The publication of two articles is timely given my query the other day?
So is it fair to say that the modern notion of tolerance revels in acceptance of many forms of personal behavior but rejects most aims to simply state what behaviors are and are not acceptable under any philosophical or religious system? ... The second question I have is, given our free speech rights in this country, can we get where Canada is today?(source)The first from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses recent judicial decisions in the United States NOT Canada: Your beliefs are going to be called “hatred”
Now we see what happens when this newly redefined right to have strangers regard one’s relationship as particular and intimate crashes into the reality that most of the world’s religions regard such intimacy between two women or two men as wrong in one way or another – as “fundamentally disordered,” as the Catholics put it.Of course a restaurant can deny service to patrons for any of a number of reasons ... just don't let one of those reasons be religious belief. In Correctly Squelched ** they state:
What happens is that judges sweep the religious views aside.
Not that courts are outlawing the mere belief that gay sex is a sin, at least not yet. But as Marc D. Stern of the American Jewish Congress writes in Tuesday's L.A. Times, allowing mere belief or not actually forcing clergy to perform gay “marriages” is an awfully narrow view of religious liberty.
The practical effect is that religions are increasingly stopped from behaving as if they believed that homosexual relationships were wrong. Believers can believe; they just can’t let that belief govern their actions if it in any way impairs what is a new right to have one’s homosexual relationship affirmed by the implicit social approval that comes with marriage. Under this new calculus, so much as merely declining to shoot pictures for pay amounts to an unacceptable “hatred.”
In short, political correctness is being used as a form of fundamentalism, and fundamentalisms, especially "warring" fundamentalisms as manifested in the battles between religious fundamentalists and neo-atheist fundamentalists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, are a grave danger to democracy. They vastly widen the divides between us, creating an unbridgeable "us" and "them" when what we need is a "we".** -- I highly recommend a regular reading of MercatorNet. Their purpose as stated on their site is as follows: "We place the person at the centre of media debates about popular culture, the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion and law. ... But the arguments advanced in MercatorNet are based on universally accepted moral principles, common sense and evidence, not faith. We're proud to have enemies and we attack them repeatedly by confronting them with evidence. Here they are: moral relativism, scientism, crass commercialism, utilitarianism, materialism -- in short, any ism which reduces persons to ciphers and treats them as soulless machines. We delight in dissecting media cliches."
The issue that sparked the "Ryerson controversy", legalising same-sex marriage, is an example of what "pure" moral relativism and intense tolerance, as modified by political correctness, mean in practice.
While I abhor discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (Full Circle: rightfully I might add) and agree that same-sex marriage could be a powerful message of the wrongs of that, I oppose same-sex marriage because of its impact on children’s rights. In choosing between adults and children, I believe we should give priority to children. I argue that children need and have a right to both a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents, unless the "best interests" of a particular child require otherwise, as in many adoptions. Marriage limited to the union of a man and a woman establishes that right; same-sex marriage eliminates that right for all children (which is why I oppose the redefinition of marriage), but support civil unions (which do not have that impact).
The Ryerson protestors sought to "deal" with me by labelling me. I was described as guilty of a hate crime; the new Ernst Zundel (who, like him, should be deported – they were grateful that I came from Australia and could be sent back there); a neo-Nazi; and a member of the Klu Klux Klan. My views had no place in the university, they claimed. This approach eliminated the need to deal with the substance of my arguments. It sent a very powerful warning to all those who might happen to share my views.