My friend, for whom I collaborate with rather often found himself engaged in a debate, or conversation rather, regarding an image shown below. He further elaborated on his own views. Because he and I share the same views on this matter, I felt that it would be beneficial to the rest of the world to share his response.
Due so some technical issues, please click here to see the image.
First, there’s a certain kind of irony, or hypocrisy in the Mayor of Boston barring Chick-Fil-A from starting a business on the basis of intolerance – because that in and of itself is intolerant. Regardless of this twisted reasoning, and although I typically disfavor hypocrisy, I find myself accepting the Mayor of Boston’s stance.
Second: Let’s be fair. This is more than freedom of speech – which is what leads to intolerance. Intolerance is defined as being unwilling or refusing to respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds; incapacity or indisposition to bear or endure; abnormal sensitivity; lacking respect for practices and beliefs other than one’s own. Freedom of speech is an enumerated right, according to the founding fathers that is given by God (not the Christian God, just simply God), to communicate one’s opinions and ideas via speech. Yes, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A exercised his freedom of speech by declaring that he was against the rights of the GLBT community. But there’s a certain transcendence that this speech experiences when this corporation funds organizations that have historically been known to work – proactively – against the GLBT community. That’s not speech – that’s action. It’s not simply an opinion – it is active prejudice, active denial of another person’s and or group’s inalienable rights not just as human beings, but as American’s.
Regardless, free speech has its limitations, and even the philosopher John Stuart Mill articulated the ‘harm principle’, which has been a legal argument upheld and used as a form of legislative scrutiny which posits that: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” In one way, the 14th Amendment is a manifestation of this very idea. In 1789, France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen can be quoted as stating: “Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.”
Given this very principle, for which our constitution was heavily influence by – I support the Mayor of Boston. CFA (Chick-Fil-A) funded Exodus International which is well known for its “reparative therapy” that has been found to be psychologically damaging – in some cases more so than coming out publicly! Two of its founders, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, divorced their wives and become “unionized” after founding the organization, and just this year, Alan Chambers, the current president of Exodus International came out and stating that ‘reparative therapy’ doesn’t work 99.99% of the time and intends on teaching young people TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE regardless of beliefs of any kind.
The Family Research Council actively works against gay rights, along with stem cell research and global warming. Regardless, their senior researcher, Peter Sprigg, stated that gay behavior should be outlawed and have criminal sanctions – for which the President, Tony Perkins, didn’t even refute.
The Alliance Defense Fund, or ADF, opposes homosexuality as well. To make matters worse, ADF is responsible for the National Litigation Academy and Blackstone Legal Fellowship which trains people and lawyers in social conservatism, and getting laws passed based in biblical principle. This hurts my soul more because that’s well beyond the contrary beliefs of secular freedom that our constitution was founded upon.
While I certainly have the will and desire to go through the other organizations, I feel that my examples here will suffice. This isn’t just speech. Speech, although not harmless, has no manifestation that bars someone, or a group, from their rights. Legal actions, however, most certainly do. If I burn an pile of Bibles as a form of expression and speech – no one’s rights have been broken. If I say: “Black people shouldn’t be allowed to vote!” – no one’s rights have been broken. If I say: “Conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to be elected if they run on a biblical principle” – no one’s rights have been broken. However, if I give money to the ADF, which trains lawyers to defend laws like the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman) – than I have taken someone’s rights away.
While I certainly have the will and desire to go through the other organizations, I feel that my examples here will suffice. This isn’t just speech. Speech, although not harmless, has no manifestation that bars someone, or a group, from their rights. Legal actions, however, most certainly do. If I burn a pile of Bibles as a form of expression and speech – no one’s rights have been broken. If I say: “Black people shouldn’t be allowed to vote!” – no one’s rights have been broken. If I say: “Conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to be elected if they run on a biblical principle” – no one’s rights have been broken. However, if I give money to the ADF, which trains lawyers to defend laws like the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman) – than I have taken someone’s rights away.
When the CEO of Chick-Fil-A funds Exodus International, and ADF – people’s rights aren’t just taken away, and people are legitimately harmed.
I respect others’ opinions. I respect people of all religions. But I do not respect a view point whereby others’ are psychologically, physically, or otherwise harmed through biblical coercion; Or through supporting a corporation that supports other groups that actively harm others. While the Mayor of Boston may personally disagree with Chick-Fil-A’s stance, it is his ultimate obligation to look towards the welfare of the people within his constituency. And while CFA may not actively bar GLBT’s from eating at their restaurant, they may as well. To say “You can eat here!” and then fund Anti-Gay groups that psychologically harm people, is hypocritical, and there should be no toleration for it. CFA may as well have just spit in their sandwiches and peed in their tea, too just to really rub in the harm.
Third: Christianity does not have a monopoly on marriage and its definitions, and the only reason that people in this country had to have a religious ceremony was because crafty Christian lawyers and legislators passed laws to dictate as such. Prior to that, marriage was a SOCIAL contract, followed by a LEGAL contract, and then into a quasi Legal-Religious contract. There are a number of reasons behind why the law was involved, but the most important reason had to do with the rights associated.
There’s nothing inclusive, fair, or Just (which means fair and equal) about saying that Gay’s can have a ‘union’ but aren’t married, and by maintaining the side of the argument – that Gay’s can’t marry, only unionize – is just another acceptance of polarization, inequality, separation, and intolerance. To simply say: “They should be allowed to have a union, with the rights, but not marriage” is a silly argument, specifically for the reasons I stated above: Christianity doesn’t have the monopoly on definition marriage, and marriage should be a social and legal contract. There is absolutely no justification for a Christian, or Christian Lawyers to force their religion on everyone else. Forcing one out of 40,000 interpretations of Biblical Doctrine doesn’t somehow mold people into Christ Lovers, or devout Christians – it creates secularists, and sheep who fear God and Jesus; and one would have thought that such lessons would have been learned in 1776. Gays deserve the SAME marriage equality that WOMEN, and BLACK’s fought for – more specifically in the 1970’s and the whole interracial debate. I find it sad that anyone who isn’t white would actively support causes against Gay Rights when many of the same arguments made against Gays – the whole genes debate – were made against blacks and women.
Christians won’t be punished because people are gay, and lead gay lives. But I would imagine that if God is as just and loving as he is apparently described in the New Testament – he would hardly banish his own creation to hell – or banish those who’ve been force fed to live under a particularly subtle form of tyrannical religious authority. Let people come to Christ on their own – that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’ll end here because I really have no desire to delve into a religious debate.
Lastly, I wish to point out that it is highly disingenuous and false to state with absolute certainty that no specific gene has been found. While that’s certainly true, the language posits that being gay is a choice. To be clear, scientists in 1995 implicated q28 of the X chromosome, or Xq28 in male homosexuality. Twin studies have also shown there to be a very large and compelling genetic factor, and family studies have been able to show trends related to environment and genetics. A more unbiased and accurate statement would be that homosexuality is determined not by ONE gene, but by a very complex entanglement of various genes and environmental factors. Regardless of whether or not genetics should play a role, so is having blue eyes, small noses, peak body height, and hair color – but laws aren’t being made – or not made for that matter – because of these genetic traits. Many animals have also been found to have homosexual tendencies, some apes even use sex as a form of social cohesion, and some species of goats have some 10% of their population as only attempting to mate with the same sex. 1500 species of animals in fact, and 4600 years – 2600 years before Christ – of recorded history on homosexuality – much of which as accepting – and yet American’s – the land of liberty and freedom both from and for religion – can’t accept someone’s equal place in society because of their sexual orientation? There’s a fundamental deficit in logic here.
There’s nothing accepting, tolerant, or morally okay about harming others – and that’s the very fundamental issue here. It’s not about freedom of speech, or expression. It’s not about religious beliefs. It’s about equality, and tolerance. I am intolerant of intolerance, as that is my moral duty as a future counselor.
If you agree with this, I kindly ask that you share it.
Finally, and further to his request, and mine, if you agree with the sentiments set forth here, please share them.