Tag Archives: Libertarian Party

Obama, Chick-fil-A, and you

You voted for Obama, who until about 6 weeks ago publicly opposed gay marriage.

Now you’re mad at Chick-fil-A because the CEO, like candidate Obama did, publicly opposes gay marriage.

And now you’re excited that Boston and Chicago are trying to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening stores, which would provide jobs in a bad economy. Sure, why not start a precedent of local governments banishing businesses due to executives exhausting their First-Amendment rights?

(BTW, according to CNN, a smaller town prevented Starbucks from opening a store because of the company’s gay-friendly employment and HR policies, and that town’s decision was also stupid.)

Really, if you voted for Obama, be consistent and lay off Chick-fil-A.

For the record, I voted for the Libertarian Party ticket, which made clear its belief that adults should be allowed to define their relationships without government interference, a broader and more liberal stance than just support for gay marriage. Neither McCain nor Obama took that stand.

Now one question remains: If I buy some waffle fries, does it help or hurt the Obama economy?

I think the issue comes down to this: If gay marriage means that much to you, you should not have voted for Obama when you had the choice to vote for the Libertarian Party. You should have been a better informed voter.

Did you vote for Obama because he had more of a chance of “getting things done” than some quixotic third-party ticket?

Fine.

Just realize that the Chick-fil-A CEO is “getting things done” for the Obama economy by running a wildly popular business.

If you compromised to vote for anti-gay-marriage-candidate Obama when gay marriage was your issue, then you can compromise to allow Chick-fil-A in your city.

I mean, don’t stand on your soapbox when you’re part of the problem.

Just. Don’t.

Pew Research Center finds Americans more libertarian

Today’s New York Times Magazine, page 11: “A poll from the Pew Research Center highlights what seems like a paradox: voters are getting ‘more liberal’ on gay marriage and ‘more conservative’ on gun rights. Of course, it’s only paradoxical if you’re fixated on stale notions of left and right. With social issues, Americans in the online age are embracing a more libertarian concept of free expression, even where it violates party orthodoxy. What’s baffling is that neither party seems to get what’s going on.” — And what’s even more baffling is that the New York Times Magazine seems to think there are only two political parties, at least based on its use of the phrase “neither party.” Here’s a reasonable political alternative: the Libertarian Party. Thank you, Pew Research Center. And despite my previous snarky remark about the phrase “neither party,” thank you NYT Mag writer Matt Bai for pointing out the truth of current political views.

House Tea Party Caucus: traitors to their alleged cause of liberty

According to Forbes magazine:

CISPA, or the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act, passed the House yesterday. The bill is full of problematic intrusions into individual privacy and online liberty, and yet those members of the House who associate themselves with limited government were largely responsible for its passage.

Reason magazine reports:

The complete roll call shows 206 Republicans voting for the bill, 28 against. Democrats went 42 to 140 in the opposite direction. The Republican No column includes some fairly libertarian-friendly names, including Amash, McClintock and Rohrabacher (who also this week earned the honor of being bannedby vile Afghan kleptocrat Hamid Karzai). Voting for the legislation were great libertarian nopes Ryan, Flake and Duncan. The name Paul shows up in the not-voting lineup.

TechDirt.com reports:

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change … to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Those clowns in the House Tea Party Caucus should no longer be trusted. This is a complete violation of trust and betrayal of principle.

Officials of The Episcopal Church take new action to punish free speech

So I’m no theologian. What I am, however, is a former newspaper section editor and a veteran of 10 years in the newspaper business. One thing we journalists learn to value, very quickly, is freedom of speech for all, in all situations, and one thing we quickly learn to notice is censorship.

What really stunned me recently was the decision of officials in an otherwise progressive body to align themselves with the pro-censorship right-wing. As a Libertarian Party voter (let there be plagues on both the big political parties), I’ve been choking back an exasperated vomit following the flex of a new fascism in the high offices of The Episcopal Church USA, a body that my family joined more than a century ago (see the sidebar photos).

The upper levels of The Episcopal Church are upset because its own Mark Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, referred to his own Christian denomination as “a comatose patient” and as a “sidecar on a motorcycle.”

Despite the fact that The Episcopal Church continues to hemorrhage members (thus making Lawrence’s phrases into rather apt metaphors), these comments are one part of a 12-point claim that Lawrence has abandoned the doctrine and discipline of his denomination. He hasn’t, but considering the goofy allegations, who would blame him? He’d probably have more self-respect if he worked in the failing Obama administration, but men of character do not abandon their commitments.

Consider the gravity of phrases like a “comatose patient” and a “sidecar on a motorcycle.” These oh-so-horrible phrases have not pleased the censors in the high offices of The Episcopal Church, which is too fragile for thoughtful metaphors, never mind free speech. If anyone needed proof that The Episcopal Church is a dwindling body, they just need to think about how those phrases were taken as insults instead of helpful diagnoses.

Of course, in the United States of America, we value the right to critique and criticize our governing institutions. We have the freedom of speech and the freedom of dissent, even if the Libertarian Party is the only political body that fully supports those freedoms. But in The Episcopal Church, neither freedom exists. The new fascism insists that no one say anything but Nice Words, even if what’s happening reeks of juvenile ugliness.

If only it were about those two phrases.

Another allegation from the high offices of The Episcopal Church seems to boil down to this: They don’t like Lawrence’s webpage design. Really (see point No. 6).

The high offices think Lawrence has failed to display The Episcopal Church logo prominently enough on his webpage. Again, considering the goofy allegations, who would want to be branded with The Episcopal Church, the denomination that punishes free speech and micromanages webpages?

Lawrence probably didn’t realize how petty the top brass of his denomination could be — until he became bishop. But a man of character sticks to his commitments.

In our current cultural, political, and social environment, the allegedly progressive institution of The Episcopal Church USA had a chance to stand for freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of dissent.

Instead, the high offices have joined the simple-minded cable-news crowd in attempts to censor and intimidate anyone who has an alternative point of view. The Episcopal Church doesn’t welcome you. It doesn’t even welcome its own. It’s too intolerant.

The Burch family joined The Episcopal Church more than a century ago, and I will continue as an Episcopalian because the heritage is good. Maybe I’m foolish because I believe common sense can see through all the allegations against Lawrence, and I believe The Episcopal Church can become a pro-freedom organization again, some day.

But for now, the high offices have made evangelism, and the bolstering of our dwindling numbers, nearly impossible for me. What Libertarian would want to join the denomination that punishes free speech, the denomination of censorship?

This post is my own and represents only my point of view. — Colin Foote Burch

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