Talk:Robert P. George

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How is it possible this article doesn't mention this dude's rabid homophobia? Why?, because it's been carefully preened to avoid anything controversial. Excellent work, gentlemen! You've mentioned to produce an article that leaves out everything you're ashamed of! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

This article needs serious formatting overhaul. Anyone up to the task? If not, I may attempt over the next few weeks.Scharferimage (talk) 05:01, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Why is notability of Dr. George being questioned? He holds a named chair at Princeton and has been awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal. Shouldn't that tag be removed? (talk) 15:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand that, either. I will remove the tag.--Bhuck (talk) 11:07, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

the article sounds more like a pro domo for George. A bit .... 'geschmacklos' (bad taste) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:49, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Early Life and Education?[edit]

Why is none of this sourced?

As a teenager he became active in politics, working as an intern on the staff of Ken Hechler, a pro-life liberal Democratic congressman representing West Virginia's fourth congressional district, and serving twice as Governor of the West Virginia Democratic Youth Conference. As late as 1976, he remained active in the Democratic Party, attending its national convention in New York City as an alternate delegate. As the Democratic Party moved leftward on moral and cultural issues, particularly abortion, he grew increasingly disaffected, and by 1984 identified himself as a political independent rather than as a Democrat. At the same time, by his own account, he began to question the efficacy of federal social welfare programs, and to worry about whether well-intentioned efforts to relieve poverty, especially in his native Appalachia, were in fact having the perverse effect of entrenching it. He grew particularly concerned about poor communities in both rural and urban areas where out-of-wedlock birth rates were skyrocketing, family stability was suffering, and large numbers of children were being reared in circumstances of fatherlessness. Although he remained convinced of the importance of a social safety net, he joined the emerging movement to reform social policies in ways that would strengthen the marriage culture and avoid undermining the autonomy and authority of key institutions of civil society, beginning with the family. He has called the marriage-based family "the original and best department of health, education, and welfare," and "a great bulwark against poverty."

In the early 1990s, he became close to Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, an outspoken pro-life Democrat, for whom he served as an informal advisor and speech writer. When Casey established an exploratory committee to plan a challenge to President Bill Clinton in the 1996 Democratic presidential primaries, George joined his fellow Princeton professor John DiIulio as co-chairman of the issues committee. Early in the campaign, however, Casey, who had undergone heart and liver transplantation surgery, withdrew for health reasons.

George was educated at Swarthmore College (BA), Harvard Law School (JD), Harvard Divinity School (MTS), and Oxford University (DPhil). At Oxford he studied under John Finnis and Joseph Raz.

On top of not being sourced - "strengthen the marriage culture?" Marriage has a culture? This sounds like he wrote this section himself, TBH. "Marriage-based family?" At the very least, "marriage culture" and "marriage-based family" ought to be in quotation marks, as they reek of POV. On top of this, the "controversy" section is terribly incoherent. (talk) 11:51, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Looked like it was lifted almost verbatim from here. Have deleted it. - Nat Gertler (talk) 14:42, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Maronite Background?[edit]

Presumably, a politically active, ardent Catholic with last name George who feels comfortable among evangelical Prostestants would be highly likely to have a Maronite background. (The Maronites are a Roman Catholic group from Lebanon, well known for energetically persuing a socially and religiously conservative agenda: See the Lebanese Front and the Falange). Can anyone comfirm? --Philopedia (talk) 01:42, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

A question was raised (NY Times Magazine, Letters to the Editor Dec.27,2009) pertaining to Robert George's commitment to his philosophy and religion because of undisclosed differences with his wife.Can anyone comment on his spouse's influences or differences in academic, political or religious issues with George? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Stanley Fish paragraph[edit]

I have deleted the Stanley Fish section, primarily over WP:BLP concerns (it has no sourcing, and can be read as Fish being easily swayed at debate.) However, I should also note that:

  • It's in the "Disputes" section with no visible dispute, as Fish is shown as agreeing with George.
  • The quote from George appears not to be a quote from the debate, but a quote from this letter, which was not clear in the paragraph.

As such, even if the general thrust becomes sourced, it is not clear that the paragraph belongs here. --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:36, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

The paragraph has been reinserted with a couple of citations, but is still a WP:BLP concern because the source basically shows not that Fish had been hiding his views, but that two people - the moderator and Chuck Colson - had made other assumptions about his views. Additionally, it is still not a dispute, it still quotes material not from the event as if it were from the event, and really, while it says something that may be of interest in the Fish article, it's hard to see that this says something particularly important about George. --Nat Gertler (talk) 14:13, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

"Forcing them to accept"[edit]

I think the language used here is ambiguous - as I said, the noun clause "laws forcing them to accept [things]" makes it sound as though those laws are a thing, in the same way that "civil disobedience against laws requiring seatbelts" makes it sound as though those laws exist, rather than just that the document claims such laws exist. Hence, I suggest either a phrasing that is NPOV as to the effect of the law - hence "permitting" - or one that makes it obvious that the "forcing them to accept" is the personal opinion of Robert George - hence "laws which they claim would force..." Roscelese (talk) 16:13, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

The Manhattan Declaration is not declaring that the US has such laws. Its POV to treat laws that permit something as the same as laws forcing them to accept something. (Although I must correct myself; the word used in the declaration is not "force" but "compel".) Read the Declaration (the key part for this is at the end) - it is not, for example, calling to stand against laws permitting abortion but to against religious institutions being forced to perform them; not standing against the state permitting gay marriage but against religious institutions being forced to bless or respect them. So your rewording is simply factually incorrect, and in the interest of WP:BLP concern, I am replacing it. --Nat Gertler (talk) 16:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I've read it - since you seem to have read it too, I'm sure you've noted that none of their examples pertain to religious institutions being forced to perform abortions or bless same-sex marriages, much less "forced to accept" them. As I said - it's perfectly legitimate to say in an encyclopedia that this person thinks X - the problem is the uncritical X is true.
The rewording is better, but may I suggest "rules or laws that could force" or "that might force"? It doesn't get the nuance of "laws granting tax exemption on grounds of spaces being open to the public mean that tax exemption will be taken away if the space is not open to the public" or "laws allowing businesses to fire people who do not do their jobs allow a business to fire someone for not doing their job even if they're Christian," but it's still better. Roscelese (talk) 17:50, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Alternately, there's the option of quoting the document - on the one hand it's a less accurate reflection of the situation, but on the other it makes it clear that it's their opinion. As it stands we're kind of talking past each other. Roscelese (talk) 18:54, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
It would take a long and out-of-scale quote from the document to cover it; we do have a link both to the document itself and to the document's wikipedia page for fuller details. (If you want to quote the "any edict that purports to compel" phrase, that would be fine.) However, we are here presenting what the document was saying; you seem to be trying to put in a POV spin about how they should view the laws you think they're talking about, which is not appropriate. --Nat Gertler (talk) 19:19, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. What I am trying to do is make it clear that it is their POV. Paraphrasing usually works, but it's the odd quirk in English that makes it ambiguous whether that noun clause is part of the paraphrase, or an actual thing to which the paraphrase refers. (See also the difference between "The Popish Plot involved a document written by Titus Oates claiming that Catholics were conspiring to assassinate the king" and "The Popish Plot involved a document written by Titus Oates about Catholics who were conspiring to assassinate the king." Roscelese (talk) 20:21, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Edited the article as per discussion. Roscelese (talk) 22:31, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Strange edits by User:Roscelese[edit]

User:Roscelese tried to censor Wikipedia - she removed information about how Martha Nussbaum was criticized by Robert P. George. I have reverted her. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 05:47, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Waaaaah, censorship. It's poorly sourced. Find a secondary source that covers this "dispute" - George is certainly not a reliable source for claims about Nussbaum. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:41, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Nussbaum's dispute with Robert George is important, and it should be mentioned in the article. I think the source is good enough. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 07:06, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
It's not important unless secondary sources talk about it, and a right-wing PAC is not going to be an acceptable source for statements about a living person, where WP:BLP's strict sourcing rules apply. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 07:10, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
It's definitely important, and anyone following George's (and Nussbaum's) careers would know this very well. It needs to be covered, and if the previous source was not acceptable, then a new one must be found. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 21:53, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
So find a source. You're the one who wants to add it; it's not my job. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 22:28, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Biased material by Andrew Sullivan[edit]

This article contains statements about Robert P. George sourced to Andrew Sullivan, an openly "gay" man and critic of George. Sullivan cannot possibly be neutral or objective about George. His comments should be removed from the article. To be completely clear about it, I don't believe that Mr. Sullivan should be used as a source in any article about conservative writers, least of all those who have criticized homosexuality. That was why I reverted the John Finnis article back to an earlier version (I reverted this article back to an older version for the same reason). Conservative Philosopher (talk) 21:59, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I haven't looked at the articles, but usually, I'd disagree, since anti-non-heterosexual and non-heterosexual philosophies can coexist as long as there isn't clear hate involved. — Kudu ~I/O~ 22:01, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
It really might help if you looked carefully at this article, and at present and past versions of John Finnis. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 22:04, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, no, someone's sexual orientation doesn't affect their reliability as a source. Enough of this trolling. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 22:36, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes it does. I don't see a particular problem with the usage in the article, but in general, it at least requires more scrutiny. NYyankees51 (talk) 00:53, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
If you're going to be discarding sources on the grounds of the writer's sexual orientation, race, gender, or religion, you really need to take a step back and consider whether Wikipedia is the right place for you. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:18, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
NYyankees51, that is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen on here in awhile. Using that logic, editors who are African-American could not edit articles about African-American related topics. You are showing a fundamental lack of understanding of NPOV. Kansan (talk) 04:46, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
We don't require sources not to have a POV, nor do we exclude reflecting the views of a subject's critics. Sullivan is a notable conservative writer. (Not, mind you, that the material is particularly critical of George.) --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:42, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

It needs to be noted that George has not called himself a "Theoconservative." That's why it's a problem that a biased author, who as a homosexual has a bias against George, a critic of homosexuality, calls him one. The material needs to be removed. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 02:36, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

If you find a source that notes that George has not called himself a "theoconservative", then feel free to add it. However, this is not a page just for George's self-descriptors; he's free to do that on a website of his own. It's not a problem that we have some insight from someone who does not agree with George. (And Sullivan's not the only source which describes George as a theoconservative.) --Nat Gertler (talk) 02:47, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
As a homosexual, Sullivan cannot be objective about George, who is morally opposed to homosexuality. You need a different source, from someone who isn't a homosexual. Conservative Philosopher (talk) 02:52, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
This encyclopedia would be a rather poor resource if we limited its sources to those that were positive about a given subject. If you want to work on a resource that discriminates against sources based on their sexual orientation, you may want to find another one. You may find less resistance at Conservapedia. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:15, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Moreover, it all depends what the "source" is being used for. One can certainly cite to the political and personal opponents of someone to illustrate an aspect or episode of his life. It is the article that needs to be objective in its overall assessment, not necessarily the sources. Thus we could include Lincoln's assessment of Douglas or vice versa etc. Our interlocutor's objections to Sullivan are thus a contrived and thinly veiled expression of homophobic animus to him, one that does neither Sullivan nor George justice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Article removal.[edit]

Wikipedia biographic articles usually start with a paragraph stating what a person is known for, or why the article is of public relevance. None of these criteria will be found in the entire biographical article of Mr. Robert P. George. Instead, it reads as a self-promoting mini biography that is inappropriate for publication in Wikipedia. I propose removal of the article and welcome your thoughts. Best, P. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pablufu (talkcontribs) 12:48, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

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I removed the following addition to the lead: "He is opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage." Taken by itself that addition is uninformative and completely unhelpful. Many people are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage, but it would usually be unencyclopedic to note that in the leads of articles about them. A statement that someone is opposed to something is meaningful and useful to readers only if it explains the basis for their opposition to it, what specifically they have done to oppose it, etc. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:14, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. Safehaven86 (talk) 05:43, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

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