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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Gay Agenda, Pt. 6

Prelude to the Series
The fact that there is a gay agenda, at least on the part of the leaders of the Gay Rights Movement, should not be understood as anything out of the ordinary.  All movements have agendas, including political parties, religious organizations and nonprofit enterprises like the Red Cross.  So simply having goals they want accomplished should not be off-putting.  It is a normal function of modern movements that want to advance their causes.  

However, many opponents of the gay agenda are trying to make it look like there is something underfoot akin to the subversive activities of the communists of the 1950s, along with a corresponding witch hunt.  When I finish with this series which focuses on the publicly declared and commonly held items of this agenda, I will list some of the more outrageous charges that act more as red herrings than actual concerns.   I hope to show that, regardless of the hysteria surrounding the reality of a gay agenda, these are reasonable, responsible and valuable contributions to the public square.  (Not withstanding the outlandish charges masquerading as part of the agenda, but are only made up by the opposition.)  This is why I chose an opponent of the gay rights movement's (John Rankin) list of what he sees as the gay agenda, as it is, except for the last two, a fair assessment of it.


The last in this series, Pt. 6

Is the Gay Agenda really trying to "remove the First Amendment liberties of anyone who disagrees, including those of ministers, rabbis and priests who refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies; and at the extreme, remove the protection of unalienable rights for dissenters to this 'new orthodoxy'"?

This assertion purporting to be a universally held item of the gay agenda has all the earmarks of a red herring (a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue). Here is how a politically conservative blog presents the issue:
Gay marriage will end up infringing on religious freedom. The moment gay marriage becomes the law of the land, all sorts of First Amendment freedoms involving the free exercise of people's religion will likely be infringed upon as a consequence. No pastor should be forced to marry a gay couple. No wedding photographer, cake maker, caterer, or wedding planner should be forced to be involved in these weddings. No church or any other location should be forced to be the site of a gay wedding. Children will be taught in schools that gay marriage is normal, legal, and moral -- and it directly contradicts the teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. To create this special privilege for gay Americans would mean impinging on the First Amendment rights of more than 200 million Americans.
Nowhere in this post is there any referencing as to how these rights will be infringed upon. The weasel phrase "likely be infringed upon" is not only weak, it is an admission that there is really no basis for the fear. As for no "pastor should be forced to marry a gay couple." No pastor will be.  Anyone familiar at all with the doctrine of Separation of Church and State in the US Constitution should know that there is nothing to fear here.  Some appeal to the experience in Canada following the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005.
Teachers are particularly at risk for disciplinary action, for even if they only make public statements criticizing same-sex marriage outside the classroom, they are still deemed to create a hostile environment for gay and lesbian students. Other workplaces and voluntary associations have adopted similar policies as a result of their having internalized this new orthodoxy that disagreement with same-sex marriage is illegal discrimination that must not be tolerated. 
Two things of note. One, this is about CANADA, not the United States. They have very different laws and traditions concerning freedom of speech and religion than we.  And, their decade long experience shows that earlier agressive actions to enforce their law have abated and the law is in great favor throughout the country.   To date, 68% favor the law and only 18% oppose it. 

However, as to "No wedding photographer, cake maker, caterer, or wedding planner should be forced to be involved in these weddings," we shall have to wait and see.  Do recall that restaurants, theaters, hotels and the like which serve the public were compelled to integrate following the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is only right that we protect all minorities from the oppression of the majority whenever and wherever it is found.  As much as opponents want to characterize this as "special privileges," it is merely granting another group facing profound discrimination equal protection under the law. We will not only learn to live with this imposition of the state, but who would want to turn back to the days of Jim Crow and legal segregation? (Oh, yes, they are around, but they've turned their hate to other things.)

And, yes, children will be instructed in schools about things LGBT. Just as their parents were taught as children about the whys and wherefores of integration, the equality of the races, the harm of discrimination, and the need to accept differences for the sake of all. The churches may, if they wish, continue to teach that homosexuality is an abomination, and others will counter that God did make Adam and Steve. Funny, just as the news from the conservative right is full of horror stories about the coming ill effects of gay acceptance, and especially of same-sex marriage, so the pulpits and airwaves of the 1950s and '60s warned that this would be the end of America as we know it, and the end of the freedom to practice Christianity as we see it. Well, it was the end of America as we knew it.  Thank God.

The Weekend: I'll take your questions and comments. 
Just submit them below in the "Post a Comment" box.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, Steve. I read this blog daily and am always rewarded, but I must keep my public presence anonymous.