Yet another article about how intolerance is okay, even laudable, but intolerance of intolerance is a crime against humanity.
Yes, it’s another newspaper commentary about how bigotry against gays – unlike racism and anti-Semitism – is just another legitimate point of view, and anybody who stands up to bigots is the true bigot.
Oh where to begin.
This time, the victim of the gays is one Margie Christoffersen, until recently the hostess at El Coyote Mexican Cafe, a popular gay hangout in Los Angeles.
You see, poor Margie loves the gays. But now no one likes her because all she did was take the political step of donating $100 in an effort to rip away the marriages of 20,000 of her potential customers, and deny the right to marry to the rest of them, just as Margie’s intellectual forefathers did to black and white couples from the 1960s back to slavery. And to think, those horrible gay people, who have now lost their civil rights thanks to Margie, whose children have been thrown into legal limbo as a result of her bigoted political activism, yes, those uppity gay people consider their marriages more important than Margie’s right to serve a taco.
Oh, the barbarians.
It doesn’t matter if Margie’s political activism was motivated by her religion. Her activism was bigoted. The Baptist church’s use of the Bible to justify slavery was bigoted. The use of religion to hold women back for centuries (millenia) was bigoted. It doesn’t matter if your discriminatory views are religiously-based, that doesn’t exonerate them from being wrong, it doesn’t prove that they’re not bigoted, and it doesn’t mean you can’t be held be held responsible for your own public political actions.
‘God made me do it’ is the latest ‘dog ate my homework’ in bigot circles. Yeah, well God made me write this post.
If God is the ultimate trump card, and we’re not permitted to criticize, or fight back, against those who wield God against us, then it was wrong for us, per the Catholic bishops, to vote for Obama or any Democrat who’s pro-choice. It was wrong for us, per Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, to do anything pro-gay, pro-woman, or to support to the ACLU. Hell, it was wrong for the overwhelming majority of the country to chastise Falwell and Robertson for saying that gays and feminists and the ACLU caused 9/11. It was just his religious opinion, after all, and I thought that was sacrosanct?
Spoiler warning: It’s time to talk about the Nazis.
And let’s have a word about the Nazis. Oh, everyone hates invoking the Nazis, because somehow remembering the sins of the past belittles those crimes (yes, better to forget them, apparently). But if the Nazis were religiously motivated, would that make what they did okay? Or at the very least, would it make us wrong to seek retribution against them? Of course everyone says “no, it was WRONG what the Nazis did, and of course we should have punished them afterwards.” Really, why? If you believe that someone should not be punished for their religious views, then why would you punish Nazis who exterminated Jews because they believed their religion demanded it – at least those Nazis who truly believed it was their calling from God to kill millions?
In fact, we all believe that some things go too far, and that even religion can’t justify everything. But we conveniently forget such rules of civility and humanity, forget that even religion isn’t always a ‘get out of moral condemnation free’ card, when gays and lesbians are the victims.
No one would dare suggest that religious-based racism or anti-Semitism is admirable, principled, or even tolerable. No one would be surprised if a Baptist hostess at a mostly-black-clientele restaurant were ostracized for her support of miscegenation laws. No one would question it if Jewish customers refused to visit a deli where the Christian hostess donated $100 to David Duke’s run for the Senate back in the 90s. But when gays are the target, when gays fight back, somehow the old rules no longer apply. Prejudice becomes virtue and the victim becomes the oppressor.
Then again, my Bible says something about “an eye for an eye.” So maybe Margie can simply offer us one of her eyes – in the name of religious tolerance, of course. Then we’ll just call it even.