The tyranny of tolerance 2

By Tom Quiner

I bet you’re like me. You have friends, family, acquaintances with same-sex attractions.

You love them regardless.

You want them to be safe.

You want them to be happy.

For many people of faith, there’s more to it, though. They care about their soul. They worry that acting on same-sex impulses threatens their salvation.

You may agree or disagree.

But you can’t take away the legitimate concerns people with this faith belief hold.

Today, though, if you disagree with the idea of gay marriage, you are immediately labeled as being a “homophobe.”

You are publicly decried as being a human being who hates another, simply because you disagree with his/her political position on this issue.

The debate on same-sex attractions began evolving in the 90s. Then, the political call was for tolerance. Americans are very tolerant, very accepting of many things. Sometimes we’re slow to get it, but by and large, this has been a nation of great compassion.

So although Americans did not want the same-sex lifestyle to be woven into the fabric of our nation as a legitimate, alternative lifestyle, they took the stance that what goes on in the bedroom is private.

Fair enough.

Times have changed.

Those who called for tolerance in the 90s had a different agenda. They really wanted acceptance of their lifestyle and  political  power.

They got it, and boy are they intolerant.

Ask Jerry Buell.

This former teacher of the year in Mount Dora, Florida, was temporarily suspended from his teaching duties at Mount Dora High School.

His offense? He made a politically incorrect post on his Facebook page as follows:

“I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up. And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”

He added a second post a few minutes later:

“By the way, if one doesn’t like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles and God’s laws, then go ahead and unfriend me. I’ll miss you like I miss my kidney stone from 1994. And I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”

Free speech has been replaced by politically-correct speech in this new age of intolerance. Mr. Buell learned the hard way.

Intolerance has spread to the abortion debate.

How many times have you heard someone say, “although I’m personally against abortion, I don’t see how I can impose my will on someone else.”

Let me translate this “tolerant” view:  “although I personally think that the object in the womb is a human being and that it would be infanticide to kill him or her, I don’t see how I can impose my opinion on someone else.”

This “tolerant” approach has led to an intolerance breathtaking in its brazenness.

Catholic doctors and hospitals that refuse to perform abortions are under attack. Pro-borts, with the financial backing of Planned Parenthood, are pulling out the stops to undo conscious-protections for people with ethical concerns about abortion.

Congress refused to omit abortion from Obamacare.

Here in Des Moines, Dr. Alveda King was disinvited from speaking at Roosevelt High School because a couple of parents didn’t like her politically-incorrect pro-life position.

There is no tolerance on the political Left when it comes to these issues.

How do we handle these issues? By making a case with unwavering intelligence, respect, and conviction.

The Catholic Church says it beautifully in its Catechism. They call for people with same-sex attractions to live chastely, and that they:

“… must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard must be avoided.”

Jesus accepted people the way they were. But he called on them to change their lives.

And he called on us to love, or as Mother Teresa of Calcutta put it, to “love ’til it hurts.”

It’s all about me 7

By Tom Quiner

Rick Warren

“It’s not about you.”

That is the first sentence in Rick Warren’s best-selling book, “The Purpose-Drive Life.”  Mr. Warren’s premise, that our lives belong to God, that true happiness only comes when we do what God placed us on earth to do, is counter-cultural.

American culture disagrees with Mr. Warren.

Our culture suggest that we need a lot of money to be happy.

Our culture suggests that we need pretty hair, big breasts, and stick figures to be happy. That we need bulging biceps and flat tummies.

And our culture suggests that children are expendable if they get in the way of our happiness.

This last aspect of American culture has a partisan twist to it. One party supports the idea that an inconvenient baby in the womb is expendable. However, both parties have embraced the notion that marriages should be easily terminated through “no-fault” divorce laws. No-fault divorce has wreaked havoc on the growing army of children being raised in broken homes.

The premise of no-fault divorce laws suggests that the emotional needs of the couple supercedes the emotional needs of the children.

The logical extension of abortion and no-fault divorce is gay marriage, which is again a partisan issue. The underlying principal of gay marriage is that one’s personal desires and behavior supercede the greater good of society and children. And yet it is children who need the benefits of traditional marriage more than anyone.

Tom Chapman is the Executive Director of the Iowa Catholic Conference. He stated it well in his piece in this morning’s Des Moines Register:

“The Des Moines Register’s Oct. 18 editorial opposing a marriage amendment and a constitutional convention – “Wrong Reason for Constitutional Convention” – called “same-sex marriage” a civil right. While it sounds fair, if one follows that reasoning to its logical conclusion, any association of any number of adults could be classified as marriage. And when everything becomes “marriage” those who need its benefits most – children – will continue to be marginalized by a debate that focuses primarily on the emotional desires of adults.”

It’s time to get serious and ask ourselves a tough question: who is it really about?

Politics, not justice 6

By Tom Quiner

I’ve just become aware of a website called Justice, Not Politics.

The premise of the site is this:  if you vote against retaining the three Iowa supreme court justices up for retention (re-election), it is somehow unjust.

Why, then, does the Constitution even give us a vote on this issue if a contrary opinion of judges’ worthiness is automatically unjust?

The answer is: our vote against retaining Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice Michael Streit, and Justice David Baker is not unjust, it is legal, and it is logical.

Think about it.  Marriage is the bedrock of civilization.  It is a beautiful institution established by civil and religious society to reproduce, sustain, and grow our communities.

Logically, it was defined as a union between a man and a woman by both civil and religious society since only unions between a man and a woman can reproduce and grow communities.  So it seems pretty illogical for the Iowa Supreme Court to say that traditional marriage laws are discriminatory. Even more, nothing in traditional marriage laws prevented men and women with homosexual desires from marrying.  By definition, though, they could only marry someone of the opposite gender.  By the same definition, men and women with heterosexual desires were prevented from marrying someone of the same gender.

The definition for marriage went further: one could not marry a blood relative, a minor, or more than one person.

The law was consistent, logical, just.

The law discriminated against certain behaviors, such as incest, polygamy, bigamy, adultery, and homosexuality, but not against persons.

So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of folks that certain judges somehow found traditional marriage laws discriminatory.

Iowa would be better served with more level-headed thinkers on the court. Thank goodness Iowa’s constitution gives us the right to exercise this choice.  And a just choice it is.

Should morality be the basis for legislation? 1

By Tom Quiner

Judge Walker imposes his private morality on America

Judge Vaughn Walker says no.  He’s the judge in California who struck down Proposition 8 which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The openly gay jurist said; “A private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples is not a proper basis for legislation.”

It’s not?  Since when?

Why have we passed capital punishment laws?  On the basis of morality.

Why do many, including me, oppose capital punishment?  On the basis of morality.

Why did many fight for the passage of ObamaCare?  Because they believe healthcare is a fundamental moral right.

Why did so many oppose ObamaCare?  Because the inclusion of abortion is so repugnant to the moral sensibilities of the majority of Americans.

Why did 45 states make abortion illegal prior to Roe v Wade?  On the basis of morality.

Why do liberals demand unfettered access to abortion?  On the basis of women’s “reproductive health”, a moral issue in their eyes.

Why have we passed minimum wage laws?  On the basis of morality.

Why is pedophilia illegal?  Morality.

Why is torture illegal?  Morality.

And the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman is certainly not private.  It has been the basis of public policy of every nation, of every civilization, of every religion, of every culture in recorded human history.

Are homosexual couples inferior to heterosexual ones?  That’s not even the point of proposition 8.  The point is all about definition.  Society defined marriage accordingly to protect women and their children from commitment-wary men.  It was in the best interests of society.  Marriage was not defined on the basis of the “relationship” between the partners.

At the foundation of American government is morality.  Judge Walker says that is no longer acceptable, unless it is his private morality, that is.

Should we discriminate on the basis of religious orientation? 1

By Tom Quiner

The answer is yes if you’re the University of Illinois.

They fired Kenneth Howell who teaches Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought.  His sin?  He expressed Catholic thought on the subject of homosexuality.  Here is his fire-able quote:

Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY.  In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.

A student labeled the professor’s response as “hate speech” and the professor was, of course, fired.  Here is what the offended student said:

Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing.  That homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.

It appears, though, that the student is perfectly fine with ostracizing someone of a different religious orientation.

It appears that it is fine to discourage independent thought if it is Catholic thought.

It appears that firing a Catholic professor for expressing his views contributes to the public discourse.

This is an example of political correctness run amuck.

Professor Howell evidently never brow-beat students to believe his way:

My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches.  I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.

Imagine for a moment that the unemployed professor had instead said that he believed the Catholic Church’s position is wrong.  Had he only done that, he would:

• Be revered by academia.

• Be employed.

In the gay marriage debate that rages, supporters ask how can anyone be hurt if people who love each other are allowed to marry, even if they are the same gender?  After all, it’s a simple matter of equal rights. Right?

A few quick reactions:

• There never was any discrimination in our marriage laws.  After all, the laws were consistent regardless of one’s sexual orientation.  Someone with same-sex orientation was free to marry someone of the opposite gender, just as someone with opposite-sex orientation was prevented from marrying someone of the same gender.  Marriage was simply a matter of definition, a definition molded over several millennia based on a premise of protecting children and mothers.  Gay marriage advocates want to base marriage on the “relationship” instead of the children.

• There are going to be thousands and thousand of victims in the battle to normalize gay unions.  Professor Howell is an obvious example.  Interestingly, the mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News and the Huffington Post, have been conspicuously uninterested in this story of anti-Catholic bigotry.  But it won’t be the last example of people losing their jobs at the altar of political correctness.  Imagine Christian school teachers in states where gay marriage is the law of the land, who dare to state to students that in their eyes, marriage is only between a man and a woman.  Their state says otherwise.  Marriage is in the eyes of the state.  Your job may depend on publicly denying your Christian faith that states marriage is between a man and a woman.

Those who lose their job as a result of the redefinition of marriage certainly won’t feel that there are no victims to this act of social re-engineering.

Even gay icon, Elton John, doesn’t feel there’s a need for gay marriage:

Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage.  I don’t want to be married. I’m very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships.

I am no different than you.  I know people I very much care about who have same-sex leanings.  Some of them agree with Elton John that gay marriage isn’t needed, and some very much do believe in gay marriage.

If you disagree on gay marriage, that certainly doesn’t make you a homophobe.

Nonetheless, be aware that you may be putting your job in jeopardy.


The YouTube video above is an interesting discussion on the subject of gay marriage between Larry King, Dennis Prager, and Perez Hilton.