1. marcus says

    I found this comment at the J &M site:

    I am a conservative atheist who opposes gay marriage, (emphasis mine), which I guess makes me a little unusual. But at least I’m tolerant! I consider gay marriage to be a legitimate topic for democratic debate, I believe the American people (indeed, all peoples) have the right to determine what form the institution of marriage takes within their own country, and if I don’t happen to agree with their choice, well too bad for me.
    What I find appalling though is how ferociously intolerant so many liberals are on this issue! I have friends I cannot talk about this with, because they end up screaming at me. Many others have noted the same. While I am willing to accept the results of the democratic process, the general consensus on the Left seems to be that five enlightened lawyers ramming their morality down the throat of a benighted nation is exactly right, because the unbelievers are bigots, and therefore deserve no say in the matter. Error, don’t you know, has no rights.
    I’m familiar with all the arguments, and I’m not sure I want to try to rehash them here. I just want to note that it seems to me that for some (not all!) liberals, the question of gay marriage is sacred and off limits in exactly the same way that other questions are sacred and off limits to religious conservatives. When I try to talk about this with some liberals, it genuinely does feel like I am arguing religion, and arguing with a zealot.. (emphasis mine)

    One could spend all day picking apart this very “tolerant” person’s “reasoning”. I will limit myself to two points:
    1. Why would a person being a ‘conservative’ presuppose that they are opposed to marriage equality? I would think that the protection and promotion of the precept of “life. liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans (people) would appeal directly to ‘conservative’ values.
    2. This very “tolerant” person is conflating ‘sacred’ in the sense of ‘divine’ and blindly following irrational beliefs without question, with the true and obvious logical conclusion that freedom to self-determination and equality before the law are the ‘warp and weft’ of our system of government (and humanistic values), and as such, are above questioning in any rational sense.
    ergo, This position is neither ‘tolerant’, ‘conservative’ nor reasonable.
    So while I agree that “screaming” at this kind of idiocy is counterproductive, I can certainly understand the frustration they feel at jb’s (and so-called ‘conservative’s’ in general, there are, of course, notable exceptions) obstinacy and lack of self-awareness with regard to their opinions and empathize with their desire to do so.
    PS We don’t really believe that “…[people against marriage equality] are bigots, and therefore deserve no say in the matter.” It’s that “…[people against marriage equality] are bigots” and their opinions in this regard are not rational and are therefore trivial.

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