A Surprising Need for Tolerance in America
This is all about tolerance. This is an unusual thing for me to write, and not just because I post so infrequently. I am going to do it by discussing something that is becoming the new “third rail” in American politics, homosexuality.
I am, unsurprisingly, a conservative. A sensible, practical, quite moderate conservative, but a conservative nonetheless. So it is, again, not surprising that I do not approve of homosexuality. The Bible is fairly clear in its condemnation of homosexual acts as sinful. Thus, I cannot approve of it.
I also tolerate it. It is not my place to judge others. The Bible is clear on that too. For all I know, any given homosexual couple could be avoiding those acts that the Bible warns against. Whatever. I would never inquire into such things, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Such things are between the person and God. I consider each individual as an individual, and that is as it should be. In addition the democracy I am a citizen of was founded, among other things, on tolerance. Even if one does not approve of another group, one tolerates it. That is an essential part of making a democracy work. There can be exceptions, of course, but this is not one of them.
That is my measured stance on the homosexuality issue. I am certain strongly conservative people as well as the overly politically correct will take issue with, well, any opinion that is not their own. Such is the lot of the moderate, even a conservative one. However, it seems that the politically correct crowd is the quite a bit more vocal one these days, as has been the case with Mr. Phil Robertson.
Phil Robertson runs a successful company making duck calls for hunters. This was apparently considered fodder for a reality television series by the cable company A&E, which produces a very popular show featuring Mr. Robertson and his family called “Duck Dynasty.” After Mr. Robertson spoke of his Christian and personal beliefs on homosexuality during an interview, A&E suspended him from production of its show, which will presumably end. That is their right as a company, just as talking about his beliefs was Mr. Robertson’s.
The problem is that this action signifies an existential conflict between the LGBT/Politically Correct community and any religion, group, or individual that does not fully approve of homosexuality. To the LGBT/PC crowd, tolerance is not enough. Acceptance is not enough. Only approval will suffice, and any lesser commitment is grounds for public condemnation and economic reprisals. That is the message of the Phil Robertson story. And that has me concerned, because it is a very big deal.
What happens when a group in a nation stops accepting tolerance, and in so doing, becomes intolerant themselves? The answer is repression, denial of human rights, denial of humanity, and taken to its ultimate form, genocide. This case is obviously not going to go anywhere near that far, but the repression of Phil Robertson by A&E at the behest of the LGBT community is also obvious. The letters of condemnation did not write themselves, and Mr. Robertson lost his job with A&E.
So, what do we do when a group in a democracy sets upon a path of intolerance? Just because this group has suffered from intolerance before is not an excuse. The striking out against others is unacceptable regardless of who it comes from. I will do what I can: I will call it out, and so I have. The PC crowd should recognize they are supporting intolerance. The LGBT groups who attacks Mr. Robertson should recognize it as well, and apologize. And A&E should give the guy his show back. Because if you want live in a free society you have to practice tolerance. Otherwise you have groups warring against each other in a battle for political power. That is a lot less pleasant, and people get hurt. Tolerance. That is the way.