Part 2—In search of our favorite targets: Just for the record, a lot of people in Indiana don’t approve of same-sex marriage, at least not yet.
If we lived in Indiana, that wouldn’t be our position. But a lot of people still disapprove, as can be deduced from Frank Bruni’s latest column.
In this passage, Bruni quotes David Gushee, “an evangelical Christian.” Gushee “openly challenges his faith’s censure of same-sex relationships, to which he no longer subscribes:”
BRUNI (4/5/15): “Conservative Christian religion is the last bulwark against full acceptance of L.G.B.T. people,” Gushee said.As sometimes happens, the link Bruni provides doesn’t lead to the survey he describes. We continued to search. I
Polls back him up. A majority of Americans support marriage equality, including a majority of Catholics and most Jews. But a 2014 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that while 62 percent of white mainline Protestants favor same-sex marriages, only 38 percent of black Protestants, 35 percent of Hispanic Protestants and 28 percent of white evangelical Protestants do.
At the PRRI site, we found this survey from 2014. In its report on that survey, the PRRI cites figures similar to the ones Bruni published.
According to the PRRI, “only 27% of white evangelical Protestants and 35% of black Protestants support same-sex marriage.”
According to that same report, “Catholics who regularly attend church are in fact divided on the issue (50% favor, 45% oppose).” Across the nation, 39 percent of black Americans approve of same-sex marriage. Overall, 51 percent of people in the Midwest approve.
Based on those figures, we'd guess that a lot of people in Indiana don’t approve of same-sex marriage at this point. We thought Bruni was perhaps a tiny bit slippery in the way he slid past Catholics in that passage, especially since all Catholic officials disapprove of the practice.
Presumably, there isn’t a priest in the state of Indiana who will perform a same-sex marriage at this time. We'll guess that Indiana Catholics are evenly split on the question.
Why did Bruni seem to give Catholics a tiny pass in the way he did? We’ll offer a possible guess:
Bruni put the word “bigotry” at the start of his headline, then used it again in his column. And he largely seemed to be targeting white Evangelical Christians, one of the groups we tribal liberals have loathed for a very long time.
Can we talk? Unless you live on the dark side of the moon, you’ll understand a basic fact. The liberal world is frequently driven by loathing for white Southerners.
In our view, we’re frequently driven by dull-witted loathing of this type, as was the case in last week’s explosions about Indiana’s new law.
At this time, a lot of people still don’t approve of same-sex marriage. In a killjoy piece for the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf fleshed that out in greater detail:
FRIEDERSDORF (4/3/15): What do white evangelicals, Muslims, Mormons, blacks, conservative Republicans, and immigrants from Africa, South America, and Central America all have in common? They're less likely to support gay marriage than the average Californian. Over the years, I've patronized restaurants owned by members of all those groups. Today, if I went out into Greater Los Angeles and chatted up owners of mom-and-pop restaurants, I'd sooner or later find one who would decline to cater a gay wedding. The owners might be members of Rick Warren's church in Orange County. Or a family of immigrants in Little Ethiopia or on Olvera Street. Or a single black man or woman in Carson or Inglewood or El Segundo.So many people and groups for us to loathe! But let’s be honest just for once. We will always direct our liberal loathing at white Southerners and evangelicals. Other groups need not apply!
Should we destroy their livelihoods?
The mainstream press corps tends to play that same demographic game. That’s how it worked in last week’s explosion of our liberal loathing.
You may recall what happened. An intrepid reporter for a South Bend TV station went looking for some restaurateur who might object, on religious grounds, to catering same-sex weddings.
By total happenstance, she stumbled upon a young white woman who identified herself as a “Christian.” No blacks or Muslims or even white Catholics need apply!
The young woman in question, Crystal O’Connor, is part owner of Memories Pizza, a small town pizza joint. She said the restaurant was open to gays, and no one has said different.
That said, O’Connor said she wouldn’t cater a same-sex wedding, presumably because she saw it as some sort of religious event. (As always, the TV reporter didn’t spend a lot of time exploring this young woman’s thinking.)
At CNN, Gary Tuchman made a similar play. He tramped the back roads of Georgia, interviewing southern white florists about their views on this matter. No blacks were approached during Tuchman's search.
Soon, we had the deluge from the “dumb aggressives” who lurk within our own tribe. We liberals simply love to loathe the nation's Christian hillbillies! The dumbest and meanest within our troop began harassing the small town pizza joint with phony orders of pizza. One teacher managed to get herself in trouble with the law for tweeting a threat to burn the pizza joint down.
Elsewhere, we pounded our drums. To see how dumb we can be in our reflexive liberal loathing, consider the heroic work performed by Salon’s Jenny Kutner.
Kutner got her start by writing about her affair with her eighth-grade history teacher. He ended up in prison. She found her way to Salon, where she entertains the kids with thoughtful pieces like this:
Website lets people anonymously ship vaginal cleansing kits to “basic b*tches”Whatever! The youngsters are working it out!
Like "Dicks By Mail," but for vaginas—and (somehow) even cruder!
MONDAY, MAR 30, 2015 10:42 AM EDT
Kutner’s reaction to “pizza-gate” (Salon’s actual term!) was perhaps even dumber than that. She was soon posting the dumbest tweets she could find about the pizza-gate conflagration.
Kutner posted a series of brainless tweets which Salon described as “hilarious.” This is the first one she offered:
REPOSTING BY KUTNER (4/1/15): I had the single most horrific experience of my life!Needless to say, Rachel F had instantly conflated opposition to same-sex marriage with toothless white bigotry. No other possible understanding of this position need apply!
I wanted some pizza after my Klan rally so of course it was Memories Pizza. I know we are supposed to be anonymous and all that but whatever!
I ordered a nice hot and steamy not gay and extra mozzarella cause I only consume white cheese because it is the superior cheese. And resting on top of my pepperoni was a tooth! I was shocked, but relieved it was a white tooth. Apparently it belonged to the girl behind the counter.
I went to return it to her and she was making out with this woman and screaming it was a choice!
It seems to me this restaurant has gone downhill.
I plan to tell my Klan friends about this and we will be eating our white cheese elsewhere!
In the next tweet posted by Kutner, a brilliant liberal named Michael N had performed the same conflation. He stressed the Southern theme:
REPOSTING BY KUTNER: This is a transparent attempt to fly the Christian martyr “mean Gays are calling us bigots” flag in the hopes that other mouth-breathers in the area will rally to them and their crappy pizza the way Southerners rallied to Chick Fil-A. Deny them the oxygen of your outrage, and their uninspired fare will put them out of business in due course.To Michael N., O’Connor wasn’t a toothless phony martyr. She was a mouth-breather!
When we engage in our liberal loathing, we do love dropping our bombs. To the occasional mouth-breather within our own tribe, it doesn’t seem odd to post comments like these while accusing The Others of hate:
REPOSTED BY KUTNER: They have a great pizza. It’s the intolerance special with toppings of hate, bigotry, stupidity, and old fashioned beliefs.TW writhed with tribal pleasure, imagining himself spat on.
I came in with my boyfriend a few weeks ago for a couple of slices. They told of us the good word of Jesus’s love. Which was all great until we told them we were engaged to be married, at which point they spit on us and bashed us upon the head and torso with pizza pans. They said it was all in the name of Jesus so I guess it’s not all bad. I choose never to give them my business anymore, because, ya know, that’s my choice.
This sort of thing was observed all over the pseudo-liberal world. It’s hard to overstate the way pseudo-liberals of this type have been able, down through the years, to heighten tribal divides and hold back progress.
At an earlier time, fiery “liberals” of this type helped create a generation of Nixon/Reagan politics. Like 45-year cicadas, they are active again!
We’ll only ask you to notice one thing about this sad display. Like the knuckle-draggers we are, we look for white “Christians” and white Southerners to land on at such times.
We ignore the fact that large chunks of our own coalition are opposed to same-sex marriage. None of our tribe need apply!
In fairness, the Kutner crowd may not know how the demographics work. But when they rampage after their targets, no blacks or Hispanics or even Catholics need apply! Our liberal loathing tells us which neighborhoods to ride through.
We get out our ropes and start dropping our bombs. We kick as far down as we can.
Pope Francis is opposed to same-sex marriage! But we go after the least among us, offering comments like this:
SKANNER (4/6/15): I don't think I've ever seen someone who so completely personified the term “slack-jawed.” You've probably got to work really hard to look that stupid.She'll never be as brilliant as Skanner! That was our latest comment about the youngish O’Connor, who imaginably may be a Catholic doing what the Pope says.
At Salon, our own knuckle-draggers were conducting our own little pogrom. We savaged the “redneck families” who were donating to “dumb A-holes like the O’Connors.”
Poodleplay ridiculed O’Connor as “that slack-jawed yokel.” Aunt Messy captured the tone of this crowd with a blatantly inaccurate post:
“I have no sympathy for these backwoods morons, but I'm better and smarter than they are.”
Messy, please! No one will ever think that.
The Pope is opposed to same-sex marriage. So is every priest in the state of Indiana. According to the survey Bruni cited, most blacks are opposed to same-sex marriage at this time as well.
We don’t share their view, but we also wouldn’t call them “bigots.” When we liberals get a snootful and start displaying our liberal loathing, we avoid this contradiction by passing over such houses.
We liberals! Because our mental powers are limited, we can only imagine opposition to same-sex marriage as “bigotry” and “hatred.” Meanwhile, it seems we can only spot that opposition within certain parts of the world.
Our liberal loathing is unattractive, stupid, dumb. Politically, it’s often quite harmful.
But our liberal loathing just feels so good! Of course, this kind of loathing has always felt good, for mobs all over the world.
Tomorrow: Eight letters respond to David Brooks
Coming Friday: We play the Dr. King card