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You do not have the right to remain silent

It's another Thomas More moment.

Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.

Sir Thomas More: I do.

Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace's title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court - is there a man in this country! - who does not know Sir
Thomas More's opinion of this title?

Crowd in court gallery: No!

Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

Compare:

Know How to Respond If an Employee Comes Out to You

DON'T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.

[snip]

[A]sk if they've been made to feel welcome in the workplace, and let them know about DOJ Pride.

[snip]

DO let your employees know they'll be treated with fairness and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, by "coming out" as a straight ally. For example:

* Display a symbol in your office (DOJ Pride sticker, copy of this brochure, etc.) indicating that it is a “safe space.”

* Attend LGBT events sponsored by DOJ Pride and/or the Department...

Two and a half years ago I wrote about private employee Peter Vedala who was harassed by his superior with repeated and pointed references to "marrying" another female. When he finally responded to the goading by speaking up, she laughed in his face and got him fired.

Scott W. at that time at Romish Graffiti made the connection to A Man For All Seasons, and it was apt. Now the Department of Justice has made the point quite explicit. If you are a DOJ employee at the middle management level, you do not have the right to remain silent. You must speak out in support of the homosexual agenda. You must attend Gay Pride events. You are enjoined to display a pro-gay sign in your office. And if one of your employees "comes out" to you, you may not remain silent but must speak up supportively. Silence might be construed as disapproval. The guidelines also contain this Orwellian warning:

DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.

Thanks for letting us know we're being watched at every moment. Presumably homosexual activists and their allies are also listening to our silence.

This is example number # 350,556 of the zero-sum game that is the homosexual agenda.

HT: Lifesite News

Comments (15)

Well, I'll give them credit: it's an explicit affirmation of what we've known all along: that tolerance is not enough. You. Must. Approve.

My mother and I were discussing this case on the phone the other day, and I made the exact same reference to that exchange in A Man for All Seasons. We all must have had the same summer reading list or something.

I get tired of saying it, but again, here is one of the key features of contemporary political correctness: it is not a question of convincing people, but merely of forcing them to affirm that which they do not believe, thereby humiliating opposition out of existence. A man would rather simply change his mind than vocalize enthusiastic support for something he finds loathsome. This kind of pressure--a choice between continuous, ongoing submission to ideological pantomime on the one hand, and the determination to alter one's own way of thinking--is remarkably effective. In liberal society, it is the role of official authority to impose on people that very choice.

Changing one's mind is simpler than people think. It is as O'Brien said: All that is required is an act of the will.

If I were in the DoJ, (thank goodness I am not), I would feel perfectly justified in continuing to not treat gay identification as an approved status. I also would do it carefully.

But some of these "habits of highly effective managers" are just dumb, and certainly not highly effective. For example:

DO communicate a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate jokes and comments, including those pertaining to a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (e.g., saying “he’s too sissy to go on raids,” or calling opposing counsel a “pansy” or “dyke”).

It makes no sense to call out the use of "sissy" in a context that uses it not in any sexual orientation context at all, but in a reference to behavior that affects the mission as such. If a person acts in such a way that you reasonably doubt their ability or willingness to impose force and violence on perpetrators, then they jeopardize the mission. That's straightforward. If there is no possible rational connection between your "acting like my sister" and behavior that makes me reasonably doubt your willingness to use force and violence, then your behavior overall will make me confident that even though you act like my sister in certain ways, I can be confident of your being willing to act with violence. But when I see you literally avoiding uses of force and violence in training, and that's what I mean when I say you are a "sissy", that's enough to reasonably justify my doubts regarding you and the mission. In reality, part of the reason my sister acts like my sister (including avoiding violence) is that character is a part of a whole integration, and the government cannot reasonably argue that there is NO circumstance in which acting "like" a person who avoids violence carries any evidence that he or she will avoid violence when it is called for.

DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.

Stupid, stupid, stupid advice, for legal reasons, especially at DoJ. Insofar as a manager is acting as a manager in government, he SHOULDN'T HAVE any approval or disapproval to register over personal acts that are morally neutral. He is not infused with governmental authority to approve things that the government itself takes has not officially approved. Insofar as he is registering personal opinion, (which he retains the right to do - within the right context - as long as he remains a person), the DoJ cannot legitimately claim the right to tell him to register an opinion he doesn't hold personally - and if he were smart about it he could register an EEOC complaint on this. In the right courts, he could at least get a favorable decision up to the level of the circuit court of appeals.

Sage, you are completely right, and as I recall the same point is made by Solzhenitsyn in the piece "Live Not By Lies." Part of the whole game is making people say things they know are false.

I see this especially strongly in the transgender movement. I will soon be putting up a post on a new initiative in Massachusetts public schools to affirm the gender identity any child chooses for himself. It literally says that kids must be punished if they insist on continuing to use the "wrong" pronouns for a fellow student who is "transgender." So if Sally knows that Bobby is a boy who has just decided to call himself Diane, and if Sally continues to affirm that reality by not playing along and calling Bobby a girl, Sally will be punished.

We have truly reached insanity.

Tony, you're absolutely right that if things like hostile work environment, etc., were applied consistently, this set of directives itself, not to mention its enforcement, would be an obvious case of a hostile work environment for those who don't, in fact, affirm the homosexual lifestyle. They are entitled to their own opinions, you say? Not according to the DOJ. Or, to put it differently, they must pretend that their opinions are other than they are. Forced speech. The number of violations here of various legal principles would be legion if anyone were interested in applying the law even-handedly. Then again, we have to remember that the jurisprudence of "protected class status" is controlling here, and "people who don't accept the homosexual and transgender agenda" have not been defined as a specially protected class in law. The best bet would be to have a religious suit, where a Christian (or for that matter, Muslim) DOJ manager was fired for not affirming homosexuality. Religion is protected class status.

I will soon be putting up a post on a new initiative in Massachusetts public schools to affirm the gender identity any child chooses for himself. It literally says that kids must be punished if they insist on continuing to use the "wrong" pronouns for a fellow student who is "transgender.

Whoa. I am usually half-joking when I say we are going to see modern versions of the old Test Acts and here they are trying to really make one.

Yes, I think that would be the most probably successful way to push it, but if I were a manager about to retire, I would push it on basic free speech grounds: Just as EEOC protected status for blacks doesn't require me to pretend to like a black person I don't like, (or some black cultural icon), and doesn't require me to pretend to enjoy food, clothing, language, or ethnic styles of people from India while I refrain from infringing on the employment rights of people from India, and doesn't require me to "use inclusive language" in terms of treating an employee's religion as if I thought their religion were correct when I think it is a false religion, SO ALSO, EEOC principles by which sexual orientation is a "protected" status cannot make it that a manager is required to speak of a person's gay lifestyle with approving comments. It can ONLY require (at the most) the manager not to create a hostile work environment as such. While the state of jurisprudence on hostile work environment is clearly off in la-la land generally, if you are in the driver's seat as far as where and when you file your own law suit against the DoJ, with a good attorney you may be able to steer your case toward a judge just itching to take on the establishment and make a name for himself. At root, since REALITY supports the fact that _not_saying_anything either positive or negative is NOT a hostile work environment, any good attorney should be capable of presenting an interesting (even if not ultimately successful) case about the matter.

That said, if I were a manager not about to retire, I would consider taking the matter directly by the horns and say something like this (to an employee who has "come out" directly to me): thank you for providing me that information. As you may have heard, I am a Catholic, and under the Catholic Church's official teachings, a choice to engage in sexual relations other than between a man and woman validly married constitutes a gravely immoral choice. As my freedom of religion allows, I hold and believe that teaching. However, I also believe in your freedoms as well, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are granted every single right you are entitled to as an employee, including appropriate work assignments, working conditions, training, opportunities for appropriate advancement, and so on, just as I try to do for every one of my employees whatever their condition."

I work for a large government contractor which is putting statements like this in written policy. We are required on an annual basis to come together in a room and voice our opinions about "ethics" situations, which inevitably include something like the above, and rarely include subjects that are traditionally brought to mind when you think about corporate ethics. Each year we are pressed harder to say things that many of us consider contradictory to our Christian conscience.

I will find a way to deal with it. My main concern is preparing my kids to live in this new world. They are already under substantial pressure in the public schools, from the school and from peers. Sometimes I think that it would be best to take them out of public schools, but they are learning to live in the new world without compromising their values. I hope that this is in a way helping to harden and internalize their values.

I know intellectually that the faith grows stronger in times like these, but I wish we could continue in the softer times of not so long ago...

Randy, if they really are learning to live under the pressure of a public school without compromising true Christian principles, good for them. For my part, I would not have managed to do so, I barely managed to do it in a Catholic school at the time, and when I say "managed" what I mean is I scraped by without any severe, obvious, grave compromises, that's all. I know I failed in any number of little ways, things that should not have been put in front of me had the teachers, principals, and my parents been on the ball. And that's a large part of the reason my wife and I homeschool: we refuse to just let these occasions, these hell-sent opportunities to recruit our children into abandoning some element of the faith because - as children - they are unprepared to identify the battle field of the mind, heart, and soul that the devil is laying out.

So far, my employer has made only minor efforts toward pushing managers into anti-Christian postures with regard to EEOC-type behavior. I took them to task for one of them a couple years ago, and they did not repeat it since, although they never said anything like "oh, yeah, you're right." I assume things will get worse - much worse if the Supreme Court overturns DOMA, for example. I don't know how far it will affect me directly, since I don't manage anyone.

Each year we are pressed harder to say things that many of us consider contradictory to our Christian conscience.

Have you thought about a reverse-direct attack? I don't mean a directly aggressive, argumentative reply to their unjust requirements, but pulling the rug out from underneath them. Something like this: prepare a 300-word statement in which you start out by thanking the management for securing the rights of freedom for those who are a little different from others, whether it be looks, or ethnicity, or religious belief. Let them get all touchy-feely happy with their own inclusiveness in this. Then show how THEY WILL TOLERATE YOU in that same inclusiveness because it follows of necessity from their own principles. Show how your religious beliefs are just as sincerely held as a homosexual's feeling that his sexual direction is normal for him, and that the very same inclusiveness that presents his homosexuality as some thing others are to make room for is the inclusiveness they should apply to respecting your sincerely held religious beliefs. (Don't go into detail about exactly what those religious beliefs are - let that be completely vague, unspecified. When they get around to asking you, respond to their questions with a - gentle, polite - question: do you demand a homosexual explain and detail his love for his partner, subjecting it to your approval? Isn't it sufficient that he claims it? Eventually you can let on that in your religion homosexual acts are just something considered not entirely ideal, without ever saying by "not entirely ideal" you mean gravely, intrinsically immoral.) Of course it is a risk, there is almost undoubtedly some gay person present who will TRY to find offense in your comments, but if you keep them ALL positive and respectful, they cannot attack what you say directly. (The best approach would be to get an attorney from an outfit like the Thomas More Law Center to help draft the statement so that it not only steers clear of EEOC violations, but it nails those doors shut solid.)

I will speak when and what I wish. I will be silent when I wish. Because meaning is the author's or speaker's prerogative, the meaning both of my words and my silence are up to me.

Michael, thanks for stopping in.

Isn't it the case that although your meaning is up to you, the listeners (in this case, the powers that be at employment or at DoJ), will attempt to apply their own filter to your words, taking a meaning that they decide applies to your words even if it isn't consistent with your intention? While you will remain right in what you intended, you will still be subject to civil or criminal action if they can strain your words into their harassment mold.

I can't imagine Michael Bauman as an employee of the DOJ. On the other hand, if he were just doing it for a lark, it might be fun to be a fly on the wall and listen to him tell them in no uncertain terms to go to ________. :-)

Randy, don't forget to keep a personal recording divise on, so that you can be reasonably sure you're not "misquoated."

I don't want to imagine a DOJ devoid of Christians, which is what the policy seems calculated to produce.

The USA was not founded on the basis of Christianity. The great thing about the Constitution is that it attempted to prohibit laws being made on the basis of religion.

Here are just a few comments from the founding fathers in relation to Christianity.

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
-- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.
-- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-8 , from Adrienne Koch, ed, The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society (1965) p. 258

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?-- John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

When philosophic reason is clear and certain by intuition or necessary induction, no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it.-- John Adams, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

The USA was not founded on the basis of Christianity...

I don't see anybody here making that claim.

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