So by now you’ve probably heard about Miss California’s statements about same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant. In short, Miss California was asked whether she supported marriage rights, and she said, in many more words, “No.” She continued to say she believes only “opposite marriage” should be legal. Much mockery on Facebook and the blogs ensued, and now we have the New York Times’ Opinionator blog rounding up a variety of views on the issue (and leaning pretty heavily towards the right for some reason). The conservative arguments — including from a Log Cabin Republican — are basically, “You liberals are intolerant because you are mocking Miss California for her intolerance.” For example, a Focus on the Family dude says:
Those who lean to the left ideologically like to paint those of us on the other side as the “intolerant” ones. But some of them are going to have a hard time whitewashing the intolerance they’ve shown to Carrie Prejean since she said during the weekend pageant that she believes marriage should be defined as solely the union of one man and one woman.
I think some people don’t really understand the concept of “intolerance.” Being intolerant of someone’s racist, sexist, heterosexist, etc etc opinions is not the same as being intolerant of someone because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, etc etc. There’s a difference between trying to take away someone’s civil rights (or never offering them at all), and voicing your disapproval of a person who is trying to take away a group’s civil rights.
To take the FOTF guy’s argument a step further according to his own logic, he’s now the one who’s being intolerant (again!) for not tolerating my intolerance of Miss California’s intolerance.
See how stupid this game is?
Mr. Log Cabin Republican takes it even further into the ridiculous-zone:
All of us have a belief system, whether it is informed by our faith or a secular world view. The freedom to share those even unpopular positions is what makes this nation great.
In my hundreds of debates for gay rights with Christian conservatives, I was often subject to mean and personal attacks and at times was concerned for my safety.
As the tide turns in favor of gay equality, what a sad victory it will be if we become the new bullies. We lose the moral high ground that propelled our cause. Calling this woman an unprintable name, as Perez Hilton did, is indefensible.
The crime here is not that people have opinions we disagree with. The crime is treating those who disagree with us with the same incivility that they treated us to.
So Miss California said gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married because she was raised to believe in opposite marriage, and Perez Hilton called her a bitch. Sounds like they’re operating on about the same level. Hilton wasn’t trying to take away any of Miss California’s rights (as far as I know). Instead, he was exercising his own rights to voice his opinion, just like she was. Both their expressions of those opinions were intellectually infantile. Hers was mind-numbingly dumb. His was misogynist. Welcome to beauty pageants and gossip blogs.
And welcome to Focus on the Family:
What has happened to Miss Prejean over the past few days is nothing short of religious persecution. No, it is not violent persecution — but that does not minimize its existence or its danger. She is being pilloried in the public square for deigning to answer a question guided, as she told the “Today” show, not by “political correctness but by biblical correctness.”
Doing so, most agree, cost her her dream of being Miss USA. If the U.S.A. embraces Mr. Hilton’s actions and logic as acceptable, it will cost our nation much more.
It’s not “religious persecution” to say that someone is a bigot for having bigoted views. It’s not “religious persecution” to argue that those who want to deny basic civil rights based on sexual orientation are bigots. It would be persecution to, for example, pass a law stating that a consenting Christian adult wasn’t allowed to marry another consenting Christian adult because of his or her faith, or to criminalize consensual sex between adult Christians. That’s persecution. Not, “I didn’t win a beauty pageant and then Perez Hilton called me a bitch.”
As of this writing, the second entry on Mr. Hilton’s website is a picture of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, upon which Mr. Hilton has MS Paint’ed penis microphones. We aren’t talking high-level debate here.
So while conservatives are whining about a gossip blogger being mean to a nice beauty queen — and for the record, I agree that Perez Hilton is a jerk — said beauty queen is getting more attention than she ever would have if she had won her pageant, and anti-gay bigots get to play the victim.
This was all much more entertaining when the roundly-mocked pageant contestant du jour just wanted to make sure that our children in South Africa and The Iraq were educated.
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