Trampled by Tolerance

freedom-of-speechTrampled by Tolerance

As I look at how the world has changed in the last week, I’ve been shocked.  When I saw the kindergartners and first graders being taught about same sex marriage while our leaders told us it was impossible, I was shocked.  When the Los Angeles Temple in Westwood was targeted, threatened with arson, I was shocked and alarmed.   When 44 of California’s legislators came out against the will of Californians, when even the Governor of our state came out against the voice of the people, I was shocked.  But when the L.A. Times started providing names of our neighbors who supported the marriage amendment to vigilante mobs, I moved beyond shocked to she-bear rage.  Has the world gone mad?  Where is these people’s sense of decency and honor?

This is everything the proponents of proposition 8 warned would happen…freedom of speech, freedom of religion, parental rights…..all things dear to the heart of democracy and freedom in this country are being set aside for the doctrine of tolerance, which at it’s heart is the epitome of intolerance.    The voice of the people is not being heard, it’s being trampled.

Meridian Magazine today has articulated a thought that has been percolating in my own head for some time.

“One of the most potent arguments against same-sex marriage is that it tramples religious freedom. A group of distinguished legal scholars recently published a book called Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty, Emerging Conflicts . While they fall on both sides of the issue concerning the desirability of same-sex marriage for our culture, they unanimously agree on one point—that a conflict is brewing for religious freedom, which includes freedom of speech.Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote in 2004, during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts, ”the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination…The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don’t go along.”

Religious groups have legitimate concerns that they will be gagged regarding the importance of traditional marriage and family, if same-sex marriage becomes a civil right. Yet, same-sex advocates know it doesn’t take the force of law alone to silence opposition. You can harangue and intimidate people into silence. You can threaten their jobs and target their livelihood—even if they have been at their job for 25 years.”

This is what’s happening before our eyes.  There is ample reason to be alarmed.  If our government will not stand up for our rights, if our voice by the polls is not respected, if our newspapers are tools of the opposition’s mobs, where do we go to be represented?  52% of the people are being disenfranchised by a small but powerful minority whose hue and cry is all about their “rights” while they trample everyone else’s.

The whole system of checks and balances is to provide a way for voices to be heard peacefully.  Without that process to respect and hear the people, what do we have left?  Revolt, anarchy and chaos.  Let’s pray that the system works the way it was designed and that disaster can be avoided.  Are we still part of the United States?  Land of the free?  What kind of message are they sending?

Whether you like it or not.  Whether you vote for us or not.  Whether you elect leaders to represent you or not.  The message is, it doesn’t matter.

Update—A note on the continuing boycotts:

First we heard about Scott Eckern….gave $1000 to proposition 8….was boycotted, lost his job of 25 years.

Then we heard about Marjorie Christoffersen of El Coyote Mexican Restaurant in L.A…….she gave $100 of her personal money to proposition 8…..her business was boycotted because she wouldn’t renounce her Mormon faith.

Now today we hear about the Marriott Hotel Chain.  Rumors abounded today that the Marriott chain of hotels had possibly given money to proposition 8.  In the face of an impending boycott, Mr. Marriott released this statement:

As many of you may know I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some might conclude given my family’s membership in the Mormon Church that our company supported the recent ballot initiative to ban same sex marriage in California. This is simply untrue. Marriott International is a public company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and is not controlled by any one individual or family. Neither I, nor the company, contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8.

AND…..do you think they were satisfied?  No.  They’re boycotting him anyway!  Not because he donated, no, but because he’s Mormon.  See the ful text of the statement and the reaction here:

http://www.blogs.marriott.com/default.asp?item=2284808

now while this story about the Mariott Hotel chain is getting absolutely no press, I find it interesting that we’ve gone from a thousand dollar infraction, to a hundred dollar infraction to a zero dollar infraction and the reality seems to be, they’re being boycotted because they’re Mormons.  Nothing more.  There’s nothing these people could do to appease short of renounce their faith.

Tolerate?  no, that’s not the issue.  Condoning is the issue.

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28 Comments

  1. chadabshier said,

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    If Prop 8 gets overturned I will be very disappointed in our government, and also in the voting system. What is the point in voting if every time we vote the will of the people is overturned?

  2. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    The supreme court has agreed to hear the case early, many people are taking that as a cue that the court has something in mind, perhaps overturning prop 8. I want to know what the voice of the people is supposed to do if it’s not heard, if the process fails, where do we go?

  3. triptotheouthouse said,

    November 14, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Your rant sounds very similar to those of the segregationists like George Wallace and Orval Faubas and others of their ilk of the 60s, and if people of that era had voted on desegration, it is doubtful that the majority would have voted in favor. It took the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and finally, the U.S. Congress, through the Civil Rights Acts to begin to do away with segregation.
    Along the way, there were many protests, both non-violent and violent, which helped the push for equal rights for African-Americans, and, of course, there were a great many whites who reacted strongly against these demonstrations, but in the end, justice prevailed.
    As was learned through all of this, (and what I also learned in my high school government class in the middle of very conservative Kansas more than 40 years ago) under the Constitution of the United States of America, the rights of the majority only extend up to the point to which the rights of the minority also extend; the rights of the majority do not override the rights of the minority.
    And if so many people scream and holler about their rights being “trampled upon”, perhaps it will take the courts to make a determination. This is why the founders of our country created the “checks and balances” of the three branches of the United States: the executive, legislative, and judicial.
    Sometimes, it takes the judicial branch to determine what the laws mean, including the Consitution, whether the majority likes it or not. All of that is what makes a democracy, and not another type of government, in particular, not a theocracy, which some people are determined to think is the type of government we have.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I fail to see how the gay movement’s lack of a term “marriage” for their unions has anything to do with the excruciating pain and suffering of the civil rights movement, since in California, all gay unions enjoy the same rights as marriage. Judging by the election results, it appears that 7/10 of our black brothers and sisters agree.

    Using the civil rights comparison as a political tool to win emotional points is low in my opinion. The gay rights movement has nothing in common with the civil rights movement. The chaos they are perpetrating out there is the exclamation on the point.

  5. debbie said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Has anyone heard about envelopes a containing white powder be delivered to the LA Temple, SLC Temple and LDS Office Building? Got an email, and am wondering if it is true.

  6. debbie said,

    November 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    The civil rights movement arguement is weak. Gays can do anything that everyone else does, except claim the word marriage as their own. I have a hard time explaining to my high schoolers exactly what rights it that the gays do not have. I have to tell them, only the one, can’t us the word marriage. So, these are high schoolers who have to sit through the Day of Silence.

    Besides not allowing marriage, what over right do gays not have? An I’ve already heard the civil union arguement.

  7. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Debbie,

    Yes, the powder incident is linked to from here:

    https://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/lds-temple-anthrax-scare/

  8. November 14, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    […] Trampled By Tolerance […]

  9. triptotheouthouse said,

    November 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    First of all, Debbie, it’s sad that high schoolers have to sit through a class with a teacher who can’t even spell “argument” and then is trying to make one. I’m not even sure what an “over right” is. (Sorry to start with that so soon, but when writers have errors in grammar, sentence structure, and mechanics, it tends to make me doubt the depth of thinking in their writing.)

    Among the rights that gay people do not have:

    1) They cannot serve openly in the armed services of this country.
    2) Gay men are not allowed to give blood even though other categories of people who may have come into contact with the HIV virus have.
    3) They cannot bring a partner from a foreign country to live legally even though there are many who are not even citizens or are foreign-born citizens who can do just that.
    4) There is no national job protection. You may be fired in many states just for being gay.
    5) In some states, gay people cannot adopt children (Arkansas being the most recent state to ban gay adoption).
    6) In many states and many companies, there is no medical benefits or other insurance benefits for a gay partner.
    7) In most states, it is very easy for family members to take away inheritance from a gay partner after a death even though the couple may have been partnered for years.
    8) In many states where gay parents can adopt, only one partner is allowed to legally adopt the child, and if something happens to the legally adoptive parent, the other parent has no legal ties to the child.
    9) While I agree that it’s great that in California, gay couples can have civil unions, in most states outside of California, the legality of that relationship is not recognized.
    10) Giving gay citizens equal rights puts them on the same footing as other citizens. I’m sure this something none of the people who read this blog or comment can understand. It also will allow young people (yes, like some of the ones that you teach) to be themselves, and hopefully some day not to be harassed by other students for just being who they are. (One of the things I am most proud of in my life was the time when I was a high school teacher and my classroom became a safe place for gay students and others to gather before and after school, just be themselves without fear of harassment. I doubt with your perspective, your classroom is anything like that.

    Considering the high divorce rate among heterosexual partners, civil unions should be made the law of the land for all couples–gay or straight– who want to make their relationship a legal bond. Leave marriage for anyone who wants the “blessing” of the church.

    Finally, remember that the Bill of Rights gave Americans freedom of religion; it didn’t give religion the freedom to govern.

  10. beetlebabee said,

    November 14, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    If you could post without taking that trip to the outhouse for derogatory fodder, your words of tolerance would be better received. We’re not trying to stomp feelings here right?

    So are you trying to say that the violence in California, all these protests in CALIFORNIA are because of a beef with the federal government? That’s like the clever idea of boycotting our Utah neighbors for California’s votes in the election. I just shake my head in amazement.

    In California, gay communities have all anyone else has as far as partnerships and civil unions go. If you want to talk about federal problems, that has nothing to do with p8. P8 is about marriage. The word. That’s all. The civil rights terminology is misplaced here and the jab at religion is, well, it is what it is. Divine right of kings was last continent.

  11. debbie said,

    November 15, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Outhouse, are you saying that only thinkers can write? That is a pretty elitist idea. Because I can’t type, I can’t think? I talk and think fast, so my hands and my tongue have a hard time keeping up.

    As my children have gone through HS in the last 10 yrs, with more to come, I have seen the change. My oldest child had a teacher who refused to speak on Day of Silence. The next year, the teachers taught, but the publicity about the day increased. Not all the HS participate. The gay lifestyle has gotten a liitle more in their face. Teachers have safe places for the gays students, but no place for the kids who disagree. How does that even make sense. Maybe in your world, but not in mine. Children are taught to be tolerant, and so they are. And yet the complaining continues. AND since the gays continue to compare themsleves to the blacks, the key that continues to hit, reminds me of the blacks who still continue to go on about slavery. Here is the handout, affirmative action, whatever, and still slavery comes up. Get over it. What will make you happy, really? Really.
    What do you really want? For everyone to condone the, pick your initial, LGTB, lifestyle. That ain’t gonna happen.

  12. lahona said,

    November 15, 2008 at 2:32 am

    I feel very strongly that the homosexual community is trying very hard to gain acceptance of thier lifestyle choices by society and religion. I agree with debbie in that it will not happen. As displayed by the events that have occured since november 4th, they do not wish for a society of tolerance they wish for an society of domination where thoughts and beliefs that are not in line with thier own are persicuted and threatned into silence. I am probly going to ruffle a few feathers with this comment, and I don’t enjoy doing that. This is a road that they have chosen. I wish more than anything for a peacefull solution to all of this where all parties would be satisfied with the end result. Honestly though I dont know if that will happen anytime soon with the bridges that have been burned in the last few weeks.

  13. jesurgislac said,

    November 15, 2008 at 6:19 am

    If Prop 8 gets overturned I will be very disappointed in our government, and also in the voting system. What is the point in voting if every time we vote the will of the people is overturned?

    Hardly “every time”. How many propositions for the California Constitution were on the ballot this year? None of them are in the process of being overturned by the courts except for the one that was an unacceptable reversal of the principle that all Californians are entitled to equal rights.

    I want to know what the voice of the people is supposed to do if it’s not heard, if the process fails, where do we go?

    Well, there are plenty of countries in the world where same-sex marriage isn’t recognised. Of course equality can strike anywhere, but a country where gay men are still hanged and theocracy still makes the rules is probably your best bet: I’d try Iran.

  14. debbie said,

    November 15, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    That I can remember, there are two propostions that passed with a majority that were overturned, prop 22, and prop 187 that was to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants. There is a history in CA of the liberals overturning the will of the people.

    the principle that all Californians are entitled to equal rights.

    All CA have equals rights. Even the illegals.

    When does right and wrong ever come into play on the left?

  15. beetlebabee said,

    November 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Another gay rights intimidation attempt succeeds:

    “…a ‘soft’ boycott they started against Bolthouse Farms, which gave $100,000 to Proposition 8, was dropped after he reached a settlement with the company. Bolthouse Farms was to give an equal amount of money to gay political causes. The amount ultimately equaled $110,000.”

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1859323,00.html?referer=sphere_related_content

    “No matter what you think of Proposition 8, we ought to respect people’s right to participate in the political process. It strikes me as quite ironic that a group of people who demand tolerance and who claim to be for civil rights are so willing to be intolerant and trample on other people’s civil rights.”

  16. jesurgislac said,

    November 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I find it very, very odd that so many people who supported Proposition 8 now seem to be ashamed of doing so since it passed.

    I can tell you, the people who opposed Proposition 8 wouldn;t be whining about how they were “singled out” – they’d be proud. But then, supporting equality for all is something to be proud of, isn’t it – it’s simply the right thing to do.

    Yet still: I’d have expected people who made such a big deal about Proposition 8 being a matter of conscience and religious belief for them, to show some sign of having the courage of their convictions.

  17. beetlebabee said,

    November 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Are they ashamed, or are they intimidated? That’s the bigger question. With all that’s going on out there, in this economic climate…I’d wager they’re being intimidated. That’s not something the gay community should be proud of.

  18. jesurgislac said,

    November 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve seen lengthy posts decrying the “singling out” of the LDS Church from people who are clearly not being intimidated* – they just hate LDS/Mormons being picked out because members of the LDS Church delivered about $20 million to support Proposition 8.

    Do you claim to be “intimidated”? Is that why you are acting like being “singled out” for supporting Proposition 8 is a bad thing?

    With all that’s going on out there, in this economic climate…I’d wager they’re being intimidated. That’s not something the gay community should be proud of.

    Do you think that the gay community in California shouldn’t have a choice about where they spend their money, then? Or shouldn’t make decisions about refraining from giving their money to people who actively supported taking away their freedom to marry? Sounds like you don’t approve of LGBT people taking part in the democratic process – if you don’t support LGBT people’s right to boycott a business because they don’t approve of where the profits for that business is going.

  19. jesurgislac said,

    November 15, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    “is going” – “are going” – argh! ;-)

  20. beetlebabee said,

    November 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Choosing where they spend their money is one thing, grouping together en masse in order to hurt is another, and honestly, extorting money out of businesses in order to cease and desist is outrageous.

    If you’re going to make your choice, quietly make it, don’t use your choice to harass and intimidate and bully. There is no excuse for accepting funds in order to buy peace. The line has been crossed several times already, egregiously so.

  21. jesurgislac said,

    November 15, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Choosing where they spend their money is one thing, grouping together en masse in order to hurt is another

    Okay, that’s your opinion of this.

    , and honestly, extorting money out of businesses in order to cease and desist is outrageous.

    I’m not seeing any evidence of “extortion”. If the California Musical Theatre could have continued to get by without LGBT performers or LGBT oeople and allies buying tickets, they were free to do so, weren’t they? Free choice in a free market.

    Whereas this letter is a very direct attempt at extortion. Yes on 8 sent thirty-five such letters. I await your condemnation of this tactic.

    If you’re going to make your choice, quietly make it, don’t use your choice to harass and intimidate and bully.

    Coming from someone who doesn’t believe that lesbians and gays should be allowed to quietly make their choice to get married, but took part in a campaign to use the resources of the state to forcibly prevent people from making that choice, that’s rich.

    There is no excuse for accepting funds in order to buy peace. The line has been crossed several times already, egregiously so.

    Thirty-five times by Yes-on-8, to be precise.

  22. debbie said,

    November 16, 2008 at 3:17 am

    OK, let’s get the boycott going. I still say it should be one of the holiday movies. Is speilberg coming out with anything? That would be my first pick. I’m totally game.

  23. beetlebabee said,

    November 16, 2008 at 3:57 am

    jesurgislac, wow, say that ten times fast. First of all, there was no talk of boycotting involved with this letter, only identification, and from what I can see, they were advertising already on the No on 8 website. Pretty intimidating! You have to have a threat to be intimidating or extortionist. Did they ever broadcast No on 8’s supporters names even? No.

    Nice try though.

    The Music Circus did not support prop 8. One of their employees did, not as a business, as an individual. That’s a totally different ballgame. The logic doesn’t flow.

  24. jesurgislac said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Beetlebabee, so, if I understand you, you have no problem with extortion and blackmail – the letters the Yes-on-8 campaign were sending demanding that business owners who had donated to No-on-8 ought to donate equally to Yes-on-8 or face “consequences”.

    Your objection is only to members of a minority group deciding to not provide their custom or their support to a business that has provided monetary support to take away the minority group’s rights – a boycott. In a free country, don’t people have the right to decide where they’re going to spend their money, and the right to talk freely about where they’re not going to spend their money? This is the basic principle of a boycott! I’m failing to see your problem with this.

  25. beetlebabee said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:12 am

    These 35 or so businesses were already using their businesses to make a political statement. They were advertising on No’s website. Good grief. It’s not like they were dug out of the donor rolls.

    The people being targeted by the no’s that we’re discussing are individuals from the donor rolls. It’s a completely separate thing. Donor rolls are provided for public examination, not to be a hit list, but for campaign finance laws. No’s are out of bounds targeting people from the donor rolls.

    If you’re on some websites honored supporters page, complete with logo, it’s clear that you want attention. I can see what the letter is saying. It looks like it was sent during the time when 8 was clearly ahead. It’s basically saying, so, are you sure you want to be on the losing side of the issue? It’s a smart question to ask.

    These thugs on the no side targeted employees, or even relatives of employees who donated to yes FROM the DONOR ROLLS, and then told their employers they were going to boycott the employer. The music circus did not support Yes on 8, but it was boycotted. El Coyote did not give a dime to the yes on 8’s but they were boycotted, even after 10k was extorted from them. That’s what we’re talking about.

  26. jesurgislac said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:33 am

    How are individuals being targeted? You’ve listed three business boycotts – El Coyote, Music Circus performing arts theatre, and the Marriott Hotel. In not one instance did LGBT supporters attempt to threaten any individual. We’re not talking about people attacking other people’s private homes or private lives – as you say, this was publicly available information which revealed who thinks of LGBT people as second-class citizens.

  27. beetlebabee said,

    November 16, 2008 at 4:57 am

    Well, the idea of targeting businesses by association for their employees or their nieces’ private contributions is well….ridiculous. Actually following through on it is outrageous.

    And the second class citizen plug is just egregious. There’s no call for that. No one is advocating anything like second class citizenry, except the no’s who either seriously believe that a word has that much power or are trying to get cheap political points for the emotionally swayed.

  28. jesurgislac said,

    November 16, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Well, the idea of targeting businesses by association for their employees or their nieces’ private contributions is well….ridiculous. Actually following through on it is outrageous.

    Fine: don’t join the boycott, then. I don’t think anyone was expecting you to.

    With the El Coyote situation, what I’m reading is a lot of real personal pain from the LGBT people who were regulars and employees at the restaurant, who thought that this woman who donated to stop them being allowed equal civil rights actually liked them. It seems to be a very local situation – neighborhood restaurant, objections by locals, and that seems me to be fair enough: this woman donated to keep her neighbors and her customers unequal, and she’s been faced with the pain and anger that her donation caused. Unless you’re making the argument that these LGBT people are second-class citizens with no right to feel/express that pain and anger, of course.

    The situation with the musical theater is pretty clearcut, too: if you run a business of any kind that is extremely dependent on the goodwill of a large segment of a minority community, you really should think very hard about whether you want to justly offend that community by failing to support equal rights for that community. Obviously, in a free country, you have a perfect right to say “I don’t believe these people should be equal: I’m going to support their inequality” – but in a free country, those people also have a right to get up and say “Fine then, we won’t work for you or give you our custom any more”. And complaining when that happens just proves you lack the courage of your convictions – or never supposed that these people, your inferiors, would object to being treated as your inferiors.

    And the second class citizen plug is just egregious. There’s no call for that. No one is advocating anything like second class citizenry

    Aside from everyone who advocates that lesbians and gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married, you mean.


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