The New Intolerance (Part 5)

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Now as the left is inching ever closer to winning the culture war, their once fine sounding pluralistic arguments have been replaced by a mantra which says, “Adopt our way of thinking, or else pay the consequences!” In our first post, we gave several examples of how this new intolerance has found its way into our language and “logic.”

 

The Legal System

Sadly, 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. In our second and third posts, we noted several legal cases transpiring in contemporary America where the gay rights agenda was foisted upon individuals possessing a biblical perspective on homosexuality thereby coercing them into violating their freedom of conscience despite the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and religion.

 

Pro-Marriage Equality MarchThe Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage

Sadly, the state of freedom in America is about to get a lot worse. In the much watched case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court has accepted for review four lower court rulings that struck down bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. As explained in our last post, the Supreme Court, in a ruling expected to be handed down in June or July, will most likely decide that state prohibitions on same-sex marriage violate their liberal interpretation of the United States Constitution. Now that the prospect of a same-sex constitutional right seems imminent and all but guaranteed, what will be the consequences? Simply put, the flood gates of litigation will open, thereby allowing an already aggressive and intolerant political left and gay rights movement to declare legal war upon those organizations and individuals holding to traditional values and biblical authority.

 

Long-time pro-family advocate Dr. James Dobson describes the foreseeable future in the wake of the high court’s anticipated ruling:

Let’s get to the bottom line. If the U.S. Supreme Court redefines marriage to include same-sex unions, I guarantee you that it will not be the end of the matter. An avalanche of court cases will be filed on related issues that can’t even be imagined today. Here are a few that we can foresee: 1. Religious liberty will be assaulted from every side. You can be certain that conservative churches will be dragged into court by the hundreds. Their leaders will be required to hire people who don’t share the beliefs of their denominations and constituents. Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture. Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility. 2. Christian businesses and ministries will be made to dance to the government’s tune. We’ve all seen examples of photographers, bakeries and florists being required to serve at gay weddings, on penalty of closure or bankruptcy. This kind of legal oppression is coming all across the nation. 3. Christian colleges may be unable to teach scriptural views of marriage. Any nonprofit Christian organization that opposes same-sex unions, including our own, will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Many will be forced to close their doors. Do these consequences sound draconian to you? If so, consider an editorial published in the New York Times a few weeks ago. It was written by liberal columnist Frank Bruni, who insisted that Christians must be “made” to change their church doctrines on sexual morality. He actually wrote, “Church leaders must be made to take homosexuality off their sin list.” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote this in response to Bruni’s statement: “These activists aren’t after a ‘live-and-let-live’ policy. They’re on a march to force all Americans to celebrate and affirm what they do under the penalty of law.” Indeed. I wonder if Frank Bruni has read the Bill of Rights in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Now let’s look at what the law may require of parents and their children in the future: 4. Here’s an example of what is to come: A few weeks ago, President Obama actually demanded legislation prohibiting parents from seeking professional therapy to assist their children who were dealing with sexual identity crises. What business does this man have telling parents how to help their confused and disoriented kids even after they have been abused and exploited sexually? This is outrageous! In some states, counselors can lose their licenses if they try to assist their troubled children in this way. These intrusions appear to be forerunners of things to come. 5. Any professional with a state license of any kind may be stripped of his or her right to practice or do business if he or she doesn’t conform to the court’s biases on same-sex relationships. 6. Textbooks for children of all ages will almost certainly be rewritten and republished to illustrate gay and lesbian marriages. 7. The most outrageous interference with parental rights will come from public schools that require children as young as 5 to be taught gay and lesbian concepts. It will matter not that this teaching will contradict the beliefs and convictions of parents. This could become a requirement in every public school by judicial decree. It is already the law in California and Massachusetts.1

In order to discover the negative impact that legalization of gay marriage will have upon fundamental American freedoms, we need look no further than our northern Canadian neighbor that traveled down this road toward legalization of same-sex marriage a decade ago. Notice this dire warning from Canadian Dawn Stefanowicz. Stefanowicz was not only raised by gay parents but is also a Canadian citizen. She recently filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief urging the United States Supreme Court not to create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. In a recent article, she warns Americans of the resulting deterioration of their freedoms that will transpire should the high court constitutionally recognize same-sex marriage. Her warnings are based upon what has happened in Canada after same-sex marriage became legally protected. Her words are indeed frightening and are those that all Americans should read and heed. I quote her at length here:

I am one of six adult children of gay parents who recently filed amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to respect the authority of citizens to keep the original definition of marriage: a union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, so that children may know and may be raised by their biological parents. I also live in Canada, where same-sex marriage was federally mandated in 2005…I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope…In Canada, freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government. Why do police prosecute speech under the guise of eliminating “hate speech” when there are existing legal remedies and criminal protections against slander, defamation, threats, and assault that equally apply to all Americans? Hate-crime-like policies using the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” create unequal protections in law, whereby protected groups receive more legal protection than other groups. Having witnessed how mob hysteria in Indiana caused the legislature to back-track on a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, many Americans are beginning to understand that some activists on the Left want to usher in state control over every institution and freedom. In this scheme, personal autonomy and freedom of expression become nothing more than pipe dreams, and children become commodified…Over and over, we are told that “permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights.” That is a lie…In effect, same-sex marriage not only deprives children of their own rights to natural parentage, it gives the state the power to override the autonomy of biological parents, which means parental rights are usurped by the government…In Canada, it is considered discriminatory to say that marriage is between a man and a woman or that every child should know and be raised by his or her biological married parents. It is not just politically incorrect in Canada to say so; you can be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, fined, and forced to take sensitivity training. Anyone who is offended by something you have said or written can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals. In Canada, these organizations police speech, penalizing citizens for any expression deemed in opposition to particular sexual behaviors or protected groups identified under “sexual orientation.” It takes only one complaint against a person to be brought before the tribunal, costing the defendant tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The commissions have the power to enter private residences and remove all items pertinent to their investigations, checking for hate speech. The plaintiff making the complaint has his legal fees completely paid for by the government. Not so the defendant. Even if the defendant is found innocent, he cannot recover his legal costs. If he is found guilty, he must pay fines to the person(s) who brought forth the complaint. If your beliefs, values, and political opinions are different from the state’s, you risk losing your professional license, job, or business, and even your children. Look no further than the Lev Tahor Sect, an Orthodox Jewish sect. Many members, who had been involved in a bitter custody battle with child protection services, began leaving Chatham, Ontario, for Guatemala in March 2014, to escape prosecution for their religious faith, which conflicted with the Province’s guidelines for religious education. Of the two hundred sect members, only half a dozen families remain in Chatham. Parents can expect state interference when it comes to moral values, parenting, and education—and not just in school. The state has access into your home to supervise you as the parent, to judge your suitability. And if the state doesn’t like what you are teaching your children, the state will attempt to remove them from your home. Teachers cannot make comments in their social networks, write letters to editors, publicly debate, or vote according to their own conscience on their own time. They can be disciplined or lose any chance of tenure. They can be required at a bureaucrat’s whim to take re-education classes or sensitivity training, or be fired for thinking politically incorrect thoughts. When same-sex marriage was created in Canada, gender-neutral language became legally mandated. Newspeak proclaims that it is discriminatory to assume a human being is male or female, or heterosexual. So, to be inclusive, special non-gender-specific language is being used in media, government, workplaces, and especially schools to avoid appearing ignorant, homophobic, or discriminatory. A special curriculum is being used in many schools to teach students how to use proper gender-neutral language. Unbeknownst to many parents, use of gender terms to describe husband and wife, father and mother, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and “he” and “she” is being steadily eradicated in Canadian schools…Wedding planners, rental halls, bed and breakfast owners, florists, photographers, and bakers have already seen their freedoms eroded, conscience rights ignored, and religious freedoms trampled in Canada. But this is not just about the wedding industry. Anybody who owns a business may not legally permit his or her conscience to inform business practices or decisions if those decisions are not in line with the tribunals’ decisions and the government’s sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination laws. In the end, this means that the state basically dictates whether and how citizens may express themselves. Freedom to assemble and speak freely about man-woman marriage, family, and sexuality is now restricted. Most faith communities have become “politically correct” to avoid fines and loss of charitable status. Canadian media are restricted by the Canadian Radio, Television, and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is similar to the FCC. If the media air anything considered discriminatory, broadcasting licenses can be revoked, and “human rights bodies” can charge fines and restrict future airings. An example of legally curtailed speech regarding homosexuality in Canada involves the case of Bill Whatcott, who was arrested for hate speech in April 2014 after distributing pamphlets that were critical of homosexuality. Whether or not you agree with what he says, you should be aghast at this state-sanctioned gagging. Books, DVDs, and other materials can also be confiscated at the Canadian border if the materials are deemed “hateful.” Americans need to prepare for the same sort of surveillance-society in America if the Supreme Court rules to ban marriage as a male-female institution. It means that no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether or not you may express your conscience. Americans also need to understand that the endgame for some in the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.2

In our next post, we will observe that the gay rights movement appears to be poised to achieve its greatest advancement at the exact same time when respect for our Constitution’s First Amendment’s protections of freedom of speech has reached an all-time low.

 

(To Be Continued…)

 

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/emilymills/4838822730/”>Lost Albatross</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-ND</a>

 

 Endnotes


  1. http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/high-court-on-verge-of-destroying-the-family/print/ []
  2. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/04/14899/ []

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