Eckern's freedom of speech be damned: the man needed to be punished. Producer Marc Shaiman's musical "Hairspray" had played at the theater and he announced he would never allow anything he wrote to play there because of Eckern's donation. Shaiman's declaration triggered a blistering e-mail pressure campaign, forcing Eckern to resign.
Shaiman claimed to the Associated Press that he regretted that it came to Eckern losing his job and said: "It's a tragedy for everyone involved. You'll certainly see that no one called for him to resign."
Shaiman said he would never allow anything he wrote to play there, but he doesn't think that was creating pressure to dismiss Eckern? That confounds common sense. So great was the pressure that Eckern, a Mormon, also felt he had to donate a repentant $1,000 to a gay-rights group. Meanwhile, the theater bizarrely claimed it would not “impinge on the rights of its employees to engage in political activities.”
This wasn't the only blacklisting. Los Angeles Film Festival Director
Gay activists are correct that they have every right to boycott theaters or businesses that offend them. But that's exactly the right that anti-communists claimed in the middle of the last century, and
It wasn't enough for Marc Shaiman to get Eckern fired. Next, he made a star-studded satirical video (appearing on the comedy website Funny Or Die) mocking opponents of Prop 8, casting the comedian Jack Black as Jesus Christ, who trashed the Bible as hopelessly out of date. It is more of the anti-religious bigotry for which this industry, supposedly so devoted to “tolerance,” has become famous.
The cartoonish Christians in Shaiman's video sing it's “time to drop some hate” with Prop 8. They proclaim that they lied about gays, “but it worked, so we don't care.” So “Jesus” shows up to “correct” – and to ridicule -- the idea that the Bible calls homosexuality an abomination: “but it says the same thing about this shrimp cocktail....Leviticus says shellfish is an abomination!”
This phony-baloney Jesus seems to be quoting directly from an Obama speech in 2006 that suggested Christian conservatives weren't reading their Leviticus. But neither Obama nor Shaiman will admit in the Bible there is also St. Peter's vision in the Acts of the Apostles, where he's told to abandon the idea of clean and unclean foods.
Shaiman also has his Bible-trashing Jesus sing that the Bible says “you can stone your wife, or sell your daughter into slavery.” This is also a common pro-gay argument, as if Christians today are all recognized to be active in wife-stoning and daughter-enslaving. When the Christians say they ignore those verses, Jesus scolds, “it seems to me you pick and choose...Well, then, choose love instead of hate. Besides your nation was built on separation of church and state.”
Only someone utterly ignorant would make a video where Jesus descends in a vision to humanity only to sound like a lawyer for the ACLU.
L. Brent Bozell III is President of the Media Research Center.