A recurring theme here is how The Left redefines what they want when they want to advance their extremist agenda. How else can it sell policies in contravention to the commonsense, traditional, natural and foundational — a way of life counter to all that is intuitive and instinctive? More than that, it will take opponents' statements or positions, as straightforward as they may be, and literally (ironically) repurpose the statement or position into something utterly not what it is. If a conservative says he's for a balanced budget without raising taxes, leftists will excoriate him for saying he favors starving the poor, and no amount of facts will set the record straight in the Left's collective mind. To the Left, its what it wants you to have said so it can demagogue you. Here's the latest case. A teacher in Florida, Jerry Buell, a veteran American history teacher at Mount Dora High School in Lake County, and a former Teacher of the Year Award winner, expressed his disgust with New York's new same-sex marriage law on his Facebook page. It got noticed by the county's school district administration and it promptly removed him from his job, charging him with an ethics code violation (see Todd Starnes at FoxNews.com). Never mind that the comments were his personal opinion, on his personal site, written on his personal computer, on his personal time, in his personal home and having nothing to do with teaching or his professional duties. Never mind the First Amendment, either (see Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com).
Wait a minute! Back up! Did you say "personal"?
In steps the school district's communications officer, Chris Patton. Not only was what Mr. Buell wrote "disturbing" (his opinion is disturbing but two men kissing on television is not?), but none of what he wrote is "personal." According to the
Minister of Information Mr. Patton:
He has (more than) 700 friends. How private is that — really? Social media can be troubling if you don’t respect it and know that just because you think you are in a private realm — it’s not private.
First, it was his personal opinion. Of course, once he wrote it, it was no longer something he held to himself. All opinions are personal and we know each others' personal opinions because we tell each other! If it was private he'd never have announced it. Facebook is a place where you choose your friends and share what you want. Is Mr. Buell's time on the social media giant relegated to clicking "likes' on sports contests and posting updates on the lines at the grocery store?
Second, one's personal Facebook account is not a school district maintained site. That might be different given whatever rules it might establish. Third, do Lake County employees forsake their rights to have opinions? Especially given his occupation — academic freedom anyone? The same Left defends to the death professors who demagogue outrageous and preposterous assertions and promulgate the most offensive theories on faith and country . . . but a Facebook status update? Call in the thought police and Big Brother! (See Kashmir Hill at Forbes.com.)
So, the Left has redefined another one, converting "private" to "on-duty, attempting-to-officially-speak-for-the-school-district-as-de-facto-king" and elevating Facebook to something its founders in their wildest dreams could not conceive. For the record, here are the offending comments:
I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up. And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?
By the way, if one doesn't like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles and God’s laws, then go ahead and unfriend me. ... And I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.