Glenn Beck (Reuters/Chris Keane)

Glenn Beck supports anti-gay Arizona law because "freedom is ugly"

The right-wing media mogul says freedom can require letting some people oppress others


Elias Isquith
February 27, 2014 3:10AM (UTC)

When it comes to figuring out how he feels about Arizona's anti-gay Jim Crow bill, Glenn Beck is really struggling.

During Tuesday's "morning meeting," Beck sat around with some of his co-workers and explained at length his thinking on the controversial bill:

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Emotionally, I'm torn on it, because I want people to — let's treat people right, let's just be good, decent people. And [I] thought today, I don't to see signs in my country that say No Jews, No Dogs, No Gays — whatever. And you'd have the right to have a sign if your religion taught you that. And there are religions that would say No Jews, No Dogs and No Gays. So I don't like that. But I thought, you know what? We're not the same America that we were in the 1950s. We won't frequent those places. And so there's half of it.

The other half is, I don't want to be forced to do something that goes against my religion. So why is this law so wrong, so hateful?

Later on, speaking about a hypothetical business owner who decides they won't let LGBT people shop in their store, Beck said, "Is it their right to do that? Yeah! Fine."

Beck next compared anti-gay discrimination (or really any form of discrimination) to a nightclub bouncer or owner deciding who will be admitted and who won't. "What are they doing? They're discriminating against people like me — old, dumpy people."

Beck wasn't done there, though. He went on to argue that dermatologists should be allowed to refuse to examine people based on their sexuality, religion, ethnicity or race — but that emergency room doctors should not be granted the same privilege. "Emergency, life-saving care? No, you've got to take the person and stop the bleeding."

"I don't like that world," Beck continued, "where everybody is able to say, I'm not going to serve your kind. But that's freedom! That's freedom! Freedom is ugly. It's ugly. And so we have to look at freedom in the eye and go, 'Ooh, yup, I guess so; that's freedom. You're free to do that. Yikes.' I think that's good! I know who people are; they're not wearing a mask all the time. Why is everyone wearing a mask?"

As his final point, Beck, with great emotion, told his coworkers what freedom really means:

Anybody who says you want to talk about rights, you must stand for the person on both sides. This is, 'I have a right to get a cake from a bakery, not this specific bakery, but a bakery. Bakeries have a right to make cakes for homosexual couples getting married, period, and this particular bakery has a right to say, 'I'm not gonna make it.' That's how rights work.

So there you have it, Glenn Beck's stirring endorsement of the same logic that, 50 years ago, drove Sen. Barry Goldwater to oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Inspiring stuff.

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You can watch Beck's lecture below, via Right Wing Watch:


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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