Monday, July 30, 2012

The Intolerance of Tolerance

Though I hold a number of political views that could be described as liberal, my position concerning gay marriage is not one of them.  However, before this progresses, this post is not about gay marriage. If you are interested in reading my thoughts about that topic, that has been addressed in a separate post. This particular article deals with the contrary nature of liberals.  It just happens that the latest manifestation of their hypocrisy pertains to gay marriage.

A fire storm erupted after Chick-fil-a President, Dan Cathy publicly discussed his views on the issue of gay marriage.  He had this to say pertaining to the subject:  "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage."  The reaction to comments made on a local Atlanta radio show made headlines across the United States.

My first thought when I read the article was to question why his comments even warranted a news story.  Were people that genuinely shocked that a company founded and operated by a conservative Christian family didn't support gay marriage?   The backlash against Chick-fil-a was nearly immediate.

The Jim Henson Co., which provided Muppets toys for children's meals at Chick-fil-a, ended the business partnership over Cathy's comments.  And any business has the right to take action as they see fit, but that strikes me as odd.  But doesn't that have an intolerant ring to it?  I wonder if the Muppets toys are manufactured in substandard working conditions by underpaid employees, of whom some may be children.

The stranger irony of intolerance came from Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, who wrote an open letter addressing Cathy's comments and encouraged Chick-fil-a to abandon their search for a location in the city of Boston.  What better way to show tolerance than to say "you're not wanted" ?  I'm shocked by the hypocrisy of the mayor.

Would Menino dare write a letter to Jews or Muslims saying they were not welcome in the city because they did not support his religious views?   Would the mayor also discourage other businesses from the city when they did not match his political beliefs?  I'm quite certain the liberal Menino won't attempt to chase away the conservative businesses who pay millions in corporate taxes annually.

Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel also took a strong position against the chicken vendor, noting, "Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values."  I find it bizarre that Emanuel finds himself in a position to speak for the nearly three million residents of citizens of his city and their values.  I also can't ascertain how Emanuel arrived at the conclusion that Chick-fil-a is not respectful to people.

Both Menino and Emanuel have exhibited fantastic examples of how intolerant they can be.  No one forces them to agree with the social beliefs of Dan Cathy or any other American.  But to show such contempt for Chick-fil-a over such trivial comments is nothing short of hypocrisy.  Both men are ardent Democrats, a political party made up predominantly of liberals who hang their hat on the idea of tolerance.

The issue of intolerance is deeper than the Chick-fil-a drama, though.  Travel back to April of this year, when a conservative pastor, Doug Wilson, was invited to speak at Indiana University on the issue of sexuality and its Biblical implications.  Wilson's speech received a great deal of animosity even before it began.  Dozens of students had to be escorted out of the auditorium before the event because of their boisterous opposition to Wilson's on-campus event.  Feel free to examine the video of the actions of such high-minded, tolerant liberals:

I'm amazed at the intolerance of those who claim to be tolerant.  Apparently, the notion of free speech was lost upon liberal students at Indiana University. 

Incidentally, liberals have neglected to heed the words of British philosopher John Stuart Mill, who stated in his work, On Liberty, "... to refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty.  All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility."   Mill continued, writing, "... there ought to exist the fullest liberty of professing and discussing, as a matter of ethical conviction, any doctrine, however immoral it may be considered."

The standard of intolerance has also been an issue with Dan Savage, a nationally syndicated columnist on sex advice.  Savage is an outspoken supporter of gay rights who has blasted those who oppose his views.  However, he has adopted a radical way of expressing his disapproval.

In 2003, Savage was angered over then Senator Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) comparison of homosexuality to incest in comments about human sexuality.  Savage's response was to generate a campaign to 'redefine' Santorum's name to the point where a Google search of the senator's name would yield results pertaining to anal sex.  Savage used a similar tactic when protesting pastor Rick Warren's support of Proposition 8 (a ban on gay marriage) in California.

Why is it that the people who seek tolerance the most are the least willing to give it?  Regardless of what people believe about Chick-fil-a, mayors, Dan Savage, or gay marriage, the open forum of ideas is being stifled by liberals who attempt to cajole, ridicule, or demonize others who don't agree with their views.  This is the intolerance of tolerance -- where liberals have regressed into that which they claim to despise.

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