A few weeks ago when Brian Calle informed readers of the direction of the Orange County Register editorial board, it concerned me that while they would continue to be fiscally conservative, they would take more progressively liberal positions on social issues. Still, I thought their historically libertarian views would be the more powerful driver, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong. The heading in the Sunday, May 29, Opinion section proved this to me with a shocking editorial titled “Gomez for county Board of Education.” Brian Calle and his cohorts turned their backs on OC Board of Education Area 1 incumbent Robert Hammond, endorsing Rebecca “Beckie” Gomez based on Hammond’s use of the word “sodomite” well over two years ago, without any understanding (or caring) of the context in which it was used.
The meaning of the word sodomite is simple. It is a word that refers to someone who engages in sodomy, which is defined by Dictionary.com as 1. “anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex, or 2. “copulation with a member of the same sex.” I spoke with Hammond about his use of the word sodomite, which was in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as a fundamental constitutional right. Hammond sent out an email to his colleagues, whose subject was not even about sodomy, matter of factly noting that sodomites could now marry in response to the decision. It is the word that he was taught to use in his childhood as a politer alternative to the word gay or queer, which is an accurate description of those who participate in same-sex intercourse, and hardly “inflammatory” as grossly charged by the Register editorial. But the Register editorial board’s stated rationale is that times have changed and Hammond should have known better. I can’t think of a more arbitrary and baseless assertion.
The Register editorial board has now fallen into the liberal progressive trap that people (specifically they and no one else) can simply redefine language as they wish, and what once was a word that carried no derogatory meaning can now simply be declared as such on a whim. Bigots are now being created overnight with breathtaking speed, and the Register has become a willing participant in this madness. So Hammond has now used a word that has been recently determined to denigrate others, and even though the board agrees with him on most issues, and is highly skeptical of Gomez herself, they endorse her out of “hope” instead of solid reason due to the perceived meaning of a single word. For the use of but one word, the editorial board would put our children at risk by endorsing someone they have little reason to trust (particularly regarding charter schools) over someone who has proven himself over and over to be a responsible guardian over the wellbeing of all Orange County students. And that’s not to mention the broader, chilling effect on free speech and freedom of conscience that will flow from this action by the Register editorial board.
My first action after breakfast on Tuesday morning will be to cancel my subscription to the Orange County Register. Good riddance.