The Intolerance of Tolerance
Liberals who are baffled that Evangelical Christians showed up in droves to vote for President Trump in 2016 – and, despite the present chaos of U.S. politics, will likely show up again in 2020 – need only watch last week’s Democratic LGBT Town Hall for the cure to all their puzzlement.
Indeed, they need look no further than Beto O’Rourke’s answer to host Don Lemon’s question about whether O’Rourke thinks religious institutions (“colleges, churches, charities”) should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.”
Beto didn’t hesitate. “Yes.” Which is just about all that any serious-minded Christian needed to hear. But O’Rourke twisted the knife, continuing:
There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we are going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.
Got that? If you’re a Christian or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a member of the many other religions or denominations that believe what the overwhelming majority of humans have believed about marriage, then a future President O’Rourke is coming for you. Not only is he coming for your place of worship, but he’s even coming for your charities, if those charities don’t toe the newly invented line separating the “woke” from the “deplorables”.
Mockery, Threats, and ‘Violence’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren went a somewhat different route, choosing simply to mock people who support natural marriage. Warren was asked how she would respond if someone came up to her on the campaign trail and told her, “I’m old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.” Warren got a laugh from the audience when she suggested that the objector must be a man (apparently, only a man could be so backwards). She added, “And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman — I’m cool with that….Assuming you can find one.’” (Because, again, the sorts of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who still harbor misgivings about same-sex ‘marriage’ can’t possibly hope to find a respectable mate.)
Pete Buttigieg choose a path more akin to O’Rourke’s than Warren, with a mildly veiled threat, declaring that “the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.” Naturally, by “harm” Buttigeg did not mean what most ordinary people mean by harm – that is, perpetrating real violence or serious psychological abuse against another. Instead, he was likely using the vastly expanded definition of terms such as “harm” and “violence,” which are now routinely used to describe such things as respectfully disagreeing with the newest dogma of the LGBT movement.
Viewers of the LGBT Town Hall witnessed a striking example of this redefinition of terms in action, after CNN host Nia-Malika Henderson mispronounced the name of transgender singer Shea Diamond. Diamond immediately pounced, retorting: “It’s She-ah Diamond. Put that on record. Yes, honey, it’s violence to misgender or to alter the name of a trans person, so let’s always get that right first.”
Incidentally, Diamond got his (and yes, he is a biological male) start in music, while serving a prison sentence for robbing a convenience store at gunpoint, allegedly (or so he now claims) in an effort to obtain the money to pay for his sex-change surgery. In other words, for perpetrating real violence against someone. But in 2019, the mere fact that he claims that he needed the money to surgically alter his perfectly healthy body is sufficient to ensure that all of the mainstream media ignore the irony of a person imprisoned for real violence, accusing someone else of violence merely for unintentionally mispronouncing his name.
The Left’s LGBT Litmus Test
And this barely scratches the surface of the absurdities and hysteria that took place at the town hall – absurdities that show not only just how out of touch the Democratic candidates are, but also how very, very thin the claims that they support “tolerance” really are, or ever were. Until very recently, most progressives and LGBT activists claimed that they were merely fighting for the right for themselves and others to “live and let live.” The whole fight was about “tolerance.” For their part, pro-family activists sternly warned that LGBT ideologues would never be satisfied with mere “equality” or “tolerance.” Inevitably, they would demand affirmation and enthusiastic endorsement. Those warnings are now being proved correct by Democratic politicians on the national stage. Tolerance, it turns out, is very much a one-way street.
It’s sobering to remember that it was not so very long ago that model progressives such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden were vocally opposed to same-sex “marriage.” Indeed, it was only in 2010, less than a decade ago, that Obama first declared that he was “evolving” on the issue of same-sex “marriage.”
Fast forward nine, eventful years and we are now at the point where all of the candidates of the Democratic Party are practically stumbling over themselves to outdo the others in pledging unquestioning allegiance to the entirety of the LGBT ideology (whatever that might happen to be this week). Tellingly, last weeks’ LGBT Town Hall was the second Democratic candidate event entirely dedicated to discussing LGBT issues. This is a truly remarkable thing, when you consider that LGBT people make up, at the very most, 4-5% of the American population.
In his recent book, The Madness of Crowds, journalist Douglas Murray has documented the ways in which a putative fight for equality has morphed into a grossly intolerant race to bully people into pledging fealty to an ever-evolving and ever more extreme version of “wokeness.” Murray, who is himself an openly homosexual man, notes that soon after the LGBT movement won everything they ever claimed to be aiming for, “it became clear that it wasn’t stopping.”
“Indeed,” he adds, “it was morphing. GLB (Gay, Lesbian, Bi) became LGB so as not to diminish the visibility of lesbians. Then a T got added….Then a Q and then some stars and asterisks. And as the gay alphabet grew, so something changed within the movement. It began to behave – in victory – as its opponents once did. When the boot was on the other foot something ugly happened. A decade ago, almost nobody was supportive of gay marriage. Even gay rights groups like Stonewall weren’t in favour of it. A few years down the road and it has been made into a foundational value of modern liberalism. To fail the gay marriage issue – only years after almost everybody failed it (including gay rights groups) – was to put yourself beyond the pale.”
Indeed, we are now at the point where presidential candidates are expected to gush enthusiastically after a child is introduced as a nine-year-old transgender child – as Sen. Elizabeth Warren did at last week’s event. Or to pledge to recognize a “third gender” on an ID at the federal level – as Amy Klobuchar said she would.
This past week our neighbors to the North were subjected to the absurd spectacle of a journalist for the government-funded CBC corporation shamelessly raking over the coals a Toronto librarian who dared to rent out a room to a progressive, pro-abortion feminist…who also happens to think that biological men should not be allowed into women’s bathrooms, changerooms, and other facilities. It’s overwhelmingly probable that even as little as five years ago, the journalist in question herself was not entirely comfortable with the idea of transgender ‘women’ (that is, biological men) appearing in women’s-only spaces. But so fast is the goal-post of LGBT wokeness moving, that there is scarcely any one of those who is now calling for the heads of those who oppose one or the other of the newest LGBT dogmas who would not have been condemned by their own, newly-minted standards, as little as three-to-five years ago.
The long and short of it is this: at last week’s LGBT Town Hall, the mask was torn off. Progressives have got where they are by claiming that all they wanted was “equality,” “tolerance” and “love.” We now know the truth. They want our churches, our charities, our children’s minds, and our unquestioning, enthusiastic, full-throated endorsement of every dot and tittle of what they tell us today (and it will change tomorrow) is the “tolerant” thing to believe and do. If we don’t take them at their words, shame on us.