Posts Tagged ‘Tolerance’


24 Hour News Cycle to Blame for Fringe Radicals Getting National Spotlight


It’s quite a stunning statement about the state of the American press when the activities and fringe interests of the very few — we’re talking fewer people than you’ll find cars in your average supermarket parking lot — gain such natural interest as to make the military leader of our forces in Afghanistan personally state his disapproval of said activity.

Take a look at this diagram I found courtesy of Andrew Sullivan:


Image via Mark Shea:

It’s easy as pie to generalize to millions of people the crimes of a few. We Catholics have had it done to us. And we can have it done to us again. So we should be bloody cautious about insane schemes to do it to 18 million fellow citizens.

The grotesque excuse “But the the first amendment is dead, and Islam killed it. There is no ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘freedom of religion’ with the threat of Muslim violence hanging over your head” is rubbish. Cancelling the rights of 307 million people because you are, by your own admission, afraid is neither patriotism, nor courage, nor Christian fortitude. It is cowardice. And it is extra-special cowardice when you are ready to cancel your most precious national heritage because you are afraid of a speck.

I couldn’t say this any better myself even if I tried.

Some could argue that it is newsworthy — sure, burning the Quran will get you noticed.  But, this is the kind of thing for Hard Copy (if it were still around) or the local Gainesville six o’clock news.  It went from a blip on the radar – where it should’ve remained – to garnishing worldwide attention because our 24-hour news cycle needs to fill their shows with content, regardless of how newsworthy the item may be.

And if it’s not quite newsworthy enough, well, rest assured that the weeks and weeks of talking heads commenting on the rightness or wrongness of Rev. Terry Jones and his Quran-burning plans will make it so.  (Note that they must include the rightness AND wrongness because they mistake their role of reporting the truth with being balanced on every topic, no matter how lunatic.)

And to what end?

All that’s happened is that these radicals have been legitimized.  Now Rev. Jones is planning to go to New York City to talk to Imam Rauf regarding the “Ground Zero” mosque.  Since when does a Gainesville reverend with a congregation of 50 followers have any authority whatsoever to involve himself in the building plans in a neighborhood 1,000 miles away from where he calls home?

Oh right.  Because he was on the news TV.


Overturning Prop 8: A Plea for Love and Tolerance


California’s Proposition 8 should never have even been a ballot upon which people could vote.  Ideally the majority of Americans would realize that discrimination should be eradicated wherever it rears its ugly head, but come on;  this is the same country where Rush Limbaugh is the figurehead of a political party.  The same country that didn’t allow blacks or women the right to vote less than 90 years ago.  Do you think women would’ve won the right to vote if it had been put to a majority vote?  Give me a break.  They didn’t win that right until the courts stepped in.

And that’s what will have to happen for gays to have the right to marry.

But this is about more than just being able to call each other legal spouses.  This about fairness and equality.  Call it what you want: partnership, civil union, marriage.  The end game is that someone’s love of his life can be with him on his deathbed without the hospitals stepping in and saying that only “family” is allowed.  So that a woman’s female partner can be included on her insurance policy.  That a child can still be with her parent after her gay father dies.

I really don’t understand how people can reconcile the bigotry that they’re supporting with their own beliefs that they’re being ethical and righteous.  It’s a sad state of affairs and showcases the need for a much smaller influence of religion in secular decision making.  Some religions may state that homosexuality is a sin.  But some also say that eating pork is, too, and you don’t see us outlawing bacon.  Others say that it’s customary to cut hands off thieves.  You don’t see us doing that, either.

If you live in California, please support the overturning of Proposition 8 on Thursday, March 5th.  If you can’t be there (like myself), do your part and spread the word of tolerance and love.  Life is too short to be denying people the right to be happy.  Let’s put aside 2000 year old doctrine and follow the real teachings of do unto others.   I’m holding out hope.


Utah Actually Surprises Me


Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman might actually be onto something… well, something that the rest of us have known about for quite some time but he’s just now finally admitting it.

Q: Why do you think winning back the intelligentsia matters?

A: I think we’ve drifted a little bit from intellectual honesty in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, for example, where they would use rigorous science to back up many of their policies, and in this case many of their environmental policies. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. We declared the war on cancer.

A lot of intellectual rigor went into the policies of those days, and we’ve drifted a little bit from taking seriously the importance of science to buttress much of what we’re doing today.

No way.  Science and intellect are important in policy making??  Shocking.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Especially considering this is coming from a state whose policies pretty much urinate on intelligence, equality, and tolerance.