Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amy Roloff Speaking at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Amy Roloff will be speaking at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on January 27th.


"Amy Roloff, star of TLC’s “Little People, Big World” will be speaking on Thursday, January 27 at 6 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Theatre in the Fine Arts Center.

Her topic is “Standing Out Among the Trees: Diversity & Living with a disability-Being a little person.” The event is sponsored by the Office for Students with Disabilities and the Office for Equity and Diversity.

With her family, Roloff starred on the TLC reality television show for six seasons. She is also involved in philanthropy and founded the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, benefiting the needs’ of kids, at-risk youths, and disability groups.

Last time Roloff visited UTC in 2008, more 600 people attended."


Austin said...

This makes me mad as a "perverted" and "broken" gay person that hasn't sought a cure... I looked up the U of T office for equity and diversity.


"Serves as a member of various campus groups including the Commission for Women, Commission for Blacks, Commission for LGBT People, Disability Roundtable, Disability Monitors, Exempt Staff Council, and other ad-hoc committees dealing with employment and student issues."

Does everyone understand? A department that serves LGBT People (in Roloff church speak, that is those perverted and broken homosexual people in need of a cure) is giving their money to Amy...a person that believes bigoted things about people that are different from her and has a son that uses slurs about those groups without apology.

The only thing as far as I'm concerned that the Roloffs should be giving speeches about is how to deceive people.

Dana said...

Austin, it's annoying how gay people such as yourself think the world revolves around your kind.

Supporting homosexuals is not a requirement to speak about diversity and disabilities. I am sure Amy does not support the life style of a drug addict. Are you going to scream and yell that Amy is intolerant of drug addicts and should not be allowed to speak about diversity issues and her difference unless she condones what drug addicts do?

NJC said...

That's right Dana supporting diversity only means supporting the kind of people you want to support. The people who are just like you. Boy you really get it. And that brilliant comparison of gay people to drug addicts. Amazing. Jesus would be so proud of your ability to judge others. Your beautiful Christian soul really shines through on here.

baxter said...

And you don't think the world revolves around "your kind" either, Dana? "Your kind" being pseudo christians who ALWAYS think they are right.

Lay off gay people. When you're perfect, THEN you can call out others. And hunny, you are FAR from perfect. From what I've read on here, you appear to be a racist, bigot and ignoramus.

Baxter said...

These Roloffs aren't even relevant enough to be YESTERDAY'S news. I'm surprised that some are still the slightest bit interested in them. Of course the couple of glassy-eyed, zombie fans on here would be (until a new obsession overtakes them).

As always, I come here to LMAO at the mentally-defective, pseudo-christian zombies that post here.

Mike P. said...

Nice try, Dana. But the false equivalence doesn't work.

Since when is homosexuality equivalent to drug addiction? Or alcoholism or a disease, as the canard used to be?

Sexual orientation--straight or gay--is none of those things. Neither in how it arrives nor in how it affects the person and the community, is sexual orientation a malfunction.

So let's try an equivalence that does work. If Amy and her family were members of the KKK, attended a church that invited KKK speakers, were on public record supporting the ideals of the KKK, wouldn't her work for "diversity" look just a tad tainted? As in hypocritical. As in repulsive.

Yes, the KKK is an extreme. To you. But to a gay person, maybe not so much. Remember, the Roloffs attend and endorse a wing of Christianity that has worked in Africa to create legislation that calls for execution of homosexual people.

The Roloffs support Christianity that creates a thing called The Manhattan Declaration, in which pastors declare that they will ignore law that grants gay people protection from discrimination in jobs and housing--and in the doing, gives their followers permission to do likewise.

The Roloffs endorse a wing of Christianity whose colleges (ORU, Bob Jones U., and others) would not dream of inviting a diversity speaker.

And so on.

True, the world doesn't revolve around homosexuality. But in fact, the life of each person on the planet revolves around that person: my life revolves around me, yours revolves around you. We grow to have a larger perspective, but at the core, my life is about me.

So for a gay person, life indeed includes a constant threat--of loss and discrimination, of undue hassle, of physical threat and harm. Even, in some places, of death: as I type, two boys Jeremy's age are scheduled to be stoned to death in Iran for a homosexual relationship. Check it out.

You can see, perhaps, how a sense of vigilance and outrage might develop in a person who is gay. And how such a person as Amy Roloff, wrapped in her Christian cloak and trotting around with her message of "diversity," might be seen as hollow. Or duplicitous. Or worse.

Amy Roloff wants to do Good Works. Her message, in essence, is that we're all God's children, we're all in the same boat, we're all in this life together, and so we need to treat each other fairly and with respect.

Fine. And I hope she'd emphasize the "all of us" aspect, because without that emphasis, she has no message.

Which happens to be the case. Until she confronts her religious hypocrisy, she's just talking hollow words and collecting money for doing it.

Amy Roloff needs to be confronted about her hypocrisy, in public. She needs to explain why partial diversity is enough, in public. She needs to be asked the questions that Austin, or anyone else concerned with essential fairness, would ask her, in public. She must never mount any platform without knowledge that she will be asked those questions, in public, as the audience listens. She needs to explain herself.

One last thing, Dana: How do you "support" homosexuals or homosexuality? Isn't that like "supporting" snow or blue eyes?--two natural phenomena, and thus pure nonsense.

Why not write, instead, what you really oppose: "Supporting" (or not supporting) the rights and full citizenship of homosexual citizens. That's the real issue.

You can't "support" homosexuality, or "encourage" it, or "promote" it. Such language is not just foolish, it is also evil, and your religion uses it to hide what is really being said: that it opposes the basic rights and human aspirations of homosexual citizens.

Rap541 said...

Actually Dana - the problem is that Amy, to use your scenario, keeps it hidden that she doesn't support drug users.

Amy and Matt understand that it would look hypocritical if they were all about diversity and proudly standing up and declaring that God, per their church, does not approve of homosexuality and homosexuals can be cured.

Trust me - there's a reason that the randomly named supporters are insisting that Matt and Amy not be judged on how Jeremy attends this very conservative church... There's a reason Matt and Amy don't make any public comments on how they think homosexuality is wrong, and that due to their faith, they believed homosexuals can be cured.

That reason is money and invites to speak at diversity events, Dana. Dangle a dollar, and the Roloffs love queers. :)

Dangle a dollar and a Roloff won't say boo about their faith.

I would respect Matt and Amy a LOT more if they didn't take such pains to cover up this hard core conservative belief they have about homosexuality. At least then people would know what they are paying for.

Btw Dana - You do believe Jeremy has the right to namecall homosexuals, yes or no? In the past you have made it very clear that Jeremy is a Christian and has the right to use hatespeech because he believes homosexuality is wrong and therefore has the *right as a Christian* to mistreat homosexuals verbally.

Is that still your belief? We should all praise Jeremy because calling homosexuals "F8ggotholes" isn't *hate*, it's Jeremy loving them :)

Jeremy calling someone the n-word? Bless him for his *love*.

But *midget* is always always hatespeech! N-Word is cutesy cool Christian, F8g is Jeremy's *right*.... but we must all be pc about little people. The blacks and homos don't deserve anything but namecalling, but little people are better than that and deserve to be treated with political correctness. :)

Have I summed up the "WHen Jeremy says it, its awesome, and his blessing to be a bigot" arguement?

Brandon said...

Mike P, this issues about this subject can't be said any better than you did in your post. Thank you. Excellent job. You nailed all the points that matter.

Lynn C said...

Mike P, you are entitled to your opinion which was well thought out and intelligent, however I disagree.

"Amy Roloff needs to be confronted about her hypocrisy, in public. She needs to explain why partial diversity is enough, in public. She needs to be asked the questions that Austin, or anyone else concerned with essential fairness, would ask her, in public. She must never mount any platform without knowledge that she will be asked those questions, in public, as the audience listens. She needs to explain herself."

IMO, Amy is under no obligation to explain her feelings about homosexuality as a requirement to be considered an effective speaker about diversity.

David said...

Mike P - well done.

Personally, I feel the problem stems from despite the message the Roloffs preach, they are not accepting or empathetic people to the "diversity" cause.

There opinions on homosexuality are bigoted. When you examine it more closely, there are red flags all over the place. Jeremy's affiliation and admiration for this speaker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA2WNWMR16k

Amy's past actions of supporting Focus on the Family as one of her five or six links she chose to include on her website. That she removed it, yet seemingly has the same anti-gay beliefs speaks to the point people are making about the Roloffs level of deceit because they know it might cost them money.

As a Jewish man, I am still taken aback that Matt (and the PR man for the LPA) would even dare to draw any kind of parallel between *their* treatment in a charity children's hospital in the United States to the pure torture suffered by Holocaust victims.

The Roloffs simply do not have the depth of character to empathize with people who are unlike them. They are not qualified diversity speakers. They don't do the message as a whole justice. Their message is only about themselves and people who are in their group.

Susan Coles said...

Everyone should read Mike P's post.

Rap541 said...

Yeah, gotta agree with everyone else. Mike P, eloquently said. I hope it registers with the people who need to hear it.

Greg said...

Mike, I wish you could interview or confront Matt and Amy about it.

Anne said...

Mike P, if you think it is so important, why don't you join Amy's coffee chat on Friday and ask her live?

I am sure you will have an excuse not to because it is easier for people to complain here.

Rap541 said...

In fairness Anne, in order to attend the coffee chat, it would involve some of us having to take a day of vacation.

If I or anyone else did give up a day of vacation merely to confront amy, we'd be branded stalkaers and cyberbullies and people like you would pplay the "why are you so obsessed" card.

And if we don't make special arrangements to ask Amy a question that may or may not be answered (if we're even able to attend the chat, by all reports it seems difficult to get in) then you're also calling people out on that.

At last check, the Roloffs LOVE being interviewed and all the Roloffs have been given an open invitiation to be interviewed by Spirit.

Its easy for Matt and Amy to complain when they won't do an interview they don't expressly control.

Janet said...

Like everybody is saying, Mike P, that was a wonderful post.

It might sound ignorant, but I was pleasantly surprised that the University of Tennessee even has a gay and Lesbian division.

Anne said...

Rap, Amy has said on her ARCF facebook page that people can submit questions in advance if they can't attend the chat.

There are respectful and disrespectful ways to ask a question. Does Mike P have a concise and respectful way to ask a question?

Rap541 said...

Are you asking me or Mike P? Mike seems to have very respectfully pointed out why he is unhappy with Amy's path.

There's no name calling, no "hyperbole" - you seem to be implying Mike P's comment is NOT respect therefore I ask you to explain your criticism of his comment.

Are you saying his comment was not respectful?

Anne said...

I am asking Mike P for a concise and respectful question. You can't ask a twelve paragraph question in a coffee chat format or advanced email question format.

Rap541 said...

Do you think his comment was not respectful?

Rap541 said...

Also btw - that questions are submitted in advance pretty much means questions are *screened* in advance. If Mike P submits a question and it's magically not chosen...will you insist he was lying and didn't do it at all?

Seems like that's a win win way for you to act superior, Anne. :)

Kathryn said...

Rap, I think you're right about the advanced questions. I didn't want to be rude, but I wanted to know what kind of questions Amy would be open to. I thought Amy might want some questions that were more hard hitting. Before her chat last week, my family and I and I asked some of my friends that watched the show and sent a bunch of questions to Amy's site for the chat.

The questions ran the gamut! Some were basic things like how will she remember 2010 and what is her goals for 2011?

Some were more interest questions about the kids, like why was Jacob wearing his wrist brace again for pumpkin season and about Jeremy's rumored foot problem.

Some were a little harder, the question about the producer being friends with them and if TLC frowned on it because of a lack of professionalism and if Amy ever caught herself or the kids getting a big head because it's not easy for anybody to get fame and money and not have it affect them.

The only question Amy answered when she said she got questions in advanced, was about her goals for 2011.

I was on her chat, later in the chat, I asked Amy the question about being friends with the producer and the professionalism issues. If you watch the chat, Amy sometimes reads the questions out loud the first time she sees them without knowing what the question is. She read that one and answered. Personally I thought her mood and body language changed when she was answering and didn't like it so I didn't ask her anymore questions like that.

Anne, if Amy doesn't want to answer harder or confrontational questions, I think it's rude to do that when she's live.

I tried to gauge what kind of questions Amy wanted to answer and my conclusion is that she doesn't want harder questions or questions about the kids (a lot of the questions are about the kids so she has no choice when she reads them live). I think she wants questions that allow her to talk about her charity foundation and for people to talk about their own lives and motivational things about life.

Anonymous said...

Just to be accurate she is speaking at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a flagship campus of UT.

Mike P. said...

@Anne, various:

First: In fact, I do think that what I wrote is "so important," as you put in. Why else would I take the trouble to write it?

Second: I wasn't aware, until now, of Amy Roloff's coffee chat on Friday, but I will do my best to submit a cogent question. As for participating real-time, that's unlikely because I'm already committed and my commitment isn't open to change. (I write this Wednesday evening.)

Please note: I'm giving a reason and not an "excuse" as you suggest it will be.

As for the need to confront Amy Roloff, I stand with what I said. Further, I think it's important that she answer a question from the floor, in public, directly and without opportunity to dodge it or screen it. I'm more interested in that sort of exchange than in an edited, manipulated, evasive "chat" session.

I've never attended a speech that she or her husband has made, but as a viewer, I've heard snippets of them on the show and I can guess what they are all about.

So what would I ask her? I'd start generally, like this:

"Your personal experience, and the experience of your husband, and of your dear friends and associates, is one of loss, discrimination, demeaning speech and even fear, based simply upon your stature and not upon your capabilities.

"You call upon society to end this unjust and destructive treatment.

"Other persons in other categories report personal experience of loss, discrimination, demeaning speech and even fear, based simply upon who they are or may be, and not upon their capabilities.

"They call upon society to end this unjust and destructive treatment.

"Do you join all persons, whose experience you share, in this call for just treatment?

"What persons do you exclude from this call?"

That's a real softball question, because you can guess what she'd say. (And because either she or her scouts read this blog, and will have prepared an answer to it.)

Still, what followed would depend upon her answer, and an opportunity to follow-up, and I think, would dig into contradictions between her public answer and her private behavior.

I'd point out that gay people are among the categories whose experience she shares. I'd want to know how she can claim to share their call for justice, yet participate in a religion that actively demeans them, demonizes them and, in places, literally calls for their deaths.

I'd want to know how the mother (and father) who calls for just and equal treatment can countenance, by withholding public comment, the sons who demean, with language and behavior, not just gay people, but racial minorities, including family employees.

And so on. You see my drift. My questions would be direct, but not (in my view) disrespectful.

Is that good enough for now?

I'd add that my call for confronting the Roloffs applies not just to myself, but to any person concerned with justice and integrity who might attend a Roloff presentation. And the target is not the Roloffs, but their duplicity and hypocrisy, and the corrosive effect those qualities bring to the call for justice.

If this raises questions, I'll try to answer. But time and opportunity are not always on my side.

BeckyM said...

Thank you Mike P. It's post like yours that makes me think there is intelligence on the Internet.

Shadow said...

"... if Amy doesn't want to answer harder or confrontational questions, I think it's rude to do that when she's live... I think she wants questions that allow her to talk about her charity foundation and for people to talk about their own lives and motivational things about life."

Then *I* think Amy shouldn't be doing chat shows that allow live questions, or promoting herself for public speaking engagements. If a person who wants to be a public speaker (for significant sums of money, I might add) wants to engage in events like a chat radio show for publicity and self promotion, s/he had better be prepared to "take all comers."

I'm sure Amy DOES wish that all questions were easy softball questions, and I'm sure that she and the radio staff and TLC work hard to ensure that none of those "hard" or "uncomfortable" questions get asked, but that's why I wouldn't pay 10¢ or waste a minute of my time to listen to Amy talk.

Kathryn said...

Shadow, just so I didn't mislead anyone, I was on Amy's chat last Friday.

She did only answer a question that would be considered a softball question that was submitted in advance, but in the actual live chat, she didn't avoid the question I asked about the producer becoming best friends with them and the professional integrity issues. I think she answered it because she reads the questions as she goes but she did answer it.

I don't know that Amy doesn't want to answer tough questions live, that was only my impression because *I* didn't think she liked my question and she didn't answer any of the tougher questions I submitted in advance, but that might not have been deliberate, maybe she only had time to answer a couple of questions that were submitted in advance.

I didn't want you to think Amy said she didn't want tough questions, that was only my feeling.

Shadow said...

That's cool, Kathryn...I respect that that was just your impression of Amy. However, based on the cumulative evidence (all those "ask the Roloffs" episodes, Matt's blogs, Amy's responses to questions like yours), I would say you were probably pretty close to the mark.

I don't think either Matt or Amy want *any* question that would leave them groping for the "PC" answer that would not 1) offend their fanbase, 2) expose their own prejudices and stereotypes, 3) "damage" the Roloff "brand" in any way. But I'll disagree and say I don't think it's "rude" to ask a tough question. If Amy wants to earn a living speaking on diversity, she ought to be able to handle a question that challenges her seemingly contradictory stance on certain parts of the population.

That said, I have no interest in being the one to ask, because I have no intention of wasting my time listening to her in the first place. If she ever wants to meet me for coffee, we can get into it on an individual level, but I'm not gonna feed the Roloff publicity machine in any way.

Vic Rattlehead said...

Hey Dana,

It's nobody's business what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom be they straight gay bi-sexual or anything else.

I had a gay roommate for five years (I'm straight) and I saw first hand the destructive and hateful way that "righteous and saved" people treat people who are gay.

Being an enlightened modern man I didn't care about what my roommate did behind his bedroom door because it was none of my business in the same way that it's no business of any self-righteous "christian" like the Roloffs or that pig John Mark Comer to judge anyone else.

It's stupid people like you Jeremy and the Westboro Baptist crowd who believe in this vindictive angry eight year old version of "god" not the all loving compassionate and caring god that I know of.

My former roommate even invited me to to his wedding (yes I live in a country where we are civilized enough to grant gay people the right to legally marry)and I still talk to him once in a while.

Fundamentalist Christianity is the poison of the western world in the same way that Fundamentalist Islam is the poison of the eastern world.

Selfish people pray on those who are desperate or ignorant and preach a twisted distorted version of the bible that in their own ignorance they will believe in an unquestioning way.