Fred Phelps. And I'd love to see a debate on gay rights between Neal Horsley and Chris -- leave Britney alone -- Crocker.

I assume most folks know who Crocker is given his 30 million hits on YouTube.

Neal Horsley is the dumb ass who just got arrested for protesting Elton John's home with signs "Elton John must Die."

Elton's crime? He said he thought Jesus was a super intelligent, sensitive gay man. To which Horsley replies what Elton really meant was Jesus achieves orgasm by ........... Actually no. That's not necessarily what Elton meant. He could have meant Jesus had a homosexual orientation but lived a celibate life.

But Horsley is just a very stupid man. How dumb? Just watch:

And (the best part) -- I'm not making this up -- Horsley has admitted to having sex with animals while growing up on his farm.