Those Who Preach Tolerance Are Actually Most Intolerant
- 23 November 2008 by Author 0 Comments
Those Who Preach Tolerance Are Actually Most Intolerant
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 11/23/08
I always marvel, though I shouldn’t be surprised, when those who claim to be most tolerant and open-minded, end up being the most intolerant and bigoted of all. Yet this is exactly what we have witnessed with the passage of Proposition 8 in California which amended the California Constitution to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Radical activists opposed to Prop 8 have collectively proven their own bigotry and intolerance by destructive, vindictive, and retributive retaliation against individuals, businesses, and churches that stood up for traditional marriage. They have vandalized LDS temples, invaded evangelical churches, and assaulted praying Christians in San Francisco’s Castro District. Ponder for a moment the duplicity and hypocrisy here.
I cannot believe that these people are themselves homosexual, as I have never known one to have such violent and bigoted dispositions. Rather, these are the zealots who have taken up the cause in their behalf.
There are some, even one writing for this paper, who seem to think that religious groups have no right to be involved in fundamentally moral causes in the political arena. I am grateful for the Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, LDS, and other religious organizations, and their church leaders, who had a backbone and determination behind their convictions to take a stand in defense of traditional marriage, in spite of the hate, bigotry, and discrimination perpetrated against them by those claiming to be so tolerant. There are many organizations who seek destruction of the institutions and values which made America great. Are we to assume that there should be no groups who should stand in opposition to them?
Consider as well how ludicrous the notion is that these religious groups should lose their tax-free status for standing up for what they deemed a crucial moral issue for society. Were the groups organized to fight Prop 8 non-profit? Should they be taxed because they engaged in the public debate on a socio-political issue albeit on the opposing side? The duplicity only compounds itself.
I found the language of the opponents to Prop 8 to be as warped as their sense of propriety. Those who supported the proposition were reaffirming the critical holistic definition of marriage. To them, Prop 8 was a positive reaffirmation of the traditional institution of marriage. But to the opponents, they were “hate-filled,” “bigoted,” “angry,” and “intolerant.” The only hate-filled, bigoted, angry, and intolerant propaganda I saw in media or the internet was coming from the opponents.
Marriage is a bedrock institution upon which all others build for a foundation. Marriage is about the potential for a mother and a father to procreate, to love and to nurture a new generation within a family unit and providing optimum environments for their rearing. Because good and strong marriages are recognized as the foundation of a strong nation, marriage is accorded some rights and responsibilities to further strengthen families. Thus the predicate for the benefits of traditional marriage is not “civil rights” or even romantic love, but shared responsibilities for nurturing a new generation and perpetuating a nation. By definition, homosexual coupling cannot procreate and does not provide a father and mother. Thus gay marriage seeks to change the predicate for marriage.
It’s also not about “civil rights.” Ask any of the 70% of blacks in California who voted for Prop 8 if they see a difference between the demand of rights for the homosexuals and minority civil rights. There’s a crucial difference. Minorities didn’t have a chance to choose their skin color, but homosexuals do choose to follow their inclinations toward homosexuality. Regardless of whether there is a chemical or DNA component that inclines one to believe he was born a certain way, one ultimately makes a choice to follow that inclination. Minorities in their quest for civil rights had no such decision. The 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v Virginia did not redefine marriage, it simply removed the racial discrimination component practiced in some states.
Reaffirming marriage as the union of a man and a woman does not deny homosexuals the basic civil rights accorded other citizens. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights or in any legislation that I know of are homosexuals excluded from the rights enjoyed by all citizens–including the right to marry. However, no citizen has the unrestricted right to marry whomever they want. A person cannot marry a child, a close blood relative, two or more spouses, or the husband or wife of another person. Such restrictions are based upon the accumulated wisdom of Western civilization and societies and cultures around the world for millennia.
Robert P. George, the brilliant law professor at Princeton University, has written, “The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals, and to advance the general welfare.” He asserts “that acceptance of the idea that two persons of the same sex could actually be married to each other would make nonsense of key features of marriage and would necessarily require abandoning any ground of principle for supposing that marriage is the union of only two persons, as opposed to three or more.”
He then advances perhaps the most significant detriment to redefining marriage: “The acceptance of same sex marriage would result in a massive undermining of religious liberty and family autonomy as supporters of same-sex marriage would, in the name of equality, demand the use of governmental power to whip others into line. The experience of Massachusetts as well as foreign jurisdictions is that once marriage is compromised or formally redefined, principles of nondiscrimination are quickly used as cudgels against religious communities and families who wish to uphold true marriage by precept and example.”
Efforts to redefine marriage are not based legally or even logically on civil rights or discrimination, but a militant effort to force acceptance of a certain life-style by intolerant and bigoted extremists who now seek retribution against people of faith and principle.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.