More Culture War

Another story out of Kansas (has anyone figured out what, exactly, really is wrong with that state yet?) is getting me all kinds of hot under the collar. A religious studies professor at Kansas University, who has no love for fundamentalists, recently wrote online about a plan to teach intelligent design as mythology in an upcoming course, and said it would be a “nice slap” in the “big fat face” of fundies. Tactless, but not incorrect. Immediately, said fat face got all up in his grill, Mirecki apologized, and KU canceled the course. (Normally, I might consider that an overreach, but he hardly left KU with much choice after he decided to frame it the way he did.) It should have been the end of the story.

Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki reported he was beaten by two men about 6:40 a.m. today on a roadside in rural Douglas County. In a series of interviews late this afternoon, Mirecki said the men who beat him were making references to the controversy that has propelled him into the headlines in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know them, but I’m sure they knew me,” he said.
Mirecki was being tail-gated and pulled over so the pick-up truck closely following him could pass. Instead, the driver pulled in behind him, and two men got out. When Mirecki made the mistake of getting out of his car, they proceded to beat him up.

The sheriff’s department is looking for the suspects, described as two white males between ages 30 and 40, one wearing a red visor and wool gloves, and both wearing jeans. They were last seen in a large pickup truck.
If you’ve seen these two, who should be easy to find in any crowd in the Midwest by their descriptions, please call Crime Stoppers at 843-TIPS.

Now, I’m certainly not endorsing a professor’s decision to taunt any group; it’s inappropriate, no matter who the group is. But, after Mirecki issued an apology for what he had said and the class was canceled, that still wasn’t good enough for some folks. He had to have his ass kicked, too.

Let’s get real about what happened here. A liberal said something inappropriate. Not threatening, not inflammatory, not even especially provacative. And he got beaten up.

Meanwhile, conservatives go around with liberal hunting licenses stuck on their bumpers, Ann Coulter says a baseball bat is the most effective way to talk to liberals, Bill O’Reilly offers up San Francisco to terrorists, conservative hate groups are on the rise again, violence against the LGBT community is on the rise again, women who report rapes are being prosecuted, pharmacists are telling women they’re being punished by God as they rip up their prescriptions, the poor suffer a constant barrage of shit from conservatives and their policies that allow them to abstractly blather about an “ownership society” but have real-world, life and death consequences for the people subjected to those policies, and the asinine duo of O’Reilly and Coulter have the temerity to moan about how conservatives need to employ security details to protect them from liberals. Can we please have a modicum of perspective on who, exactly, is being attacked here? What’s Ann’s big concern? That she might get another pie thrown at her? Well, sorry—I don’t have a lot of fucking sympathy for someone who incites violence against liberals and then finds herself with whipped cream in her hair.

People like O’Reilly and Coulter bloviate endless vitriol with impugnity on a daily basis, all while casting themselves as victims of some nefarious left-wing conspiracy to hurt them, of which their best evidence is Pat Buchanan getting douched with salad dressing. And they like to dissociate themselves from the radical elements in the conservative movement that drag black people from the backs of their pick-ups and hog-tie queers to fences and shoot abortion doctors and beat up professors, but all the shit that comes out of their mouths every day is what gets the people who do these things riled up. When was the last time you heard Al Franken or even the great liberal boogey-man Michael Moore advocating violence, suggesting we pick up baseball bats to “talk” to conservatives? Give me a break.

Enough with the martyr complex already. The only thing you've got left to defend is an unimpeded ability to say whatever you want to say, whenever you want to say it, no matter how outrageous. And to do that, you've got to pretend that the evil liberals have taken you out of context, even when they're just reprinting your direct transcripts. You're pathetic. Every hate group in the world should have it so good as you.

And P.S. rest of America—they'll come for you, too, eventually. Then maybe the culture war will be more than just a source of amusement.

(Hat tip Agitprop.)

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