Left-Wing Jewish Philosopher Jason Stanley Responds To His Critics

Rod Dreher blogs:

They don’t make Yale philosophy professors like they used to, I reckon. Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He also deigned to offer his professional Ivy League philosopher’s opinion on reports of remarks that the distinguished Christian philosopher Richard Swinburne made last week at a Society of Christian Philosophers meeting — comments that offered a critical view of homosexuality, reportedly (I say “reportedly” because to my knowledge, no one has seen a transcript of his talk). The considered judgment of the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale, regarding Swinburne and those who defended his right to his opinion, is this: “F*ck you assholes. Seriously.”

Washington Times:

Yale professor slams Christians in expletive-laden tirade

A prominent Christian philosopher was upbraided by the academic community when he presented a paper arguing homosexuality is immoral at a Christian philosophy conference.
Richard Swinburne, an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford, presented his paper at the latest Midwest meeting for the Society of Christian Philosophers, drawing the scorn of fellow philosophers who heard about the talk on social media.
Jason Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University, chimed in on the debate via an expletive-laden Facebook post.
After his comments began to draw attention, Mr. Stanley wrote a faux apology in which he compared Christian views on homosexuality to those which gave rise to the Holocaust.
“I really wish now I hadn’t said that!!” Mr. Stanley wrote. “I PROFOUNDLY regret not using much harsher language and saying what I really think of anyone who uses their religion to promote homophobia, you know that sickness that has led people for thousands of years to kill my fellow human beings for their sexual preferences. Like you know, pink triangles and the Holocaust.”
He said philosophers like Mr. Swinburne “use their status as professional philosophers to oppress others with less power.”

Weighing in on the brouhaha at his American Conservative blog, Rod Dreher said the reaction to Mr. Swinburne’s paper is a “striking sign of the revolutionary times.”
“The fact that a Yale philosophy professor not only holds such vicious opinions towards another professor who apparently only stated a historically standard Christian philosophical view of homosexuality, but who also did not hesitate to publicly denounce that professor in the most vulgar possible terms, is a striking sign of the revolutionary times,” Mr. Dreher wrote.

From the blog Rightly Considered:

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Jason Stanley writes:

For example, for a very long time, pogroms against Jewish people were motivated by the presumption that Jews loathe Christians. So when one says, of a Jewish person, that they loathe Christians, one is tapping into that very long justification of violence. It is one of the historically classic justifications for violence against Jews.

Perhaps it is random that of the many people commenting on my public post with invective, the one person who was singled out was Rebecca Kukla, a Jewish person, who made an obviously humorous though someone obscene comment. Kukla and I have been now singled out, not by you, but by the venues who have discussed this. One should be careful when one singles out two leftist Jews and claims that they are using a defense of homosexuals to further their supposedly real agenda of attacking Christianity. This is, after all, one of the classic 20th century forms of anti-Semitism.

The Jewish philosopher at Yale flings out the term “anti-semite” but refuses to define it:

* Stanley’s lack of self-awareness is astounding. He suggests that there may be something sinister in the fact that it was–surprise!–“two leftist Jews” who were the focus of all this concern about anti-Christian bigotry and warns everyone to be “very careful” about associating such people with such sentiments.

But reality has some rights here too. Since the time of Marx through the many Bolshevik mass murderers like Kaganovich through to the present era of “whiteness studies” (i.e., anti-white-gentile studies) rammed with ethnocentric anti-white Jews, there is no group of people on earth who have been more venomously effective in the propagation of anti-Christian bigotry than leftist Jews. No group is more privileged or powerful or tribalistic.

Yes, there has been bigotry on both sides. But the fact that the merest hint of something that just might conceivably indicate “anti-semitism” is regarded as a big problem–and a handy excuse for anti-Christian bigotry–while we pretend to not even notuce that Jews have often hated and harmed Christians. Jews enabled the Moors to take Spain. Jews traded in Christian slaves in huge numbers through the middle ages. Jewish wealth funded the rabidly Christophobic Bolsheviks. The Talmud tells us Christ is in hell boiling in excrement. All major Jewish organizations righteously demand that we flood Christian lands with unvetted limitless numbers of Muslims while making no similar demands on Israel. Let’s admit, at least, that the Jewish self-image as nothing more than gentle scholars and persecuted innocents is sonewhat ethnocentric and simplistic.

When Stanley says it’s “very dangerous” to single out leftist Jews for criticism–even when the criticism has nothing to do with their Jewishness–he is right. It’s very dangerous for you, the critic, not for him–as he absurdly suggests. Stanley would love to have one or two examples of “anti-semitism” to bolster his laughable self-image as a plucky underdog speaking truth to power. (No doubt this little comment will be seized on as an example of the dire menace to those poor little leftist Jews.)

So his pose of vulnerability is really a threat: dare to hint at our obvious ethnocentric bias and contempt for you little people and there’ll be hell to pay.

* There appears to be a large, smoldering crater where Stanley’s argument, such as it was, once stood.

As a Christian who holds that the Triune One true and living God created mankind in His image as male and female, and that God’s authoritative Word (the Old and New Testament) forbids all forms of sexual activity outside the “leaving and cleaving” one man, one woman marriage covenant, which is an earthly expression of the spiritual relationship between Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) and His bride, the church, I await the good professor’s apology.

I’m also at a complete loss as to why it is that liberals accuse those who hold to views in opposition to theirs on the issue of the immorality of homosexual activity (and indeed the immorality of all sexual behavior outside that which is sanctioned by God vis-a-vis one man, one woman marriage) of being “homophobic”. I know many, many fundamentalist Christians and can’t think of one example of “homophobia”. Not even one. Just like I can’t think of any examples of adultero-phobia, or fornica-phobia, or incesto-phobia, or beastia-phobia, etc.

Actual Christians understand that non-Christians are enslaved to their sins and rebellion against their Creator and therefore can’t do anything but sin and rebel against Him. They’re utterly powerless to do otherwise. That’s the witness of Scripture.

That’s why actual Christians call on all people everywhere to cry out to Jesus Christ as their one and only hope. We’re not surprised when the world acts like the world.

In fact we used to be the same before Christ saved us, and set us free from the rule of sin and Satan over our lives, and translated us from death to life spiritually.

Actual Biblical Christianity isn’t “homophobic” in either its doctrine or practice. That’s just a hollow, silly, liberal-speak trope.

By the way, Stanley obviously needs Christ.

* OT Israel was required to adhere to cultic holiness of various kinds to separate them from the many godless nations that surrounded them, which they were to destroy. God can’t be “homophobic” (that’s absurd), hence it follows that OT Israel obeying His specific cultic holiness requirements as His peculiar covenant people on earth at that point in redemptive history is not homophobic, just as stoning heterosexual adulterers was not “heterophobic”.

* The money-quote, of course, is this, reproduced above in Conservatrarian’s commentary:

“I PROFOUNDLY regret not using much harsher language and saying what I really think of anyone who uses their religion to promote homophobia, you know that sickness that has led people for thousands of years to kill my fellow human beings for their sexual preferences. Like you know, pink triangles and the Holocaust. I am really, truly, embarrassed by the fact that my mild comment “Fuck those assholes” is being spread. This wildly understates my actual sentiments towards proponents of homophobic and therefore evil positions such as Richard Swinburne, who thereby use their status as professional philosophers oppressively.”

“It is a law of nature that leftists will equate moral disapproval of particular sorts of sexual acts with “bigotry,” “suppressing the rights of,” and “hatred of” a whole class of people.”

That’s what this all boils down to, and everything else is irrelevant sideplay.

And what it boils down to is this: Prof. Stanley has fucked up. He’s shown a rather ugly card. That ugly card is Campus PC run amok, a phenomenon which ends up unfairly placing conservative academics and students in a disadvantaged position.

That’s why this here blog even exists in the first place.

What’s more, this blog is, what, hardly a month old now, and Prof. Stanley hands them – and potentially the entirety of the very loud conservative mediasphere – Exhibit A on a platter. I mean, can it get more perfect than this. Ivy League Philosophy Professor reacts in over-the-top PC hissy-fit style (the potty-keyboard from his original posting being *irrelevant*) to a not-exactly-beyond-the-pale moral disapproval of homosexuality by a leading Christian philosopher (Oxford no less!). (I myself disapprove of that disapproval from Swinburne, but at least I can keep my head about it and not treat it as beyond the pale.)

And also to cut through more of the bullshit:

As others have been pointing out here on this blog in the last few days, we can only imagine how a conservative faculty member engaging in similar behavior (in its essential respect, summarized by Ideal Observer’s pithy observation, i.e., its intellectually disreputable quality — a big fat non sequitur which in this instance links moral disapproval to bigotry and oppression — combined with over-the-top condemnatory assessment of those advancing the Incorrect arguments) might very well result in the Campus Left calling for the faculty member’s head.

Heck, Swinburne is the one behaving professionally, and with due tolerance and respect towards those whose behavior he otherwise disapproves of, and it’s Stanley (an Ivy League Professor) *already* calling for his head in a moral sense. (I’m pretty sure Swinburne’s tenure will keep him from losing his head in an administrative/career sense.) So, yeah, just imagine if a conservative faculty member went apeshit in an essentially similar scenario and how the Campus Left would react.

So how will the holier-than-thou Campus Left crybullies react in this instance, given their stated commitment to tolerance, diversity, exploring the world of ideas, etc.? (We can only hope the Philosophy Professors have done their part to foster critical-enough thinking among those who otherwise become crybullies; such critical-enough thinking means not engaging in such things as: tribal double standards, big fat non-sequiturs arising from visceral reactions or vague stretches of association, or declarations of within-the-pale positions as being beyond-the-pale. Oh, and not being oblivious to the essential point.)

* Jason Stanley: I was almost always the only Jewish person in my classes growing up. In my high schools in tenth and eleventh grade, I was the first Jewish person to attend. I am very familiar with the isolation that is involved, even when there is no overt discrimination (though I grew up being asked if I had horns and such like, this was ignorance and not malice). It is woven into the tapestry of my existence what is like to be in a minority faith among a majority. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go from a community in which one’s cultural traditions and many of its assumptions are just part of the ordinary tapestry of existence, to one in which that is considerably less so. I have tried in the departments I have been in to be very sensitive to this. And my own work, both academic and public, leaves theism in any form alone…

The last week has been very extreme for me. My family, which is the core of my existence, has been frightened. I can’t here explain everything that has happened, but it has been very ugly at times. But much worse than that is the legitimation of the very real discrimination that gay philosophers have to face on a daily basis from colleagues, from students, and from the media.

When gay philosophers try to speak up, even privately, about actual discrimination they face, they now know they risk a media storm against them. They see from my case that the student paper at their university may even add fuel to the fire.

So: do I regret that Swinburne has been sucked into this? I regret this very much. I apologize for bringing Swinburne in at all. I sincerely apologize for my error in judgment in even mentioning his name. But my main concern right now is entirely about our gay colleagues in academia who have been watching this episode in horror, concerned that any complaints about discrimination they may raise, even in private spaces, will result in the kind of incredibly intense retribution that Rebecca Kukla and I have been singled out and subject to over the past week.

I need to end with the issue of anti-Semitism. It is of course clear to me that your blog is not anti-Semitic. On my public post, someone posted a disturbing comment about Swinburne’s death. I contemplated deleting it but then wanted to wait to see if anyone would ‘like’ it before addressing its horrors (no one did). The proof that your blog is not anti-Semitic is that you are the only people who remarked upon that comment. The media discussion is however straightforwardly anti-Semitic. First, it was solely about me. Then, the other Jewish philosopher who posted on that thread was also targeted. What ensued was a terrible anti-Semitic narrative, channeling a virulent 20th century form of anti-Semitism, now present in Russia; that leftist Jews seek to use the issue of homosexuality to target the Christian faith.

* In order to not stain ouselves with anti-semitism it would help to know the composition of this messy substance.

Is it anti-semitic to believe on solid evidence the true propositions that (1) “leftist Jews” such as the suddenly civil and thoughtful Jason Stanley have been vastly over-represented among haters, oppressors and mass murderers of Christians, and in anti-Christian anti-European movements, and notably under-represented in the defense of the interests of Christians and non-Jewish Europeans, or (2) that such people strongly tend to apply indefensible double standards in their treatment of Jews as opposed to Christians and (non-Jewish) whites?

It appears that is how the concept is often used (here for example). If so is that because no one believes such truths on solid evidence or because some true beliefs based on solid evidence are immoral?

A prediction: we’ll be told it’s also anti-semitic to ask these questions without being given any serious answers.

* Jason Stanley: “Jacques – thank you for your reply to my comment. Yes, you are meeting the “suddenly civil and thoughtful Jason Stanley”, and that could of course seem to confirm the thought that Jews have two faces, one they have in private, and the other they reveal to the outside world. I have made myself, rather embarrassingly, into evidence for that age old view about us. I won’t deny that or try to convince you that I am *really* civil and thoughtful. We are in agreement that one of the two issues that is being clearly and explicitly raised to national salience by those who have selected Kukla and I as examples are the dangers you raise, the dangers of leftist Jews (and, more generally, since it wasn’t leftist Jews who aided the Moors in the invasion of Spain, the principal reason for most European pogroms, the danger of Jews generally). The non-story inside philosophy is being used outside philosophy to raise these questions as well as questions about the dangers of homosexuals. And of course solutions are being discussed as well – the main one being to get people like me and Kukla out of the university. It’s kind of odd that a private Facebook comment by me that was not about Swinburne was made public on a blog, and then a public post which did (unfortunately) mention Swinburne, but was mainly about the two disputes I mentioned above, has become a national attack on me and Kukla, specifically on the dangers people like us pose to civilization. And I agree that it would be better just to be frank and direct about the issues. So I am grateful to you for being frank and direct about one of the actual issues folks want to discuss. And I would never deny your right to raise these questions openly and theorize about what to do. And presumably you don’t deny my right to call you an anti-Semite for so doing; me calling you an anti-Semite isn’t denying you the right to raise these questions. I would say it’s just true that you are an anti-Semite. I’m also fine with having discussions with anti-Semites in a civil manner. It’s much better to be open and explicit about the selection principle that explains this weird non-story transforming into a national story about two leftist Jews and the civilizational dangers they pose. I am grateful to you for doing that. And I don’t deny you the right to talk about these questions and theorize about solutions. What are we to do with leftist Jews and homosexuals? Those are the precisely the issues that this blog’s actions have been used to raise (unintentionally, but what’s done is done). Those are certainly the issues that seem to be most relevant for what I have experienced over the past week. The messages I receive are much more in line with your worries. It would help to bury the hatchet and make amends with my fellow philosophers, and I hope to do so. I love my fellow philosophers. But it’s not going to help at all with what I am dealing with outside philosophy, which is a more general concern about the dangers people like me, whatever that means, pose to civilization, and what to do about it. For example, it won’t at all help with you, Jacques, since you think I would be being deceitful anyway if I apologized – I don’t mean that in a hostile way, I’m just saying that is what you, and many of those targeting me, are going to believe anyway.”

* “I would say it’s just true that you are an anti-Semite. I’m also fine with having discussions with anti-Semites in a civil manner.”

Yeah, no big deal. Just casually throw Jacques in a social category not only considered to be morally evil and indefensible, but also _dangerous_; a category that no one in mainstream academia is “fine” with in the slightest; a category that serves to _stop_ all “civil” discussion, not engage in it. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t accept the label.

What Jacques has done is raise questions about the behavior of Jews based on empirical evidence. I’ve noticed in your public work and comments that you raise questions about the behavior of whites, males, and Americans based on empirical evidence. So, I guess “it’s just true” that you are anti-white, anti-male, and anti-American.

* … you ask what we should do about leftist Jews. I would hope that rational pressure could lead many to knock it off–e.g., stop saying that white Euros doing exactly what Jews do are Nazi scum, while failing to even acknowledge the parallel Jewish behaviours and attitudes. But maybe that won’t work. Let me ask you a better question: What are you leftist Jews planning to do with yourselves? You guys actually have immense power and privilege. You’re a famous tenured professor at a fancy place. I’m a nobody at a nothing place. If you admit that your powerful group has interests at odds with those of my less powerful group, maybe you should consider how to work something out with us that both partied can accept. Noblesse oblige. Maybe you could ease off on the attacks and persecution of people like me and/or start criticizing Jewish behaviour that other groups rightly resent? Deal?

I notice you still haven’t said what anti-semitism is, or why I count as a carrier–a virulent one perhaps? I know it may seem hard to believe, but I have Jewish ancestry and many of my very best friends in the world are Jewish–I mean lifelong blood brothers who in fact tend to agree with me about Jewish hypocrisy and ethnocentrism. I don’t hate these people or wish them ill. I really do love them from the depths of my soul. More than you or I love our fellow philosophers. Please explain clearly with reference to my earlier question why you consider me an anti-semite and what this concept amounts to. Or do you mean to say that I’m an anti-semite but there’s nothing wrong with that?

* Were the Jews who betrayed Spain leftists? Well they didn’t think of themselves as such, didn’t believe in leftist principles. But then most leftist Jews today don’t believe in those principles either, not for real. They use them as weapons against the identities and sovereignty of others while refusing to even consider their application to themselves (which would of course be anti-semitic).

Those Jews back then were doing much what Jewish organizations in Europe and the US are trying to do today re Muslim “migrants” and “refugees”. Just opening up a whitebread dull place to vibrant diversity.

* Maybe the obvious parity is why Stanley won’t deign to define this term. It works better as a scary insulting label he gets to paste on to reasoned claims and reasonable critics that he thinks shouldn’t be allowed to “stain” respectable discourse and society. But he thinks it would be very wrong and scary for anyone to suggest that he and his leftist Jewish attitudes are any kind of “stain”.

And, crucially, this philosophically absurd tactic works!

So we can tell who it is who holds real hegemonic power and privilege: “anti-semite” is a killing word, though (because) it has no definite meaning; “anti-gentile” or “anti-white” or “anti-Christian” are good for a chuckle with one’s facebook friends.

And remember: before this virulent “anti-semite” Jacques came on the scene, there had been not the slighest hint of any animus toward Jews from any of the gentle Christian souls on this thread; the issue arose _only_ because Stanley sought to shame or intimidate his critics by pointing out that some of the obnoxious behavior being criticized was behavior of “leftist Jews”, so that one just might conceivably speculate that the critics were vaguely aware of this fact and might be harboring not-nice ideas about these wonderful people–or anyway someone somewhere might get the wrong idea; so it would be better not to criticize such people at all, even for reasons having nothing to do with their proudly asserted identities (as enemies of Christian tradition and victims of Christian culture).

It’s almost as if a white guy in Alabama in 1962 who’d made a career out of denigrating blacks were to get all huffy over the fact that these civil rights people and leftists seem to be oddly fixated on the behavior of white people not just “Americans” or “mammals”. Are they bigots or something? What did we white southerners ever do to them? Are they maybe a threat?

But even sillier than that: imagine that all happened was that someone complained because the white guy and his cousin said something rude to some blacks, and the critic didn’t even point out that, as white southerners, they belong to a group oppressing blacks. Someone just said “Hey that’s no way to speak to a fellow American”. And still the white guy gets all huffy about his precious white identity, accuses others of bigotry, etc.

Stanley’s career is all about singling out certain groups for collective shame and blame, but suddenly that’s not fair when anyone notices that his own group–the one he actually identifies with–is also blameworthy and shameworthy in some respects. (Like all groups, like mere humans.)

He wants to flaunt his membership in The Tribe when that makes him seem like a noble victim, fearing the Cossacks or the peasants with pitchforks or whatever the equivalent is at Yale. In that mode he gets to denounce me and my community in our rust belt towns from his ivy league throne–we bad whites over there, he and his noble persecuted friends somewhere else. But as soon as anyone complains about his behavior, he’s just an American philosopher who happens to be a leftist Jew. “Why are you guys singling me out? Why do you act like I’m different?”

Well that’s the game. Christians and mainstream cons, do you really want to keep playing? Then let’s at least recognize the rules and see if we can’t use them to our own advantage.

First step: learn from leftist Jew Saul Alinsky: make the enemy follow his own rules: make rich powerful ethnocentric leftist Jews apply their nasty ruthless critique of our (mostly imaginary) “hegemony” and “privilege” to their own (real) hegemony and privilege.

* Dr. Jason Stanley you are an expert on language and propaganda, right? Surely you have the conceptual tools to explain why Jacques is anti-semitic for criticizing Jews, and you are not anti-white, anti-American, for criticizing whites and Americans.

* Bravo! The guy who made “silencing” a thing has little problem showing us how it is done. 1) Say something intemperate. 2) When someone has a problem with it point out that your friends suggested you need protection from potential crazies who will be upset at said intemperance. 3) Have people insist that this need for protection is proof that you are a victim. 4) Make sure that any response to your intemperance is construed as a personal attack against your religion. Clearly people motivated by a philosophical opposition to homosexuality are anti-Semitic. After all if you are a left wing Jew, any attack must be motivated by your being a Jew and the left wing view you are espousing is just incidental. Stanley has effectively made it impossible to criticize him. Any criticism is thus potentially physically dangerous toward him and antisemitic, two things none of us want to be. Silencing at its finest.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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