Religious right fights homosexual tolerance (April 20, 2006) Tags: Religious Right, Intolerance, Fundamentalism, Gay rights, Georgia Institute of Technology
What a crossfire today Jesus would find himself in today if he tried to stop the right righteous from stoning to death a sinner. On one side Jesus would have to face those who feel they have been set free by Jesus to condemn the world and to exalt themselves as God 's chosen agents on earth. On the other side, Jesus would catch the unfriendly fire from those casting stones at the stone casters for casting stones. While all the time most of the goody two-shoes would sit quietly near by, not getting involved for fear of soiling their Sunday best.
So it feels, watching the cultural wars. The latest episode has a Christian suing Georgia Tech for not being tolerant of her right as a Christian to be intolerant. What a mockery of Jesus it is to use professed beliefs in him as the basis for intolerance. Ruth Malhotra says that it is unacceptable that Tech bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation. The Tech senior is part of a growing movement to eliminate all policies of tolerances from public schools, state colleges and private workplaces. They want to eradicate all harassment and tolerance policies as well as wipe out any diversity training that includes tolerance of gays and lesbians. On college campuses they want to be allowed to use harsh words and language and to be able to form college-sponsored clubs that are not open to all.
The Rev. Rick Scarborough, who brought us the conference on the "War on Christians, " called the crusade to eliminate all tolerance for gays and lesbians as the modern struggle for civil rights for Christians. ''Christians,'' he said, ''are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian.'' Apparently to Scarborough this means that to be Christian means having the right to force their intolerance on all of us.
Furthermore, if you oppose their intolerance and casting of Bibles then you are as equally as intolerant as they are, or so they loudly claim. Indeed, they have a cadre of lawyers such as the Christian Legal Society, made up of lawyers and judges, and nonprofit law firms that are paid by groups such as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ. Their argument is simple: any policy that intends to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination discriminates against conservative Christians.
If the religious right wants to argue that their religion requires them to condemn and discriminate, that 's perfectly suitable in accordance with the freedom of speech that we liberals were thoughtful enough to incorporate in the constitution that we wrote. Wolves in sheep 's clothes can 't help but howl. If the religious right doesn 't have anything better to do with its time than to claim that its being discriminated against for not being able to discriminate then let their actions lend credence to the claims that they are not at all about the business of Jesus but are simply ravenous wolves hungry for power. They are akin to those in the story who cast stones claiming that Jesus was condemning and judgmental in stopping them from stoning.
On the other hand, casting stones at the stone casters is not the answer. War is not the answer to war. Hate does not overcome hate. Peace can be the only way to peace. Our means must justify the end and we therefore need to start with love if we want love as a result.
I don 't have the right to language that incites violence and hatred. I don 't have the right to go into a public school wearing a T-shirt that reads "Republicans are shameful Perverts. " I don 't have the right to preach hatred of conservative Christians. I do have a right to disagree with their positions but I do not have the right to incite hatred or threaten violence against them. If conservative Christians want to claim a right to hate and discriminate, that is their right, which they have frequently and actively asserted. After all, they have used the same reasoning to oppose integration, suffrage and the abolition of slavery.