Displaced Anger And Civility

Yesterday’s post ended rather snarkily on my part.

I dismissed the abuse suffered by Rep Kris Hansen (R) Havre with:

That’s nothing- we LGBT people have been putting up with this all our lives.  Wimp.

I admit, I was angered by her lack of understanding of the abuse this bill attempts to codify into law and her whining about some answering machine obscenities and impassioned people in public. That kind of stuff seems to be a part of a controversial person living a public life, and the deep reality of the anger that this bill provokes.

However, I don’t ever want to convey the impression that I believe that this kind of incivility is something that I condone. No human being should ever be subjected to threats because of a political position- even when that position infringes on the rights of other human beings to pursue safety, happiness and well-being.

Having said that, the anger and other strong emotions  elicited by this legislation should not be suppressed. That’s part of the process, too. But those strong emotions should never be used to intimidate, coerce and threaten. That’s fascism.

And we’re better than that.

7 comments on “Displaced Anger And Civility

  1. Ted Hayes says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, Greg. Sometimes the truth must be spoken with harsher words in order to get some folks’ attention and for some to understand. I didn’t see your comments as some form of incivility. Hooray for you!


  2. Nancy McCampbell says:

    You’re a saint. You’re too good, for this World. Let the head swelling, commence. LOL!


  3. Alanmt says:

    Agreed. Mostly.

    Threatening a public official puts a chill on the democratic process and is absolutely wrong.

    On the other hand, freedom of speech protects nonthreatening expressions of displeasure at public actions, even if those are rude or vulgar. I would counsel against discourtesy myself, as it is often counterproductive.

    I don’t think it is bigoted to have a sincere religious belief that homosexuality is wrong, misguided and out of touch with modern evidence as such a belief would be. But when one seeks to impose that arbitrary belief on others, one is correctly labelled a bigot. Representative Hansen is a bigot – she is using her governmental office to force her strictly personal religious beliefs and her religious sect’s doctrine on other Americans of different religions or no religions to violate their rights. She should be called a bigot at every opportunity. She ought to face the full social blowback and criticism that her unkind, discriminatory, and bigoted actions deserve.

    And there is nothing wrong with people expressing their displeasure to her in public, as long as it is done in a nonthreatening way. She became a public official. This sort of thing goes with the job.

    I reserve the right, should I ever come across this Christianist politician, to advise my little daughter in a loud enough voice for every one present to hear, that this is a mean lady, that she hates our family, and that she wants to hurt us and throw my little girl’s daddies in jail.


  4. gg says:

    To err is human, so is forgiveness. Illegitimi non carborundum!!



  5. cosmicgarden says:

    Yesterday I was so hurt and angry by something someone said that I could not say anything. I knew that my anger would not convince or educate and I couldn’t form the words I needed. So I said nothing. And that didn’t feel good either. It still doesn’t. I am still so hurt and pissed! I will try to think of better words, I wish I were wiser, but perhaps that is all I will be able to say.


  6. […] posts about HB 516: one about the anti-gay attitudes of many Republicans at the Legislature and another about the line between righteous, necessary anger and intimidation. Both are certainly worth a […]


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