Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Growing Intolerance Toward Intolerance

I have long known Zip Ribar as a letter-writer guaranteed to make my eyes roll up in the back of my head with disbelief. His latest letter to the Sun Herald entitled "A growing intolerance toward Christians"  does not disappoint. I wish to address some of his claims and then one of the comments left on the site.

So many terms don’t mean what they say. “Social Justice” now refers to the redistribution of wealth and power to those who didn’t earn it. “Affirmative action” requires preferential treatment based on race. “Liberty” means the license to do my own thing regardless of the people around me.

Words actually mean whatever the majority decides they mean. That's how language evolves over time.  You can make up your own special meanings but that doesn't mean that anyone else will accept your definition, much less use it. 

So when you decry the current usage of "social justice," I think you need to know that most people who advocate for social justice do not mean robbing the rich and giving to the poor. They mean putting policies in place to prevent corruption and giving everyone real equal opportunity to achieve rather than just the illusion of it. They are not advocating for equal outcomes, just equal opportunity. The difference between those concepts is crucial.

"Affirmative action" does indeed mean giving some preferential treatment based on race. If we as Americans lived up to our ideals, such programs would be unnecessary. The only reason we need Affirmative Action programs is because many Americans still discriminate based on race, gender, ethnicity, and other factors. You can say that's untrue but both the facts and experience prove you wrong. I have worked in quite a few places that did not want to hire a black candidate or a woman who might be pregnant. Perhaps when Americans start obeying the law, we can get rid of programs like this.

And as for liberty, it does mean that I can do my own thing. What it does not mean is that I can do anything with callous disregard for anyone else. I can't drink and drive regardless of what you think. I can't run my car into your living room just for fun. But I can do what I want with other consenting adults in the privacy of my own home and whatever you might think about that isn't really worth a damn.

However, in American, the characteristic intolerance nowadays is not by religious people, but against them, especially where they are in the majority.

That's a big charge. Mind backing it up with some examples or evidence?

Public prayers are being banned from public schools.

Yeah, how dare we hold you to our social contract (the Constitution) which guarantees that the government will stay neutral on the subject of religion. How intolerant of us to ask that the government not tell us how and when to pray. Tell me, has anyone stopped children from praying in schools? I think not!

Creches and crosses are being banned from public sites.

How dare we hold you to our social contract (the Constitution) by demanding that the government either stay neutral or give us all equal time. That's the law. If the government lets you put up your nativity, then we all get to put something up. And if we can't put up our signs and stuff on government property, then you have to take yours down. We're not banning religion - we're demanding the government play fair. What do you have against fairness?

The legal sanctification of infanticide, homosexuality and hedonism proceeds unhindered by Christian scruples.

First, please show me where infanticide has been legalized in the U.S. Oh right, you can't. Next, explain to me how homosexuality has been "legally sanctified" when most states still do not allow same-sex marriage. Again, you can't. As for hedonism, what else is it but the liberty to pursue happiness? Do you hate the Declaration of Independence too now?

The same Sun Herald also reported that the “Department of Justice probes discrimination claims” against the city of Lomita, Calif., for not permitting a local Islamic Center to expand in a crowded part of town. Liberty of Muslims means they have an absolute right to ignore that will of the majority.

News flash for you, Zip. Religious rights aren't up for a majority vote. If this city denied Muslims a permit because it didn't like Islam, then it is breaking the law - just like if they denied Christians a permit because they didn't like Christianity. The First Amendment trumps your petty majority vote. This is not a pure democracy - it is a republic. Learn the difference.

Some may think of this as politically correct. Others, like myself, however, may regard it as a form of federal discrimination against Christians.

You're welcome to think that but your position is wrong and stupid. It's wrong because the federal government is moving toward a more neutral stance which is both ethically and legally sound. It's stupid because Christianity is still by far the largest religious group in the country and, if they really cared about any of this, they could outshine and outspend any other group. But these people aren't really interested in doing the work of Christ - they are interested in sitting back and making the government do it for them. It's lazy religion at its worst.


And now I wish to take on one of the comments by bederest:

This country was founded on the principal that the 'majority rules.'

Not when it comes to Constitutional Rights. Don't go there.

In my 64-years, I have never seen (in your false words) Christianity "forced" down anybody's thoat.

Then you haven't been looking very closely. That's part of your Christian privilege that you need to get over. Every time I see In God We Trust on my money, or hear "one nation under God," or see a Christian cross on government property standing alone, I'm forced to pay for and participate in your religion.

To the contrary, we all have seen the Muslim faith being shoved down our school children's throats, in the name of "Multural Culturalism." No protests form the nihilistic liberals there, though !

No, I've not seen this. I've seen people being encouraged to live together peacefully and respect each other's rights. I have not seen any of us forced to learn Islamic law, recite the Quran, or dress like a Muslim. 

I attended a football game at Milner stadium a few years ago. My neighbor, a Muslim (born in the USA) sitting next to me, refused to stand up for the prayer. I'm OK with that, but when he refused to stand up for the National Anthem, I gave him my opinion of his nhilistic attitude toward the country that feeds him. He refuses to speak to me to this day. Fine with me. I know he hates it when I fly the American flag on the appropriate holiday.

One of the most meaningful patriotic moments in my life was during an event where everyone stood up while the national anthem was played. They took off hats and put their hands over their hearts. I just sat there as I have done since I was in my early twenties when I decided that freedom had nothing to do with going along with the crowd. As I sat contemplating my forefathers who had fought on this land and in foreign countries, I became aware of eyes on me. I realized I was the only one sitting and it had not gone unnoticed. I closed my eyes (probably looked like I was praying) and sank deeper into my meditation. I considered that the freedom that flag and song represented was the freedom to sit quietly and thank my forefathers without having someone take me to jail. That was the freedom so many bled and died for. By the time the song was over, I was in tears - tears filled with gratitude and joy. Everyone else sang a song and had their moment of blind patriotism. I had a moment of sincere reverence for this country's values and the sacrifices many have made to preserve them.

My point is: you don't know shit about what someone is thinking or what they believe just because they didn't stand for the anthem. And if you scorn them for dissent or for exercising their right to sit, then you don't get the point of freedom at all.

The majority of American' s are Christian -- they should prevail, because they are THE MAJORITY! Once again, that's why we hold elections. The MAJORITY wins! Liberals usually find a way to cheat on that though, (dead voters and unregisterd winos) so in the same ilk, they demonize Christianity -- through false information, such as your lying attempt here !

You did go there again. Let me try to spell this out so you can get it. Constitutional rights are not subject to majority whim. You can't just vote out my religious freedom with a 51% majority. If you love this country, then you ought to learn how it works! There is a process for amending the Constitution that requires a hell of a lot more than 51% so if you want to take away my religious freedom, you're going to have to work harder.

Also, there have been several investigations over the past few years into voter fraud and it's quite well known among thinking people now that this whole thing is a myth. For all the mud you're slinging out here, none of it sticks.

This is nothing more than liberal - invented, and directed political correctness. I want my country back!

As someone who grew up in the '50s, the rest of you young liberals have no idea how much damage you've done to the nation, culture and spirit that we once had -- because you just don't have enough knowledge of history or life experience.

You can't have your country back because those days are gone. Things don't stay the same no matter how fondly we may remember the "good ole days." Those who cannot or will not change will ultimately fall.

I get that you don't really understand the world you're living in and I do have some sympathy for you. Things have changed very fast and life looks very different through the eyes of a child than it does through the eyes of an adult. But I fear this sort of attitude is indicative of a desire to keep that precious 50s childhood experience at all costs. It's a delusion fostered and maintained by those who don't want to grow up.

I fear life doesn't give us that option. It moves along as it will.

I must say that if anyone doesn't have any knowledge of history or life experience, it's these two men. They don't know how anything works or why it should work that way. All they see is their Christian privilege eroding and they are crying out like kids having their sweets taken away. 

I'm growing intolerant of all this intolerance. Why can't we just all play fair and get along?