Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Tolerance"--You Keep Using that Word...

Back in 2008, a week after the election that included Proposition 8 in California, I wrote a response to a post on an online group; it was a political offshoot of a rather large homeschool group, so that inflammatory conversations would not show up where people are just looking for homeschool information. 

The post I responded to was saying we should mark the anniversary of Matthew Shepherd’s death, and if someone wants to do that, I don’t have a problem. I do have a problem with insisting homosexuals exemplify our collective guilt alongside “slavery, women voting, separation of races”; “We simply must stop wasting our energy trying to legislate people out of existence.” Really? We have ever legislated anyone out of existence, and homosexuals are included in this apparently vast group?   

He added, “As long as the majority of the citizens of this country are willing to legislate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people there will be people that will take it upon themselves to feel it is their duty to harm these people physically.” Really? Protecting the institution of marriage, which is the basic unit of civilization, causes people to go out and beat up homosexuals? This person not only doesn’t understand evidence, he doesn’t care about it.  

“Dennis,” who always signed his posts with “peace,” did respond to my post, point-by-point accusing me of being a bigoted, uninformed homophobe, simply because I hold the opposite view of his, which he defines as good—but without actually responding to the data with any evidence of his own. That is what we face. So my response isn’t to him; it is to give words to those who know somehow his accusations are wrong but don’t have the data and words to defend themselves. (The political group eventually became unused and irrelevant, but Dennis continued on the regular homeschool group until a few months back, when he started a flame war that was so offensive to so many that he was removed from the group—all the while signing “peace.”)


November 13, 2008
Linda Nuttall

You are assuming, Dennis, that homosexuals are “a people” in the same sense that races are “a people,” a group that is alike because of innate qualities. But there is a huge difference between genetics determining the level of melanin in the skin and the choice to act on various urges. The law is equal toward homosexuals: they can marry someone of the opposite sex, who is not a close relative, who is not already married to another, who is old enough to consent to the contract, who is a human being—the same requirements for marriage that are required of heterosexuals. What they want is a special privilege just for them. They want a new definition of marriage—honor for being in a temporary non-exclusive sexual relationship that cannot produce offspring and offers no benefit to society. Traditional marriage is defined as a permanent contract between a man and a woman requiring exclusivity and faithfulness, designed to protect any offspring by guaranteeing the child will be raised by his/her two parents of separate sexes—clearly a benefit to society. Even when it doesn’t always work out, encouraging it is society’s duty. There must be a preponderance of success to avoid societal decay. 

Marriage pre-dates every state; the state didn’t invent marriage, and therefore cannot simply un-invent or re-invent it into something else. The state can only decide under which conditions to grant a license showing how and when the state will honor the bond. What “same-sex marriage” does is eliminate respect for traditional marriage; it encourages honor for a behavior that deserves no honor, and in essence prevents society from honoring what is in society’s best interest.  

Everywhere “same-sex marriage” has been enforced, it has seriously increased the incidence of out-of-wedlock childbirth and then child abandonment in society as a whole, because it separates the connection between marriage and a commitment to children. Everywhere it has been enforced, people with religious beliefs that disagree have been persecuted and prosecuted for their beliefs. Everywhere it has been enforced, parents have been deprived of the right to decide when and how homosexual relationships will be taught to their children. 

This week the people who claim to be asking for “tolerance” demonstrated their refusal to give it. Yesterday Scott Eckern lost his post as Artistic Director of the California Music Theater, driven out after 25 years, because he voted “Yes” on Proposition 8 (along with more than half of California voters) and gave a $1000 donation to support that cause. According to the Sacramento Bee, “when Tony Award-winner Marc Shaiman, the composer of ‘Hairspray,’ read of Eckern’s donation last week, he urged artists and theater workers across the country to boycott the theater.” He wrote “that he wouldn’t allow his work to be done at California Musical Theater, and theater workers across the country have followed his lead… 

“Susan Egan, star of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and ‘Cabaret,’ followed with a similar email. Theater professionals flooded CMT’s offices over the weekend with phone calls and emails decrying Eckern’s actions.” What was his action that was so egregious that he should be driven from his profession? Supporting an idea these “tolerance”-seekers disagreed with. 

There was an unauthorized demonstration against a Latter-day Saint temple in Los Angeles two days after the vote last week, requiring LAPD, along with SWAT teams, to protect private property, just because it was owned by a religion that strongly supports traditional marriage—along with the majority of voters, and a wide coalition of churches and demographic groups. The Church has always made it clear that it is important to love and support homosexuals and never attack or hate; but it is also a right and responsibility to stand up for traditional marriage, which is the basic unit of civilization. These beliefs are not tolerated by opponents, who ironically shriek obscenities at their opponents while saying they are only asking for tolerance. 

It might interest you to know that homosexual-on-homosexual violence is so prevalent that a majority of homosexuals experience it, and yet almost nothing is being done to prevent it. Heterosexual-on-homosexual violence as a hate crime (because of prejudice) is so rare that barely a handful of cases can be found annually, and they are prosecuted as they should be. 

If the sacrifice you’re asking from heterosexuals is to re-create the world so we have to raise our children without an understanding of the importance of sexual purity before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage, and have the laws of the country denounce what we would like to teach them—if that is the sacrifice you are asking us to make, I’m not willing.  

At some point it would be nice if the people asking us for tolerance would be willing to experiment: total purity before marriage and complete fidelity after. They’ve been unable and unwilling to do it anywhere they’ve had the opportunity. Doesn’t look to me like they’re willing to make even a small sacrifice of personal self-control. 

You’re asking us to allow a religious belief—that sex outside of a committed marriage, and particularly unnatural sexual behaviors that cannot produce offspring, should be honored as God-approved—you’re asking that this religious belief be forced down our throats, against our will. It is no wonder that people who value marriage and family have stood up in heavy majorities in 30 states to pass state constitutional amendments, and to pass legislation defining marriage in an additional 14 states, to prevent activist judges from forcing this religious belief upon us. 

I recognize that people disagree on the issue. But I am willing to allow the majority to be allowed to say what they believe in a free society, rather than have it forced on them by unelected judges.

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