Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The intolerance of tolerance

The America in which we live seems to descend deeper and deeper in the abyss of intolerance -- much of it in the name of tolerance! During today's "Appreciation Day" for the restaurant chain, there has been a Chick-fil-A bomb threat

Our country was founded on freedom of speech -- religious, moral, political. This tolerated (put up with) all speech by allowing it to be put forward by those who supported it and then allowing it to be contradicted by those who did not. Now, rather than exercising the right to freely speak against what someone has freely spoken for, those who think all messages should be tolerated (not spoken against) want to shout down any speech they can't tolerate. Or in this case, blow it up.


Unknown said...

Robert, it is unfair to take a few extremists as typical of the majority pro-gay/anti-Chik-Fil-A proponents, just as it would be unfair to take extremist pro-Chik-Fil-A proponents as typical. There have, in fact, been numerous articles in "liberal"/mainstream media criticizing positions such as the one taken by Boston's mayor.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Will, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate getting your perspective. I have no intention of saying this is typical of all, but rather that it is all too common.

I am not sure what the majority of "pro-gay/anti-Chik-Fil-A proponents" are saying. In fact, I'm not exactly sure who you mean by "anti-Chick-Fil-A proponents." Do you mean those who support homosexual marriage and are opposed to the statements made by Dan Cathy? I don't doubt that some who disagree with Cathy's sentiments support his right to speak them. On the hand, I am not aware of any high profile person who supports homosexual marriage who has done so. Perhaps this is a fault of the reporting, or my reading.

There are people like the mayors of Boston and Chicago who say to those who oppose homosexual marriage that we don't want "your kind" here. These people routinely, in the name tolerance, do not tolerate the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney's words to Dan Cathy are a good example: "take a hike and take your intolerance with you." I don't think a few extremists are typical of all who support homosexual marriages. I do think there are far too many whose attitudes are close to Rahm Emanuel, Thomas Menino, Jim Kenney, Christine Quinn and others who would go so far, it appears, if they had the power, to ban businesses who don't toe a particular line. These folks have the rights to their beliefs, too. But when they are willing as elected officials to wield these beliefs as a club against those who disagree, when have reached a scary sector. So far as I know, no one has given any evidence that Dan Cathy or Chick-Fil-A refuses to hire or provide service to homosexuals. No, as far I know, he expressed his personal beliefs about marriage when asked. Are there extremists on the far right who want to shout down any speech they can't tolerate? Of course.

As for me, I frequent establishments for the product they sell, food they serve, etc. and don't look into their politics or charities they support. One of my favorites here is run by a couple of "ex-hippies" whose politics most likely are diametrically opposed to mine (just assuming; I won't be looking into it). But I like what they serve and the service they provide. I won't be bailing on them even if I find out they support the Green Party, Prohibition Party, United States Marijuana Party or something else! If their products and/or their service goes south, I might be looking for a new establishment.

I hope this is helpful. It is much more than I intended to write on the subject.