Thursday, August 5, 2010

Passive-aggressive Tyranny

“In 1997, in her acceptance speech for an Emmy for cowriting the “coming-out” episode of Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres said, “I accept this on behalf of all people, and the teenagers out there especially, who think there is something wrong with them because they are gay. There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
There are many who, after hearing or reading Ellen’s speech, applauded her for her liberal sensibilities, concluding that the actress is an open and tolerant person who is merely interested in helping young people to better understand their own sexuality. If you think this way, you are mistaken. Ellen’s speech is an example of what I call “passive-aggressive tyranny.” The trick is to sound “passive” and accepting of “diversity” even though you are putting forth an aggressively partisan agenda, implying that those who disagree with you are not only stupid but harmful. In order to understand this, imagine if a conservative Christian Emmy award winner had said this: “I accept this on behalf of all people, and the teenagers out there especially,who think there is something wrong with them because they believe that human beings are made for a purpose and that purpose includes the building of community with its foundation being heterosexual monogamy. There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t ever let anybody, especially television script writers, make you feel ashamed because of what you believe is true about reality.” Clearly this would imply that those who affirm liberal views on sexuality are wrong. An award winner who made this speech would be denounced as narrow, bigoted, and intolerant. She would never work again in Hollywood.” –Francis Beckwith

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