Comment at Volokh:


The difficulty with gay rights issues is that your perspective on the merits determines your perspective on the rules of discussion.

All conversations have rules. All decent people would agree that it’s OK to criticize pedophiles. All sane people would also agree that we have the right to punish* others (at least socially) for racist or anti-Semitic comments

If being gay is morally the equivalent of being Jewish, then it’s OK to punish anti-gay comments. Wouldn’t everyone agree that a librarian should at least be criticized for trying include a book that treated Judaism as an evil on the Freshman reading list? But if you take the perspective that being gay is itself immoral, then a whole different set of rules apply.

Can anyone come up with a system of rules of discussion that does not depend on the speaker’s view of the underlying merits?


“Can anyone come up with a system of rules of discussion that does not depend on the speaker’s view of the underlying merits?”

Off the bat, I would say no, because neither education, nor religion, nor a body of laws and rules can exist without morality, without determining what is right or wrong.

Theoretically in a democracy, this moral determination should be achieved by a fair debate. But more often than not, this is not what happens.

In practice, morality is determined by the rule of the jungle in a democracy, that is, the most powerful groups determine what is right or wrong, usually by the ability to stifle debate or opponents, or to misguide and misinform the masses about perspectives on issues. Long-lasting prevailing incorrect and harmful ideas are a result of a vicious circle of lack of information or criticism or selfishness or insensitivity from the masses who then give support to the immoral discourse powerbrokers (in law, education, or the media, for example).

At OSU, there cannot be any debate on the issue of homosexuality (and consequently of sexuality), and views on the subject must by shaped by totalitarian control of speech, which amounts to passing down ignorance as education. This entails a totalitarian destruction of not only speech, but the criminilization of knowledge and debate itself.

The fact above is perfectly emphasized by another comment:

OutofHigherEd wrote:

I’m surprised so many are surprised at the professors’ actions; I’m sure they would be surprised too.

Many, if not most, academics are in the job NOT to deal with anything they don’t like. They teach the classes, write the exams, and grade students so they don’t have to encounter any ideas that they don’t already approve.

Any deviation from this is simply unthinkable and, in their opinion, unconsciousable, so of course they took action.

There is a ideological requirement in most departments, unspoken, but there and if you don’t like it, please seek employment elsewhere. I did!

There is a ideological requirement in most departments, unspoken,

ahem, or shriekingly yelled out 😉 Which brings us to another question:

Duncan Frissell (mail):

Savage was put under “investigation” by OSU’s Office of Human Resources after three professors filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions made them feel “unsafe.”

Perhaps the complainants could be punished under a “group libel” theory for implying that homosexuals are a weak and pathetic victim class that can’t take any criticism or political opposition.


Let’s not overlook one thing; the complaining professor’s claims are likely complete lies. I find it highly unlikely they actually feel “unsafe”. Ticked off maybe, but “unsafe”; nonsense.

However, these 3 homo professors have endangered the jobs for anyone who exercises freedom of thought and speech on campus, and they have effectively created a hostile working environment for such people.

And this is what is so disgusting about pro-homosexuality and homo activits. They often are bigots, intolerant, destructive in a variety of ways, they have no respect for a thousand important things, BUT they are always twisting reality and putting on the most hypocritical self-victimizing circus.

As “hey” articulated more formally:

I seriously hope that Mr. Savage sues the University and the accusers for their scurrilous charges and attempts to damage his career and reputation. Unless they can produce other emails that give substance to their “fears” they deserve to lose and be hit with a very large judgement on the order of several million dollars (given their attempts to make Mr. Savage unemployable and remove his current high salary and benefits).

From ACE (where people argue a lot of the same that appears on Volokh, but with a sense of humour):

Hey, if this thing actually goes through, why not sue the publisher for publishing such a book? Or the writer for that matter? Why not people in the bookstore who are caught reading the excerpt and therefore might actually think that way.

Thank God we gays don’t have a profit that we find sacred (with the exception of Madonna and Cher). We’re always actively looking for things to be offended about and God help the hetero world if it were to ever defile a bust of Babs.

“Apeshit” wouldn’t begin to describe our wrath….

Posted by Chad at April 14, 2006 01:52 PM

I thought only mo-hammed cartoons could bring a wrath like this. How many were killed by these savage queers? How big was the riot? Billions in property damage huh. Say what? Oh, they filed a complaint. Might sue. The brutes. Sissy shit will get them nothing, you gotta lop of heads these days to get good headlines. Come on pole smokers, burn some Peugeots at least.

Posted by hutch1200 at April 14, 2006 02:50 PM