Monday, February 17, 2020

The intolerance of the tolerant. . .

A while ago I read the story of students from the Roman Catholic school who were to see a production of The Nutcracker until, just before the performance, it was discovered that the parents of Clara were portrayed as a same sex couple.  They elected to forego the production even though the tickets were paid for and everyone was disappointed.  They did so in view of their church's teaching and because to the children, at least, this would be viewed as affirmation of something clearly contrary to their church's teaching.  So not to offend or confuse, they left.

In the end, as the story goes, they did offend.  They offended those who thought they should have attended. They were vilified as homophobes and attacked for their decision.  It was a typical example of the intolerance of the tolerant.  It goes to the heart of what liberalism is and is not.  It is not liberal but restrictive and does not allow for disagreement.  Predictably, they were accused of homophobia.  They did not picket the production or make a public statement but quietly, after consultation, went back home.  This is in stark contrast to the in your face kinds of parades and demonstrations by scantily clad GLBTQ+ folks in pursuit not of equality or toleration but dominance.  The decision of the production crew to cast Clara's parents as a same sex married couple was lauded by those who wish to rewrite everything in history to make prominent what was hidden but it also represents the desire to control history and, indeed, to control what people think.  It was not an artistic decision but a political one on the part of the ballet.

The insistence that discrimination based on gender or sexuality not be tolerated is increasingly a decision to do just that -- to discriminate but on behalf of certain genders and sexuality and against those who believe otherwise.  This is hardly a repressed minority.  The GLBTQ+ community has unfettered access to the media, to the arts, to music, and to politics.  They have little to fear in secular society and now they insist the religious in society must also toe the line when it comes to their agenda.  And it is time that such religious schools stop trying to use the jargon while preserving their exception and openly admit that we do, indeed, discriminate -- just like the GLBTQ+ community does -- on behalf of our beliefs.  Furthermore, it is time to test the mettle through the courts once and for all to determine if we actually do have freedom of speech and freedom of religion or whether these rights can be abridged by certain restrictions and requirements of civil law.

Let me be clear.  I am not in favor of taking any rights away from the GLBTQ+ community and they should not be in favor of taking any rights away from me.  That, my friends, was once what tolerance meant before it has come to mean affirmation and unfettered support that refuses to allow any competing voices who do not agree.


Carl Vehse said...

"I am not in favor of taking any rights away from the GLBTQ+ community and they should not be in favor of taking any rights away from me."

Such a equivocal statement should be clarified as to what is meant by not only the use of "community," but also by the two uses of the word "rights."

Anonymous said...

You are right that the LGBT agenda is intolerant.

On the other hand....

I was 19 when the AIDS crisis hit and just finally coming to terms that I was gay. Even though I had chosen celibacy, it hurt....a see Christians almost rejoicing in the death of young gay men. I had a gay friend I grew up with who had multiple routes home from school to try and avoid the gang of boys intent on beating him up. Yet, not only did the adults then fail to protect him, I still hear LCMS pastors complain that "anti-bullying efforts promote the gay agenda." LCMS pastors are still jumping on the bandwagon that gay men molest kids (both Mr Vieth of Cranach and Mr Wilkin of Issues etc have blamed celibate gay priests for the sexual crisis of the Catholic church) And our synod still has nothing practical about how to minister to gay/transgender members who, in spite of their innate desires, strive to follow God's word on sexuality and gender. There is not one single word about overcoming suicide among LGBT kids even though suicidality is far higher among them than among straight kids. It even has very little application of forgiveness - barely enough to qualify as Gospel.

So I don't think the church has a lot going for it when it cries "intolerance" about the behavior of the other side.

Is it wrong for LGBT activists to be intolerant? Yes. But we are not exactly offering much of an option are we?

Anonymous said...

To add to what I just posted, you have to understand what marriage meant to the gay community. It was not just a matter of legal standing. It represented a sign that society was accepting them as people. It represented hope that kids like they had been would not have to be afraid day after day to go to school. It represented that the US was interested in reducing the feelings of depression and suicide that were almost daily life for many. It represented a world in which kids did not fear their families would throw them out onto the streets. It represented a world in which they would not hear pastors say after killings in a gay bar - "the only problem was that more did not die." It represented a world in which, maybe, they would not hate themselves with every breath.

Gay marriage did not, of course, deliver all of that. But it was more than the Church had ever done in demanding a life of repentance and loneliness but offering little actual forgiveness beyond a word or two that had no connection to the way we were treated.

So, yes, I would have to say, given the evidence, that those who reject gay marriage are very much intolerant in withholding what the Church could and that, frankly, the tiny bit of scolding the Church receives for skipping a play is pretty small potatoes when it comes to sacrifice.

Daniel G. said...

Pastor Peters,

Excellent post. As a person with same sex attraction and from what I have experienced in the so-called gay, ahem, "culture", there is no such thing as tolerance at least in the classical sense of the word. Try being someone with same sex attraction and voting Republican or being pro-life, pro NORMAL marriage, pro God, pro temperance and you are met with disdain, disgust, called out as a hater, loser, genteel, simple-minded....the list goes on and on. In a, ahem, "culture" that "prides" (pun intended) itself on "diversity" of belief, thought, etc. what you get is just the opposite. Tolerant for them is only if you agree with them which is not tolerance nor is it diversity. Btw, I have come to hate both words. When challenged about their non-tolerance tolerance epecially when it comes to diversity of thought/opinion, they just go into the usual diatribe of how can one with same-sex attraction not be on the same page as they are. It becomes a litany of all the things wrong about the current president, the Church, the Bible, Christians, etc. It's everything that we've heard before so it's nothing new. Sometime it's funny but always eye opening to see just how far left they are in everything that they profess and do. It's frightening because that is what we have to look forward to when the younger generations become adults and start running the country. God help us.

Daniel G. said...

Anonymous says:

Is it wrong for LGBT activists to be intolerant? Yes. But we are not exactly offering much of an option are we?

I harbored a lot of animosity towards the Church and what I perceived as hatred towards me and others like me. I felt that that Church offered no clear options and very little forgiveness and compassion.

The reality is that the options that the Church proposes are very clear. In order to be forgiven there must be repentance. In order to have eternal life there must be a firm resolve to move on and follow Christ rather than be affirmed in our sin and be told that everything is all right. What the Church did was to tell us the truth which is always loving and always compassionate; in other words, "Go and SIN NO MORE" not "I'm ok and you're ok and it's all good. Just be nice."

However, that doesn't mean that there are/were those who hate us and would rather see us in eternal perdition. I hear it all the time from traddy Catholics, steadfast Lutherans and fundamentalists (Fred Phelps anyone?)They obviously have not heard, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." But for the few holier than thous there are many orthodox people who do offer compassion and truth but in love.