Americans with Disabilities Act

Farcical

Detail of promotional image from Ark Encounter.

Some fascinating questions should not be so … er … fascinating. To wit: Can one’s equal rights be violated by the proposition that equality is not supremacy?

Catherine Thompson of Talking Points Memo frames the latest iteration of the question:

The saga that is the construction of Ark Encounter, Kentucky’s proposed “creationist theme park,” plowed on Tuesday as the project’s coordinator vowed to sue the state for discrimination.

Ironically, it was the project’s proprietor, Answers in Genesis, refusing to agree to hiring practices that wouldn’t discriminate on the basis of religion that led Kentucky tourism officials to yank about $18 million worth of crucial tax incentives for Ark Encounter in December.

Answers in Genesis said in a statement Tuesday that the decision to reject its application for the tax incentives “violates federal and state law and amounts to unlawful viewpoint discrimination.”

“Our organization spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary,” Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham said in the statement. “However, the state was so insistent on treating our religious entity as a second-class citizen that we were simply left with no alternative but to proceed to court. This is the latest example of increasing government hostility towards religion in America, and it’s certainly among the most blatant.”

This is a theme conservatives have echoed for years. The general idea is that by some device, the very concept of equality means that some people must be allowed superiority.

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A Conservative Malady

Is there any sight in the world that could possibly compare to a diva pitching a blind ego tantrum?

Mr. Bill has been dismayed by the relentless barrage of homosexicans cramming gay marriage down supple Christian throats, and the unstoppable onslaught being waged against our nation’s brave bigot bakers.

Our valiant warrior for Christ has decided to take a stand, but not a stand in the way that a normal, constructive human being would do. Rather, he is taking a stand in the same way that those college Republicans do all the time with their racist bake sales: by being a spiteful prick.

In an effort to prove that the gays are just as hateful as Christians and therefore QED ispo facto it’s totally cool to not let them have rights, Mr. Bill has filed a discrimination complaint against a Denver baker who denied him his civil rights of having “God Hates Gays” on a cake.

Or so explains Fare la Volpe explains for Wonkette, and you know, we might pause to wonder about that tendency among conservatives to go around pitching this sort of fit and simply failing to comprehend the difference.

Conservative Accommodation PlacardSo, this is my offer: Tell you what: We’ll give you what you want. You can be just as big a social disease as you want. But there’s a trade-out. To make certain people aren’t abusing the priviliges, we’ll need to create a registry. Just bring evidence that you are a registered Republican, and we will give you a placard, you know, blue with a little white wheelchair on it. And being dangerously, comedically stupid will be the special accommodation you get for admitting you have to be psychiatrically disabled in order to believe the crap you’re pushing.

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The Electric Jonestown Clusterbumble

This was inevitable:

You’ve probably heard the expression, “He drank the Kool-Aid.”

Kool Aid Man wrecks everything ... again.Arianna Huffington once used it to describe supporters of George W. Bush’s economic policies. Bill O’Reilly said it of his critics (“the Kool-Aid people,” he told listeners, “are going nuts”). In 2012, Forbes called it a top annoying cliché used by business leaders.

There’s a problem with this flip word play though: That expression was born of a nightmare.

Thirty-seven years ago today, 918 people died in Jonestown, a Guyana jungle settlement, and at a nearby airstrip. Some of us knew the victims. I grew up with one of them, Maria Katsaris.

(Richardson)

Alright, then, you heard the man.

And in truth, his reason is no worse than any other, even for those of us who found the phrase offensive for its blithe lack of distinction. That is to say, drinking electric Kool-Aid is a variation on the theme, and much more useful than the Jonestown variation, but from the outset it has been subject to a certain sort of (ahem!) “affirmative action” whereby a conserative drinks the Kool-Aid by believing in a tinfoil wingnut conspiracy theory, but a liberal believes the Kool-Aid by disagreeing with conservatives. At some point, conservatives need to just come right out and demand reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Yet this is how far we’ve come.

And who knows, perhaps before all this is over, Republicans will fulfill the Jonestown version, too. You know, “Second Amendment solutions”, and all.

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Richardson, James D. “The phrase ‘drank the Kool-Aid’ is completely offensive. We should stop saying it immediately.” The Washington Post. 18 November 2014.

Waldman, Paul. “The real problem with Joni Ernst’s quote about guns and the government”. The Washington Post. 23 October 2014.