New Depths of Bad Taste for Erick Erickson

Well, so much for the calmer, more mature Erick Erickson that Molly Ball fondly wrote about last week. Here’s Erickson today:

A publisher published something that offended. It mocked, it offended, and it showed the fallacy of a religion. It angered.

So the terrorists decided they needed to publicly destroy and ruin the publisher in a way that would not only make that destruction a public spectacle, but do it so spectacularly that others would think twice before publishing or saying anything similar.

The terrorist wants to sow fear. The destruction of an individual is not just meant to be a tool of vengeance, but a tool of instruction. It shows others what will happen to them if they dare do the same. It is generates self-regulating peer pressure. Others, fearing the fall out, will being to self-police and self-regulate. They will silence others on behalf of the terrorists. Out of fear, they will drive the ideas from the public square and society will make them off limits.

It is not because the ideas are bad, but because the ideas offend a group that can destroy and tear down.

So when a publisher published something that mocked and offended a group prone to offense at such things, something had to happen.

The terrorists did what had to be done to publicly destroy and ruin the offender.

So they demanded the Mayor of Atlanta fire the Chief of the Fire Department for daring to write that his first duty was to “glory God” and that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage was a sin.

And the terrorists won in Atlanta.

The “publisher” in question was Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, not actually a publisher or a journalist but a public employee who wrote a book on his conservative Christian faith that included condemnations of gay people as perverts committing acts comparable to pederasty and bestiality; distributed it to some employees; and finally, while under suspension, started making the rounds of the conservative Martyr Circuit, letting himself be used as the poster boy for supposedly endangered “religious liberty.” He was fired by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, partially for insubordination and partially because Reed thought the city would be exposed to discrimination lawsuits if Cochran stayed on the job.

The “terrorists” in Erickson’s account, of course, are LGBT folk who objected to Cochran being a major city department head.

It’s rather obviously an act of incredible poor taste and atrocious logic for Erickson to make this effort to compare someone losing his job to 10 journalists losing their lives. And you’d also think the conservative Christians Erick is presuming to speak for might not especially want to be compared to the staff of Charlie Hebdo. But I guess it’s just another day at the office for Erick Erickson.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.