When It’s Someone You Love

I wrote a little about “tolerance” at Pith today. But I do just want to reiterate that, if you believe your personal beliefs or your religious beliefs compel you to hurt me or people I love, to lie about me and people I love, to dismiss my pain and the pain of people I love–in other words, if you believe you need to be able to harm me in order to satisfy your God or your conscience–I cannot tolerate you.

There is no “no harm, no foul” area in which we can agree to disagree. You believe you should be able to harm me and I believe you absolutely should not.

I think the mistake I keep seeing people on the other side of this issue making is that, rhetorically, they’re acting like this is just a difference of opinion and people like me are being assholes because we won’t “tolerate” a difference of opinion. But all along the way, Campfield is acting on his opinions. He drafts legislation based on his opinion that men should be in control of women and that women should not be able to do things with our bodies without male sanction. He drafts legislation based on his opinion that homosexuality is a lifestyle that must be kept hidden from children. And, based on his belief that no regular guy is going to get HIV from a regular girl (with all the bullshit packed into “regular” there), he gets up repeatedly in front of microphones and on his blog and tells his audience that they, “regular” people, don’t have to worry about HIV. It’s only for the deserving.

It takes seconds to put on a condom. You don’t have to play the odds or guess whether the person in front of you is “regular” or if she might have fucked an African or shot up in her wilder days or whatever.

It takes no effort to say “Hey, everyone can benefit from practicing safe sex.” Or, if you can’t say that because of your religious beliefs, you can say “I’d just like to remind everyone not to have sex until you’re married and to get tested and make sure that your fiancee is tested before you do.”

But notice that Stacey Campfield, who demands the right to hurt gay people because of his religion, isn’t fervently insisting that nobody have sex until they’re married.

Funny that.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. My point is that, even if Campfield’s religious beliefs are such that he thinks homosexuality is wrong and that straight people are very unlikely to get HIV, there are ways of making that point that don’t endanger straight men. That don’t dismiss the suffering of families who’ve lost “regular” people to AIDS. But, even within his own framework, he doesn’t not hurt people.

So, I think it’s clear why someone like me–a freak who loves freaks–would be grossed out by Campfield and would find the idea that I should tolerate someone who’s actively trying to hurt me and the people I love to be hilariously evil. But I wonder if it’s starting to dawn (or what it would take to get it to start to dawn) on people who are ostensibly on his side that he is fine with their suffering, too.

I wonder if it starts with lying to people about something that could get them very sick.


9 thoughts on “When It’s Someone You Love

  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I got so mad by some people’s comments along the old “liberals are intolerant” lines, and others in punditry calling this action petty or unfair (?!?!?) even when they themselves are allegedly liberal that I couldn’t sleep last night for a while.

    In the whole history of discrimination around gay folks and gayness, it would not surprise me if this was the biggest, highest profile incidence of someone being discriminated against for BEING A HOMOPHOBE, rather than for being (or acting, or looking, or being suspected of being) a homosexual. And now he’s trying to make like he’s a freedom rider. I am suffused with disgust. The mind reels.

  2. I’m still curious as to why the ejection from the restaurant has not been defended as a small business acting out of concern for patrons’ health, a la the go-to response of “free speech advocates” (ha) when the AIDS/HIV paranoia was at its peak (ca. Campfield’s “current” reference material). A restaurant can refuse service for lacking shoes or a shirt; why can’t they refuse service to someone whose nationally broadcast boasts of willful ignorance of basic health precautions for sexually active adults would make them fear he’d be a serious health risk to their customers? He could have Hep C or TB or herpes or all sorts of other diseases that are spread by personal — not always sexual — contact.

    As a business owner, I don’t have to be “tolerant” of Stacey Campfield, and I’m not obligated to take his money. Period.

    Yes, I know I haven’t addressed our B’s point, which is beautiful and infuriating and very, very correct. I’m trying to turn an argument made by The Senator (!) and his willfully ignorant, malicious kind on its head.

    I wonder if he realizes how many people who oppose him and his actively harmful idiocy HANDLE HIS FOOD when he eats out?

    Thank goodness they’re all too professional to do anything other than ask him to leave.


  3. “I wonder if he realizes how many people who oppose him and his actively harmful idiocy HANDLE HIS FOOD when he eats out?”–grandefille

    THANK YOU. That is exactly what I have been thinking. But then he’s an idiot who doesn’t know or care how disease is transmitted, right?

  4. He has a specious parallel claim is that we’re spending money on social engineering in schools teaching kids that AIDS is communicable among nice regular little straight children. “The odds are remote,” he whines.

    B, if you haven’t listened to the FM talk radio host Phil Williams tearing him a new ‘un, you owe it to yourself to check it out.


    Williams winds him up right off the bat asking him about his love for wrestling. The interview is problematic, but here we have a demonstration of what a joke Campfield is — not only among the liberal chatterati, but also among some Republicans.

    (Also note how he calculates odds. “If you multiply the number of new cases of infection in Tennessee times the number of people in the country, you come up with something like 1 in 5,000,000!” Statistics ain’t his bag, let alone epidemiology.)

  5. The aspect of this latest round of shots via his blog which I find to be the most disturbing is the snide-winkery of it all.

    From the blog entry’s title (More fun then a barrel of monkeys) onward, the entire entry reads as though his real, churlish, and cruel nature is trying to break through the veneer of respectability he keeps up as a token to his role in government. From the “there I was, minding my own business–and surrounded by lots of friends” [he reminds you two or three times that he was there with a Group of his Friends, to reassure us he is not alone] to the “some folks say I’m a hero, some folks say I’m a martyr” refrain it’s all like the world he lives in is there to cater to him specifically. And when it doesn’t, well. He’s a hero. He’s a martyr.

    I think that I have many opinions that differ wildly from most of the folks who traffic here on a regular basis. Yet we tolerate one another’s differences because at no time have I ever advanced the idea that these people I disagree with should become diseased or jailed.

    I tend to believe, when it comes to tolerance, that opposing ideas can be tolerated, where opposing actions cannot. If you think I shouldn’t own a gun, okay. We’ll agree to disagree. If, however, you think that you should have the right to come in my home and take my gun from me…well…I won’t tolerate that.

    Just an example.

  6. Meh. It isn’t intolerant to refuse to give aid and comfort to the enemy. And Stacey Campfield is clearly an enemy of Tennessee’s gay citizens.

  7. I don’t think you’re getting off track. I think you’re right on track. I’m tempted to move back to my home district and run against him. My slogan: “I’m not Stacey Campfield.”

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