The New Intolerance (Part 1)

Leftist Intolerance

Ever since I can remember, the political left in general and the gay rights movement in particular has always cloaked itself in arguments and language calling for greater diversity, tolerance, and pluralism in American society. My, how times are changing! Now as the left is inching ever closer to winning the culture war, their once fine sounding pluralistic arguments have been replaced by a mantra which says, “Adopt our way of thinking, or else pay the consequences!” For example, “California Gov. Jerry Brown said in an interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s position on climate change makes him ‘absolutely unfit to be running for office.'”1 In other words, if someone is unwilling to properly genuflect before the religion and pseudo-science of climate change, then he should be barred from seeking the Presidency, or any other public office for that matter.

 

Similarly, when religious beliefs stand in the way of present abortion on demand practices, those religious beliefs simply “have to be changed” according to former Secretary of State and now presumptive Presidential Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. While giving a recent address at the Women in the World Summit, she made the following statement:

Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice—not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed (italics added). “2

Interestingly, Mrs. Clinton did not go further and describe exactly how these annoying religious beliefs had to be changed. She only trumpeted that they had to go. Thus, we are only left to our own imaginations regarding the means that will be used to achieve this end. Was Mrs. Clinton referring to mandatory indoctrination, legal coercion, or some twisted combination? Only time will tell.

Notice-Intolerance

Such intolerance was also on full display in a recent statement by Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when he pontificated that if you are a conservative Republican, you have no business being in New York:

“Their [Republicans] problem isn’t me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves,” Cuomo said on “The Capitol Pressroom” radio show, according to the New York Post. Cuomo defined the conservative Republican New Yorkers he wanted to send packing. “Who are they?” he said. “Right-to-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”3

Recently Democratic Chicago Mayor, and former Obama Administration Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel once again exhibited this all too familiar refrain of intolerance emanating from the left when he insinuated that Chicago was simply not the place for a Christian-owned and operated business like Chick-fil-A.

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” Emanuel was vowing his support for Alderman Proco Moreno’s announcement that he would block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his district. “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward,” he told the newspaper.4

Such intolerance can also be seen specifically coming from liberals on the issue of so called gay rights. Thomas Williams does a masterful job exposing such blatant intolerance in a recent piece written by Op‒ed New York Times writer Frank Bruni:

Either Christians fully embrace the gay lifestyle, or you will be coerced into doing so. Op-ed writer Frank Bruni, onetime Times restaurant critic and a gay activist, has written that Christians who hold on to “ossified,” biblically-based beliefs regarding sexual morality have no place at America’s table and are deserving of no particular regard. In one fell swoop, Bruni trashes all believing Christians as “bigots,” saying that Christians’ negative moral assessment of homosexual relations is “a choice” that “prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since — as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing.” In other words, if you still cling to your benighted views and your “ancient texts,” you are living in the past and your views merit no respect. Bruni’s solution to the impasse is not some sort of goodwill compromise or a treaty of mutual respect, but a take-no-prisoners ultimatum to Christians to abandon their beliefs or else. When Bruni says that Christians’ understanding of sexual morality is “a choice,” what he means is that there is a way out without completely losing face: just embrace the new morality preached by mainstream liberal churches that see nothing wrong with any sexual arrangement you are comfortable with. Then we will accept you…Bruni takes it upon himself to explain how the Bible can be interpreted to read that God is really fine with sodomy and that all that antiquated stuff against adultery, fornication, and “men lying with other men” is a quaint vestige of an archaic worldview that went out definitively with Freud. The scary part about Bruni’s essay is not his awkward attempt at playing the biblical scholar, but the undertone of evident disdain for Christians and his proposal that those who resist should be forcibly reeducated. In Christians’ refusal to bend with the times, Bruni sees not faithfulness to God but willful obstinacy that must be broken. “So our debate about religious freedom should include a conversation about freeing religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity,” Bruni writes. But what if Christians don’t want to change? What if they don’t want to “bow to the enlightenments of modernity”? What if they are convinced that the modern worldview is not necessarily the most enlightened path when it comes to the ultimate meaning of life and death, time and eternity? “Religion,” writes Bruni, “is going to be the final holdout and most stubborn refuge for homophobia. It will give license to discrimination.” And thus it must be stamped out. Bruni cites fellow gay activist Mitchell Gold, founder of the advocacy group Faith in America, as saying that church leaders must be made to take homosexuality off the sin list. “His commandment is worthy — and warranted,” writes Bruni. So now government should be dictating belief to churches and enforcing theological orthodoxy? Now politicians and courts will be telling Christians what they are allowed to consider as sinful? Isn’t this what America was founded to escape from? People are already talking about forcing churches to perform same-sex weddings, whether they like it or not, or get out of the marriage business. Christians founded America and yet now the minority gay lobby is trying to tell them they are personae non gratae and their beliefs are no longer welcome. America has a grand tradition of tolerance and religious freedom, respect for a diversity of beliefs, and an honest engagement with ideas of all sorts. It seems that some would like to force all Americans to walk in lockstep, marching to the same drummer. Sincere Christians have no problem accepting other people with all their sins, inclinations, and struggles, fully understanding that they are in no way superior to the next guy and no better in God’s eyes. But attempts to force them to abandon their ethical standards and their principles reveal not open-mindedness or fairness, but intolerance, chauvinism, and hate. These are the attitudes that have no place in America.5

Sadly, as we will see in our next installment, not only is such intolerance finding its way into our language and “logic,” but now even the American legal system is beginning to move in this negative direction.

 

(To Be Continued…)

 

 Endnotes


  1. http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/california-governor-ted-cruz-unfit-be-running-n328046 []
  2. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/49375-hillary-clinton-wants-christians-to-give-up-on-bible-beliefs []
  3. http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/01/19/gov-cuomo-to-conservatives-get-out-of-new-york-95065 []
  4. http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/cities-move-to-ban-chick-fil-a-supporters-launch-day-of-support.html []
  5. http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/04/08/nyt-writer-christianity-must-be-made-to-embrace-gay-lifestyle/ []

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