I have no desire for this blog to become a place for politics, but some things I've heard in recent history have troubled me greatly. No matter what I'm arguing about, however miniscule or trivial, I go to great length to see both sides of a story or viewpoint. Recently I've come to the conclusion that when it comes to moral conservatism, there is no other side. All that is there is a blind, knee-jerk response that comes from the ego being threatened in one of two ways; a challenge to one's perception, or a challenge to a comfortable and worry-free lifestyle.
With respect to this moral conservatism, we've been playing chess with pigeons far too long. It's just as well to let them fly, but the practice of elevating thoughtlessness to the level of rhetoric needs to stop. There's a bit of writing after the jump, and if what has been said already might have offended you, please just skip to the next entry.
Though his fame is not resultant of anything respectable - and as such his opinion is really no more valuable than Paris Hilton or Snooki's - Antoine Dodson succinctly described how many of my fellow homosexuals feel about the recent Chik-Fil-A controversy and resulting call for a boycott:
"We have went from being bullied to becoming bullies."
The accusation being that we're attempting to force others into accepting our view when they don't want to, and attempting to use financial pressure to strong-arm policy change.
To that I say: guilty as charged. The difference? We are right.
Let's look at the two sides of the controversy:
Those who support Chick-Fil-A for their efforts against gay marriage do so either because they agree that gay marriage is wrong, or they are supporting what they feel is an exercise in free speech.
Those who oppose Chick-Fil-A for their efforts against gay marriage do so either because they disagree that gay marriage is wrong or feel businesses should not be engaged in attempting to legislate morality through donations to political causes.
With respect to those in support of Chick-Fil-A on basis of free speech, free speech does not equate to "freedom of consequence." The First Ammendment pertains only to Congress making laws which restrict free speech, not individuals' or groups' feelings about what is said at a given time. To go a step further, the Supreme Court has deemed that spending money is a form of speech. So should you be supporting their freedom of speech, know that by singling out Chick-Fil-A and applauding them for exercising this right when you disagree with the message, you're turning your back to those who are boycotting the company in the exact same exercise of free speech. And just to clarify; Cathy was not speaking of his personal opinion regarding gay marriage, he was speaking of Chick-Fil-A's goals as a company and employer. As such, the boycott effort is not mistakenly directed towards an innocent entity that does not share the same view.
So why do I say we are right and they are wrong in such absolute terms? Because those in opposition of gay marriage don't even believe what they claim to be Truth. We have a group of people who claim that the views of their holy book are law and that to avoid God's wrath these laws must be obeyed. Except, of course, those laws that "don't really matter." Now, although the Old Testament and Torah are not the same they do still have a number of the same laws such as not eating shellfish or pork, not wearing blended cloth, and not rounding the hair which grows from your temples.
At this point the remaining conclusions aren't difficult to follow:
Who believes something more earnestly, someone who takes every holy word as law or allows their own arrogance to determine what is to be obeyed and what is superfluous?
If Hasidic/Orthodox Jews follow many of these laws out of respect for God, why do Christians assert that either it cannot be done or is unnecessary?
And finally, why are fewer Orthodox Jews involved - compared to Christians - in making their holy book the law of the land when clearly they believe in their holy writings more adamantly, being less willing to disregard what is written?
What we have is a case of the boy who cried wolf; a group of individuals which has cried "prosecution," thinking it means "I disagree," for the last several decades (a generous understatement). In response, the lot of us have politely and respectfully backed down due to some perceived, hypothetical loss of freedom. They would have us believe that their view of freedom is right in that they are able to do as they please. They are not right, they never have been right, and they will not be right until they return to the teachings of their savior.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." - Matthew 7:3-5Until they are able to reconcile the fact that they don't even wish to believe that which they have sworn to, not one among us should give any credence to a single word to pour out of their vitriol-filled mouths. They are empty words, spoken by those who are incapable of anything requiring even the slightest amount of conviction and who re-write sacred teachings to make their wrong-doings more palatable.
I won't deny they have the right to their "beliefs" and to say what they will but they do not have the right to our respect, and it's about time we stopped giving it. When we respect them enough to try to see their warped, deluded, vacuous point of view they have already won. They already control our lives in far too many ways, and until we stop listening they'll continue to oppress those around them through the smallest of victories until their way is the only way.