It’s unusual for me to write two columns on back-to-back days about one commentary in the New York Times.
For the most part, I don’t pay much attention to what New York Times columnists have to say – except when they illustrate so plainly and self-evidently the absolute intolerance of their bankrupt “progressive” ideology.
And that’s what Frank Bruni’s April 5 column in that once august publication does. It’s important to read it – to see what I see with your own eyes. This is not a manifesto for an end to religious freedom by some bomb-throwing radical from ACT-UP. This is a call from mainstream liberal cocktail party society for forcing, presumably at the point of a gun, an end to tolerance of opinions, views, deeply held religious convictions and actions based on Christian faith.
Why? Simply because Bible-believing Christians, in their eyes, are obviously and axiomatically wrong.
Bruni asserts that independent contractors, entrepreneurs, self-employed photographers and videographers who service weddings, businesses that provide wedding cakes, florists who offer their wares to weddings and receptions, and caterers should not be permitted to opt out of participating in same-sex weddings because of their religious beliefs.
He doesn’t see that as a violation of their religious freedom. It’s not even a close call for him. Instead, he explains that because others who call themselves Christians have no problem with same-sex marriage, no one who calls himself or herself a Christian should be permitted to have a personal clash of conscience in such a situation.
Let me state this as plainly as I possibly can: That’s bigotry at its worst. It’s what I call the tyranny of intolerance camouflaged as “tolerance.”
Let me explain what the word “tolerance” means: “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.” Does that sound like Frank Bruni and others who take his position, that people who differ with him should be forcibly compelled to behave like them?
This is a very serious point for all Americans to think about. “Tolerance” is being redefined Orwell-style before our very eyes by some of the most intolerant people the world has ever known.
- Bruni explains from his enlightened perch in Manhattan that “homosexuality and Christianity don’t have to be in conflict in any church anywhere.”
- The only reason any such conflict exists is because “beliefs ossified over centuries aren’t easily shaken.” But he and his secular jihadists intent to shake them to their very core.
- In Bruni’s view, a man deciding to marry another man is not a choice, it’s an irresistible compulsion. Instead, it is those who determine that the Bible really characterizes homosexual behavior as sinful and that marriage really is a union of one man and one woman who are making “a choice.” It’s a completely illegitimate perspective because “it prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since – as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing.”
- To take that orthodox Christian view and act on it, he writes, “disregards the degree to which all writings reflect the biases and blind spots of their authors, cultures and eras.” But, of course, his writing is apparently devoid of biases and blind spots.
- “It ignores the extent to which interpretation is subjective, debatable,” Bruni writes. In other words, Bruni’s “progressive” views are not subjective and debatable. They are, as the old hardline communists of the past explained about their party line views, “politically correct.”
- “And it elevates unthinking obeisance above intelligent observance, above the evidence in front of you, because to look honestly at gay, lesbian and bisexual people is to see that we’re the same magnificent riddles as everyone else: no more or less flawed, no more or less dignified,” he writes. In other words, he can see the good in himself, but not in those “Christians” with whom he disagrees. He cannot see in Christians that they are also “magnificent riddles” like everyone else.
- So why do “non-discrimination laws” concerning sexual behavior take precedence over religious freedom for Bruni? Here’s the answer: Because Bruni’s convictions represent “a truth less ambiguous than any Scripture, less complicated than any creed.”
- How does Bruni suggest handling the whole sordid little matter of the First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty? “So our debate about religious freedom should include a conversation about freeing religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity,” he writes. Read that sentence carefully. Here’s what it means when I diagram it: “Religious freedom in the future will mean redefining what the Bible says and forcing rubes who take it at its word to bow to ‘the enlightenments of modernity.'”
- Bruni offers the canard that slavery was justified by faith in the Bible. He doesn’t mention, of course, that Christians led the fight against it and many gave their lives to end the brutal scourge.
- Bruni suggests the Bible and Christianity held women in contempt. In reality, the Judeo-Christian Scriptures elevated the role of women, holding them equal in God’s eyes and making possible all of the great reforms of Western civilization in that regard.
- “Religion is going to be the final holdout and most stubborn refuge for homophobia,” Bruni writes. “It will give license to discrimination. It will cause gay and lesbian teenagers in fundamentalist households to agonize needlessly: Am I broken? Am I damned?” Of course, Bruni doesn’t care about the impact of discrimination against Christian teenagers who are being told in government schools right now that they are broken, they are damned, they are confused.
But here’s what I ask you to take away from this column – which gives away the strategy for changing the hearts and minds of Christian children about sin and which will force their parents to violate their own conscience and relationship with their Creator: “… Church leaders must be made ‘to take homosexuality off the sin list.'” That’s the bottom line. Note the word “must.”
What comes next? How will this be done?
By using government force through “anti-discrimination laws” based on sexual behavior, sexual choices, sexual peccadillos, sexual proclivities. That is to be the reigning ethos of the day. That is to be the guiding principle of our society. That is to be the fundamental “freedom” – not religious liberty, not free speech, not freedom of conscience.
Bruni calls it a “commandment.” He calls it “warranted.” And that’s why he is 100 percent in favor of forcing florists and bakers and caterers and photographers and videographers to do what their deepest-held religious convictions tell them not to do.
It’s simply the end of religious liberty as we have known it in America.
It’s the beginning of a new official, secular religion whose primary sacrament is doing one’s own thing sexually and forcing others to watch, participate and revel in it.
Do I exaggerate?
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