Tolerance Can Be So Intolerable

CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on issues of the day…

Anyone who regularly reads my columns should know by now that whenever you hear the word tolerance you should flee for your tolerancelife, or at least proceed with great caution. That is because most of the folks screaming about tolerance don’t believe in the concept at all.

They don’t want your tolerance, they want your complete subservience and acquiescence to their demands. You will accept them and their agenda, bow down to them, and never resist them – or else. There is nothing tolerant about these folks, and they delight in using the heavy hand of the law to force you to submit.

The homosexual activists are of course the world leaders in all this. They are experts in rambling on about tolerance while showing not one iota of tolerance to anyone who dares to disagree with their radical agenda. The terms ‘gaystapo’ or ‘pink mafia’ were not coined without reason after all.

On a daily basis the storm troopers of the tolerance brigade are doing their best to destroy freedom and democracy and turn the entire Western world into one big pink dictatorship. As long as they keep unleashing their reign of terror, I will keep on reporting on this, until they manage to shut CultureWatch down and see me silenced forever.

One case which I have already written about continues to bubble along, so is worth revisiting. I refer of course to American baker Jack Phillips. The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado is the new object of hate and derision by the tolerance brigade because he dared to stand true to his conscience rather than be coerced by the militants.

While an activist judge has thrown the book at him, many folks are coming to his side, rightly seeing this as a very important case of religious liberty. It seems he may well go out of business because of his stance, but many locals are rallying to his aid.

One news report describes the situation so far: “On Friday, hundreds of supporters flooded the small Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood in support of the store’s owner, Jack Phillips. Phillips made national news in 2012 when he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, claiming it violated his Christian beliefs. The couple sued him, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint on their behalf.

“Last week, administrative law judge Robert Spencer made a ruling on the case. He said Phillips would have to sell gay couples wedding cakes or risk facing penalties and fines. On Friday, Phillips’ supporters fired back by supporting his business and making donations.

“Supporter Sharon Taylor says she and her friends have purchased cakes from Phillips for years. She wanted to show her support because she says Americans should have the right to stand by their religious beliefs. ‘When we heard that [Peter Boyles] was on the radio today supporting him, we knew we had to come out,’ she said. ‘There are a lot of us out here who believe that our freedoms are slowly being taken away and that we need to stand up and protect them when we can.’

“Other supporters were first time customers. ‘I’ve never been here before. I came today because of this cause. This guy has rights; he has freedoms; he’s allowed to do what he wants to do as long as it doesn’t hurt other people,’ Rich Wyatt said. ‘America’s in a difficult position right now, and we’re losing rights every day that we can’t afford to lose. I’m proud to see Americans coming out today and supporting this guy’s rights to make a cake for whoever he wants to make a cake, or not’.”

The case of course has become a hotly debated national news item, without various heavyweights from all sides coming out on this one. Dennis Prager offers some more background to the case and to the cake shop owner: “Though same-sex marriage is not allowed in Colorado — the Colorado Constitution states that ‘Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state’ — the two men had been married in Massachusetts.

“As acknowledged by all parties, Phillips told the men, ‘I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.’ Jack Phillips is an evangelical Christian, and his religion does not allow him to participate in same-sex marriages or celebrations of same-sex marriages.

“In other words, Phillips made it clear from the outset that he does not discriminate based on the sexual orientation of a prospective customer. He will knowingly sell his products to any gay person who wishes to purchase his baked goods. Nevertheless, Craig and Mullins went to the ACLU, which then sued Phillips.”

He notes how the judge’s ruling forces Phillips to either make the cake for the homosexuals or face fines, if not jail time. After looking at some of the ruling, Prager responds as follows:

“Here’s why that objection is irrelevant:
1. No religion practiced in America — indeed, no world religion — has ever banned interracial marriage. That some American Christians opposed interracial marriage is of no consequence. No one assumes that every position held by any member of a religion means that the religion holds that position.

“2. If opposition to same-sex marriage is not a legitimately held religious conviction, there is no such thing as a legitimately held religious position. Unlike opposition to interracial marriage, opposition to same-sex marriage has been the position of every religion in recorded history — as well as of every country and every American state until the 21st century.

“3. The Colorado baker made it clear to the gay couple — as acknowledged by the court — that he would be happy to bake and sell cakes to these gay men any other time they wanted. Therefore, he is not discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. He readily sells to people he knows to be gay. What he is unwilling to do is to participate in an event that he opposes for legitimate religious reasons. Until, at the most, 10 years ago, no one would have imagined that a person could be forced to provide goods or services for a same-sex wedding.

“4. If a baker refused on religious grounds to provide the wedding cake for a polygamous wedding, should the state force him to do so? If a baker refused to provide a cake to a heterosexual couple that was celebrating living together without getting married, should the state force him to?”

Good points indeed. Prager concludes this way: “Some years ago, Jonah Goldberg wrote a bestseller titled Liberal Fascism. If you think that title is an exaggeration, read the book. Or just watch what liberals are doing to those who oppose same-sex marriage. In the name of tolerance, the left is eroding liberty in America.”

You can say that again.

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