The New Intolerance (Part 6)

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Now as the left is inching ever closer to winning the culture war, their once fine sounding pluralistic arguments have been replaced by a mantra which says, “Adopt our way of thinking, or else pay the consequences!”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.

 

The 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 fourth 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, as noted in our fifth post, 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.

 

First_amendment_engraving,_Washington_DCThe Sorry State of the First Amendment

In this brave new world the protections that we have long enjoyed under the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion and speech will largely become a fading memory. In fact, the current state of the First Amendment is arguably at one of its lowest points in all of American history. For example, when Pamela Geller’s sponsored “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest was recently targeted for terrorism by Islamic Jihadists in Garland, TX, numerous high profile media types sided with the perpetrators rather than the would-be victims of violence. For example, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota challenged Geller on whether her free speech was unnecessarily incendiary and crossed the line into intentional “provocation.”1 Richard Fowler similarly opined, “Freedom of speech comes with limits, and this is a clear limit. It’s just like going into a movie theater and yelling out ‘fire.’”2 “What in the hell is she doing?” Donald Trump said on “Fox & Friends” on the Monday following the attack. “She’s taunting them,” he added. “What is the purpose of it?” “Isn’t there something else they could draw?” he asked earlier.3 “When you inflame people,” Don Imus asked, “what else can you expect?”4 CNN’s Erin Burnett went so far as to ask Pamela Geller, “..are you stoking the flames? Do you on some level relish being the target of these attacks?”5

 

Blaming Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest for recent potential terrorist activity would be the equivalent of arguing that a provocatively dressed woman who is raped is somehow personally responsible for the horrific crime and violation committed against her rather than the rapist. This approach mistakenly blames the victim of a crime rather than its perpetrator. High profile media personalities give the impression that Muslim inspired terrorism can somehow be avoided if Islam is never criticized. Yet, nearly three thousand Americans were killed on 9-11 and no deliberate criticism of Islam preceded this unprecedented act of terrorism on American soil.

 

CNN journalist Chris Cuomo, the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and the brother of current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, recently claimed on Twitter that the “fighting words” legal exception to the First Amendment’s free speech protection applies to hate speech, such as the type of speech involved in Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest. Regarding hate speech and whether it is protected by the First Amendment, Cuomo tweeted, “It doesn’t. Hate speech is excluded from protection. Don’t just say you love the constitution…read it.” Of course, the First Amendment says no such thing prompting numerous responses to Cuomo’s tweet, such as, “I did read the First Amendment, and still can’t find the ‘hate speech’ exception to free speech. Can you point it out for us?”6 In her defense, Geller appropriately exposes the folly of so-called unprotected “hate speech.” “Some say that ‘hate speech’ should be censored. But what constitutes ‘hate speech’ is a subjective judgment that is unavoidably influenced by the political perspective of the one doing the judging.”7

 

 

Despite the fact that Chris Cuomo is both the son and brother of a New York Governor, a chief law and justice Television correspondent, and an Ivy League and law school graduate,8 he seems remarkably uninformed about current case law. The Supreme Court has ruled that hate speech is protected speech. This protection exists even for the deplorable, intentionally inflammatory, and emotionally charged activities of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, who has the audacity to protest the funerals of gay American military personnel killed in the line of duty. When “Westboro picketed Matthew Snyder’s funeral displaying signs that stated, for instance, ‘God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,’ ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers,’ and ‘Don’t Pray for the USA'” on adjacent and public land, Snyder’s father “sued Phelps and the church claiming, among other things, that their actions caused him severe emotional distress.”9 Yet, the high court overturned a lower court ruling upholding Snyder’s intentional infliction of emotional distress tort claim. As recently as 2011, in Snyder v. Phelps,10 the Supreme Court, in a lopsided 8–1 decision, ruled, “What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to ‘special protection’ under the First Amendment and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous.”11 If the bizarre and mean-spirited speech of the Westboro Baptist Church is protected by the First Amendment, should anything less be afforded to Pamela Geller and her criticism of Islam? Despite this recent and authoritative precedent, Cuomo and the other aforementioned media personalities think and act as if any speech ambiguously categorized as “hateful” is somehow outside the protection of the First Amendment. All of this to say that the gay rights movement appears to be achieving its greatest advances during a time when respect for the First Amendment has reached an all-time low among America’s elites.

 

Censorship is Already Happening in America

We need not wait for the stifling of ideas, which are inconsistent with same-sex orthodoxy, to arrive after the Supreme Court rules probably early next week. Such “book burning” is already a present reality in areas of our society where politically correctness now reigns supreme. Consider the current case involving Dr. Paul Church and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in order to illustrate how professional responsibility is being discarded in order to advance the same sex agenda:

On March 30, a major Harvard-affiliated hospital in Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), expelled a well-respected urologist from its medical staff because he voiced concerns about the unhealthy nature of homosexual behavior and objected to the hospital’s aggressive promotion of “gay pride” activities. People trust the medical profession to protect them – on both the personal and public health levels. But in recent years, a nightmare has taken hold. Now, a medical doctor is being expelled from his hospital for telling the politically-incorrect truth about a serious medical issue. What you are about to read is truly Orwellian. Dr. Paul Church has been a urologist on the BIDMC staff in Boston for nearly 30 years. He is a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty. He has done research on diagnosing prostate and bladder cancer, and has been a frequent volunteer for medical mission projects in Mexico and Africa. He has also spoken before educational and civic groups on the subject of high-risk sexual behaviors. Over a decade ago, Dr. Church became concerned about the hospital’s aggressive promotion of and involvement in LGBT activities — including Boston’s annual “Gay Pride Week” – and its emphatic push for staff participation in them. He felt compelled to speak out. Through emails to hospital officials and later posting on the hospital’s Intranet system, Dr. Church cited irrefutable medical evidence that high-risk sexual practices common to the LGBT community lead to (among other things) a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, STD’s, hepatitis, parasitic infections, anal cancers, and psychiatric disorders. Promoting such behavior, he said, is contrary to the higher mission of the healthcare facility to protect the public welfare and encourage healthy lifestyles. Dr. Church also reminded the administration that its staff and employees represent a diversity of moral and religious views, and many believe that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral. The hospital did not at any time dispute the truth of his medical statements, nor did they address his other concerns. They did not claim that Dr. Church ever discussed this with patients, or treated patients any differently if they were involved with these behaviors. Instead Dr. Church was met with increasingly harsh efforts by the hospital administration to silence and censor him. They told him that his admonitions about homosexual behavior constituted “discrimination and harassment,” were “offensive to BIDMC staff,” and could not be tolerated. In July 2011, he was called into the Chief of Surgery’s office and told he should consider resigning or else he would face an investigation. He refused to resign. So a few months later a formal “Peer Review Committee” of BIDMC staff physicians was called together to “assess” his “conduct.” He again presented them with the medical facts, which they did not dispute, but ignored. The committee instead sent him a “letter of reprimand” ordering, “You shall have no communications [in any manner, to anyone in the hospital] concerning your opinion about sexual orientation, homosexuality, or other protected status.” It was an unusual order – that a physician be banned from discussing critical medical facts relating to his expertise, that could affect the health of people the hospital serves. Dr. Church subsequently requested that the hospital not send any more promotions about LGBT activities to his email or hospital web connection. The hospital refused that request and continued sending them to him. (They rejected the idea that these communications constituted a religious-based harassment of Dr. Church, or the possibility that such a “gag order” was illegal.) As the emails and postings sent to Dr. Church by the hospital grew more frequent — as BIDMC’s LGBT activities expanded — he again voiced his concerns via a brief posted comment on one occasion in 2013 and twice in 2014. The hospital reacted with vehemence. In September 2014 a special “Investigating Committee” was assembled to investigate him. “Charges” were brought against him. But also, over the next few months the Investigating Committee and BIDMC’s president received an outpouring of letters from colleagues, ethicists, public health experts, and others supporting Dr. Church and his advocacy for healthy behaviors. But the committee was not moved by the concerns of Dr. Church or those who wrote letters on his behalf. In January 2015 the Investigating Committee submitted its findings to the hospital’s highest body and most prominent group, the 25-member Medical Executive Committee, which then met in February to decide on Dr. Church’s fate. At the meeting they allowed Dr. Church to read a statement defending himself. On March 30, 2015, the Medical Executive Committee announced its decision. Dr. Church was informed that because of his “unsolicited views about homosexuality that were offensive to BIDMC Staff,” he was being terminated from the hospital staff. Further, he was told that that his statements on the subject of homosexuality were “inconsistent with the established standards of professional conduct” and constituted a violation of the hospital’s “Discrimination and Harassment Policy.” It was beyond belief. According to the hospital’s bylaws, Dr. Church can ask for an appeal hearing, which he has done. It has been scheduled for the end of July. However, it is not a “legal” process per se, but completely run by hospital rules. Dr. Church can at least be accompanied by an attorney, which was not allowed in any of the previous hearings. Given the way the hospital has handled this so far, the odds of a successful appeal are not good. Dr. Church has essentially done what virtually no one in the pro-family establishment has been willing to do for at least a decade: unflinchingly tell the medical and moral truth about homosexual behavior. In our opinion, that failure is the main reason why we have lost so much ground in the courts, the public forum, and just about everywhere else. And this is what it’s come to. The insanity of this decision by a major hospital against a respected physician is staggering. It is one thing for the education system, big business, or even government to succumb to the lunacy of “political correctness.” But when the medical profession do so – especially such an irrational and oppressive manner – it is time for all of us to be fearful. Is this the future?12

Here, a well credentialed and respected expert is punished and prohibited from publicly sharing his scientifically derived findings with his peers since they happen to conflict with the same sex agenda. If this type of censorship is already transpiring even before the court hands down its expected ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, think how a bad situation is about to get a lot worse after the High Court creates a constitutional right favoring same sex marriage. The culture will rapidly transition even more in a politically correct direction making blatant censorship cases, such as that of Dr. Church, the norm rather than the exception.

 

In our next few posts, we will observe how these advances of the gay rights movement are fitting into the identical pattern that Christ Himself predicted would manifest upon the earth just prior to His return. We will also note what we can practically do to curb this horrific in invasion of our First Amendment rights.

 

(To Be Continued…)

 

 Endnotes


  1. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/417897/better-mayweather-pacquiao-cnns-alisyn-camerota-spars-draw-muhammad-host-pamela-geller []
  2. http://www.inquisitr.com/2070162/megyn-kelly-argues-freedom-of-speech-10000-muhammad-art-exhibit-richard-fowler-totally-wrong/ []
  3. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/05/04/donald-trump-was-asked-what-he-thought-about-the-muhammad-cartoon-event-in-texas-his-answer-isnt-what-youd-expect/ []
  4. http://pamelageller.com/2015/05/pamela-gellers-war-on-radical-islam-and-everybody-else.html/ []
  5. http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/03/cnn-host-asks-target-of-jihadist-beheading-plot-if-shes-stoking-the-flames-video/ []
  6. http://www.salon.com/2015/05/06/cnns_chris_cuomo_gets_twitter_spanked_after_boneheaded_first_amendment_gaffe/ []
  7. http://time.com/3847453/pamela-geller-a-response-to-my-critics-this-is-a-war/ []
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Cuomo []
  9. http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-snyder-v-phelps []
  10. Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. ___ (2011). See http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_09_751 []
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snyder_v._Phelps#cite_note-geidner-29 []
  12. http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/15b/DrChurch-BIDMC/index.html []

Comments

  1. davidnrobyn says:

    We’ve sown the wind. Let us reap. I’m just a bystander. I don’t care anymore. This train’s unstoppable.

Leave a reply and please keep it professional:)