A Good Christian Man Just Misspoke

So a coach says this:

And people running around like, oh it’ll get better, it’ll get better. No, it ain’t gone get no better until things change. I can give you example after example of that, but I don’t want to use any local names to give you examples. Things won’t get better until there’s a change in some areas and stuff. And you know what his platform was? Change. We’re gone change. We’re all … aw it’s OK … for … and … y’all can get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, you can call the superintendent and tell her. I don’t believe in queers, I don’t like queers. I don’t … I don’t hate them as a person but what they do is wrong, it’s an abomination against God. I don’t like being around queers.

And just “misspoke.”

Grisham will have to attend mandatory sensitivity classes and meet with the assistant superintendent once a month.

The board has also removed him from his 5th period psychology class, and he will be given a different assignment.

Some people were pleased with the Board’s decision; others think the punishment should have been tougher.

“I think it’s fair because I’m a big supporter of Mr. Grisham. I’ve known him for years,” said Lee Barclay. “He’s taught my children. My son played football under him. He’s a good Christian man; he just misspoke that day.”

Are we now defining “misspoke” as “oh shit, somebody overheard me?” Are we now defining it as “I thought I was in a room full of friendlies but apparently everybody isn’t down with my smug bigoted shit?” Because otherwise I don’t see how this is an accident. It’s not like he tripped and fell into a big pile of I Hate Queers. Hey, who left that box of Abominations Against God here, right where somebody could run into it with his mouth? I was aiming for Love is the Answer but somehow my dart landed on Gays Are Gross instead.

(I didn’t know anybody younger than my grandparents still said “queers” as a pejorative, by the way. I’m poking 40 with a short stick and even homophobes my age mainly use queer as a Scrabble word.)

Call it wrong, but don’t call it a mistake, because that implies innocence. Misspeaking is saying ten when you meant twenty, or calling someone Bill when his name is Bob. It’s not saying you don’t like queers when what you really mean is OH SHIT SOMEBODY WAS RECORDING ME HAVE I MENTIONED MY HEART IS PURE?

Grisham told the TimesDaily on Wednesday afternoon he misspoke.”I misspoke in a debate-type situation,” he said. “I have no hatred toward anyone or any group. People that know my heart, they know that.”

Oh, it was a DEBATE! In that case, hey, he was just playing the part of an ignorant-ass neck. He was trying to teach his students a valuable lesson, perhaps about how difficult it is to live in a world where gay people exist. And if we’d just talk to all these people that KNOW YOUR HEART, why, then we’d see that you have no hatred against people you think are abominations against God.

Silly us. When we said you were just a bigoted asshole who needs a crash course in how the world works here in the 21st century or at least some lessons in how to keep your cakehole pasted shut, we must have misspoke.



11 thoughts on “A Good Christian Man Just Misspoke

  1. This is one of the reasons why there’s simply no reason to believe a conservative when they say they “accept responsibility.” It’s meaningless. The ancillary non-denial denial is, of course, “I was just making a joke.” (The latter ought to be McCain’s epitaph.)
    It’s probably impossible to get anyone to acknowledge that, in general, he’s a rotten fuckin’ human being, because everyone is defensive and protective of self. But, this unwillingness to admit error in the particular is relatively new. Over several decades, there’s been a growing tendency (which I see as originating in military groupthink and refined by corporate conformity) to view admission of error as an intolerable sign of weakness and indecisiveness, qualities perceived as antithetical to “leadership.” Same goes for, “I don’t know,” and “I’m not sure,” which, at the instant, are perfectly reasonable and honest positions to take if one, in fact, doesn’t have all the information necessary to make a decision, but, instead, are seen as indicators of a debilitating lack of confidence.
    It’s one of the reasons why, if one is looking for leadership role models, the last people one should seek out are football coaches, corporate titans and generals (who, not coincidentally, are the precise characters this society reveres as model leaders).

  2. If these effers would just OWN their bigoted and racist behavior instead of pretending they aren’t the way they are, I’d at least have a grudging respect for them (I still wouldn’t like them). But all of this crapola about “you misunderstood me”, “I (knowingly) made a hateful and hurtful remark, but I “misspoke””, “if you knew my (shriveled, uncaring) heart, you know that I didn’t ‘mean’ to say what I did”… Blather, rinse, reshape/repeat ad nauseum…
    Just admit it: “I’m askeered of them homoseckshals…they gone get me in the end” “I’m hating on them queers, because they make me feel zingy in my dangly bits…” “I don’t like that (revolting racial epithet here) in the White House, cause he ain’t a white boy!” “But I have Jesus in my heart…(and 70% blockage in my arteries…which means my blood don’t flow too good and my thinking/processing of information is impacted)”
    Jackholes of the Rightwing Fringe: Just own your idiocy/bigoted nature/racist feelings…admitting you have a problem is the first step.

  3. The “misspoke” thing is becoming more of a trend. I’m waiting for people to start approaching their mistakes this way:
    “That anti-gay tirade, obviously, was a recreation of the evil Coach Grisham… I’m totally not that guy and I was just thinking about getting some gay sex myself right now… Live long and homo!”
    Bullshit is bullshit. Hate is hate.
    And Elspeth, I love the “zingy in my dangly bits” line. I will be adding that to the Doc Library of Euphemisms.

  4. And they let this guy teach Psychology?!? Well, obviously he couldn’t teach English.

  5. “Never apologize, never admit error” went mainstream during the Bush years. It was part of the Rove program to always project “tuffness” no matter what.

  6. I think what bugs me about the article itself, as an article, is the uncritical way it publishes a “both sides” viewpoint using two parents in the school system–one says she thinks he misspoke and is a good “christian” and the other thinks the punishment should have been more harsh.
    I’m really not interested in the opinion of the first woman quoted–its basically self interested without copping to it. If they had actually asked her “What’s the part of being a good man/good teacher” that you value in this guy? Is it that you don’t think he meant it/believed it and so it was an aberration, or is it that you agree with him and you think he needs to continue teaching because you hope that he continues to pass on these values to your children?” I’d be more interested in reading her point of view within the context of the story. As it is you can’t evaluate what she is saying at all–is the community divided because some think the guy was railroaded while others don’t or is the community divided because the community is, in fact, divided between chirstianist homophobes/anti michelle obama types and others who perhaps would like psych and driver’s ed taught by sane people?
    I think the journalist thought they were winking at the reality by quoting the woman as saying he’s a “good christian” and assuming that we could all “fill in the blanks” but to me that’s an abdication of responsibility journalistically and politically since it allows self identified christianist readers to see their viewpoint, apparently, represented as reasonable in the paper.

  7. I don’t dislike them, I just loathe them enough that I can’t stand being around them (extends from sports to in my church and working at my business). Shameful part is that this is straight out of Archie Bunker and hasn’t changed. He forgot to add, Hey, some of my best friends are black.
    Also ties in well with posting about a week ago. Note how he is described as a good Christian – especially so in the context of expressing his hate. No wonder they hate the book of James so much. You say you’re a good Christian, well show me by what you do and say.

  8. totally awesome, I started laughing as I read it … can’t add anything to what you just said.

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