Protesters of California’s Proposition 8 (the marriage amendment) shoved aside a 69-year old woman bearing a cross, reportedly spit on her and stomped on her cross. They then aligned themselves in a human barricade, blocking the media from getting to or interviewing the elderly woman
Prop. 8 supporter, Jose Nunez, 37, was brutally assaulted while distributing yard signs to other supporters after church services at the St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto.
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was spray painted by vandals, after they learned that the church served as an official collection point for Prop 8 petitions.
Letters containing white powder (obviously mimicking anthrax) were sent to the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Mormon church and to a temple in Los Angeles. (Thankfully, the FBI, said the substance tested nontoxic.)
A 25-year veteran artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, who also happens to be a Mormon, was muscled to resign because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.
A pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back marched into the middle of a church service, flinging flyers and condoms to the congregants and hanging a banner from the balcony that featured two lesbians in provocative positions at the pulpit.
And lastly the tolerance-preaching activists have also taken their anger to the blogosphere, where posts have planted ideas like burning churches to storming the citadels of government until our society is forced to overturn Prop 8. You can even find online donor black lists of everyone who financially backed Prop 8 for as little as $46, with the obvious objective that these individuals will be bantered and boycotted for doing so.
What’s wrong with this picture? Lots.
First, there’s the obvious inability of the minority to accept the will of the majority. Californians have spoken – twice through the elections in 2000 and 2008. Nearly every county across the state (including Los Angeles county) voted in majority to amend the constitution in favor of traditional marriage.
Nevertheless, bitter activists simply cannot accept the outcome as being truly reflective of the general public. So they have placed the brainwashing blame upon the crusading and misleading zealotry of those religious villains: the Catholics, evangelical Protestants and especially Mormons, who are allegedly robbing the rights of American citizens by merely executing their voting rights and standing upon their moral convictions and traditional views.
What’s surprising (or maybe not so) is that, even though 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8, protests against black churches are virtually nonexistent. And everyone knows exactly why: Because such actions would be viewed as racist. Yet these opponents of Prop 8 can vehemently protest and shout obscenities in front of Mormon temples, without ever being accused of religious bigotry? There’s a clear double standard in our society. Where are the hate-crime cops when religious conservatives need them?
Of course, activists say they are merely utilizing their political freedoms and rights, but, the fact is, I see a lot of sore losers who are intolerant of any outcome but the one they desire. Some are acting like toddlers who throw a temper tantrum until they get their way. Are they fighting for their rights or at last showing true colors of intolerance against anyone who believes contrary to them?
There have been many of us who have passionately opposed an Obama election, but you don’t see us protesting in the streets, crying out unfair – rather we are submitting to a democratic process and now asking how we can support “our” president. Just because we don’t like the election outcome, doesn’t give us the right to bully those who oppose us. In other words, if democracy doesn’t tip our direction, we don’t swing to anarchy. That would be like the wild West all over again, signs of which appear to be resurrecting in these post-election protests.
No matter one’s opinion of Proposition 8, it is flat out wrong and un-American to intimidate and harass individuals, churches and businesses that are guilty of nothing more than participating in the democratic process. Of course activism is anyone’s political right, but cruel coercion and repression is not. One can’t demand tolerance and show none in return. Sadly, many of these activists have become the very thing they accuse of their opponents: being hatemongers.
I agree with Prison Fellowship director Chuck Colson, who wrote, “This is an outrage. What hypocrisy from those who spend all of their time preaching tolerance to the rest of us! How dare they threaten and attack political opponents? We live a democratic country, not a banana republic ruled by thugs.”
The enraged vehemence and actions being displayed by many Prop 8 opponents are the same underhand tactics bullies use in neighborhoods and school playgrounds. They reflect the ways that mobs conducted themselves in the underworld. They are methods gangs use to control their turf. They are the wiles that the KGB used to suppress their enemies. But this is the United States of America, where voting is supposed to be free from restrictions or repercussions. Revenge or retribution is not the American way. Is militant antagonism and vengeful aggression really the best Americans can offer to other Americans who oppose them?
Political protests are one thing, but when old-fashioned bullying techniques that prompt fear of safety are used, activists have crossed a line. There is a difference between respectful dissent and advocacy for one’s civil rights and demanding public endorsement of what many still consider “unnatural sexual behavior” through hate language and fear tactics. One thing is for sure: The days of peaceful marches like those headed up by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. seem to be long gone.
The truth is that the great majority of Prop 8 advocates are not bigots or hatemongers. They are American citizens who are following 5,000 years of human history and the beliefs of every major people group and religion – that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Their pro-Prop 8 votes weren’t intended to deprive any group of their rights – they were safeguarding their honest convictions regarding the boundaries of marriage.
On Nov. 4, the pro-”gay” community was obviously flabbergasted that a state that generally leans left actually voted right when it came to holy matrimony. But that’s exactly what happened – the majority of Californians, red, yellow, black and white, voted to maintain the margins of marriage between one man and one woman. California is the 30th state in our union to amend its constitution in doing so, joining Florida and Arizona in this election, too. Like it or not, it’s the law now. The people have spoken.