Tolerating the Intolerant: Yes on 8 = Yes on Hate?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!     -Isaiah 5:20

While listening to the situation regarding Proposition 8 and its on-going backlash this morning on the radio, I couldn’t help but think about the above scripture.  There has been (and will continue to be) some measure of mocking, violent disagreement, and even persecution to those who supported Proposition 8 in California last November.  My hats are off to all who patiently reason sensibly through the nonsense and childish behavior.

This link is a list of all donors for and against Proposition 8.  Some of those who supported it have been picketed against.  Many angry emails have been sent.  Boycotts have been attempted.  One of the common refrains is that a vote for Yes on 8 is a vote for Yes on hate.

There’s great irony and misunderstanding with those that see a vote for “Yes on 8” or opposition to a homosexual lifestyle in general as equated with a vote for hatred of homosexuals.  One can hate the sin and love the sinner.  This is a possibility, though many seem to think it impossible or incomprehensible to do such a thing.  How sad to be so limiting in one’s comprehension of the possible!

A great irony is that many (admittedly not all) of those who preach tolerance with regards to homosexual marriage or homosexual rights themselves are intolerant with those who oppose a homosexual lifestyle.  “Please be tolerant to me,” they may say, “But give me maximum latitude in rejecting and being intolerant of you and your beliefs.”  I find this inconsistent: either be tolerant of all, or intolerant of all, and expect the same from others.

(Lest you misunderstand, I realize there are many homosexuals who do not have this perspective, but understand somewhat the complexity of a Christian stand against homosexuality.)

This problem extends to many other areas.  For instance, those who believe that public education should be very tolerant and accepting of secular humanism while intolerant of divergent views and beliefs.

Or consider the government’s intrusive (and increasingly intimate) and unconstitutional airport searches and seizures (I’m tempted to ask the TSA officer for a signed warrant, or some sort of legal explanation of how this squares with the Fourth Amendment, but have a feeling that won’t go over well): we are to be obedient and 100% submissive and supportive, while at the same time, no amount of toleration will be given for someone unwilling to go through such an invasive search: they are denied flight entry.  Further, government socioeconomic racial profiling (as part of the so-called “War on Terror”) exists and has taken place: an intolerance of identity itself.

Such is the case with taxation, or nearly any government action: our submission is required, regardless of our personal feelings, of which the government is largely intolerant of.  Consider the difference in a minimalist state, where individuals are more free to exercise their agency with much fewer constraints: as the smallest of examples, airports or airlines could themselves determine what level of safety was appropriate for them, rather than Washington bureaucrats, lobbyists, or elected officials.  If an individual didn’t like it, he could try another airport.  Individuals could decide which companies are worthy of being “bailed out,” as it were, voluntarily, rather than having such an idea thrust upon them without their consent.

This all relates to whether we can trust individuals more than the state: can people work out their differences, or is the presence and perpetual intervention of some vast welfare/warfare state required to mediate and regulate vast portions of individual life?

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2 Comments

Filed under Austrian Economics, foreign policy, Libertarian, Mormonism, politics, role of government, Social Commentary, War

2 responses to “Tolerating the Intolerant: Yes on 8 = Yes on Hate?

  1. anon

    I’m having a really hard time following this post.

    Looks like your last paragraph tries to tie it together, but how did you get from Prop8 to voluntaryism?

  2. plato04

    Perhaps I did a poor job showing how the state’s escalating hyperintervention is supposedly a good while it is in reality not. Hence, it is called good by the state but is closer to evil than most would acknowledge.

    In other words, there’s a certain hypocrisy in state intrusion into our personal lives. Our liberties are sacrificed at the expense of the welfare/warfare state. I would say that this is in reality bad, while many would call it good.

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