Jack gets it wrong again

In another bigoted tirade, Jack Hudson has said some genuinely stupid things. Specifically, he talks about the recent Supreme Court ruling against a bigoted Christian group.

It is notable that certain Christian beliefs would be contrary to the tenets of a gay advocacy group as well, and for such a group to exclude Christians who didn’t agree with the purpose would be exactly the same. Just as avowed Republicans could be excluded from a student Democrat group, or an avowed capitalist from the Young Communist League. Diversity on campus derives not from forcing every group to admit members who oppose the primary purpose of a group, but from allowing all sorts of groups to advocate on behalf of their own beliefs and interests. Forcing a Jewish organization to accept Neo-Nazi’s or a feminist group to be taken over by men is not to enhance ‘diversity’ but to subdue the messages and purposes of those groups. In the same way the policy of Hasting’s Law College abrogates the fundamental rights of CLS to express and advocate on behalf of a particular point of view – which incidentally is exactly the precedent held by previous Supreme Court rulings like Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. Both these decisions affirmed the right to association and its importance in preserving our 1st amendment rights.

This is all about making fine distinctions, something Jack and most Christians are unable to do, so I understand why he would make the mistakes he does.

This recent ruling was based upon Hasting Law school’s policy of non-discrimination. That policy said every group must allow everyone to join up if it wants funding and other school-based benefits. Jack points out that this could result in the message of any group being subdued by a bunch of individuals hostile to a particular group’s message joining up. This is true, it could. But that isn’t relevant. The Supreme Court wasn’t ruling on the effectiveness of Hasting Law’s policy, but whether it was constitutional or not.

Jack next points out that the school’s policy prevents the Christian group from expressing its views. This is blatantly false. The group can express its views all it wants, wherever it wants, for however long it wants. It just can’t get funding.

Finally, Jack points to two cases where the Supreme Court held that groups could exclude members who held contrary views. Again, with the lack of distinctions. Both of those cases dealt with private organizations. This recent case deals with forcing a public school to offer special treatment to a religious group. In other words, the conclusion of the first two cases is that the KKK can exclude black people all it wants. The conclusion of this recent case is that bigoted groups are allowed to organize, but a public institution is under no obligation to offer it funding or other benefits. But then people like Jack probably like the idea of funding bigoted, racist, or otherwise discriminatory groups because LIBERTY! LIBERTY! LIBERTY!

Non-acceptance and intolerance

Time and again I find myself coming across people who think they’re making some grand point when they call me (or those who share my views) intolerant. It is utterly evident that these people have no working definition of “intolerance”. They are completely unable to make even the simplest of distinctions (which fits with why they tend to be conservative).

The most common instance of this has to do with same-sex marriage. It’s a definitional fact that those who oppose same-sex marriage are bigots. They deny that marriage is a right for all and base their conclusions on a lack of acceptance for homosexuality. This lack of acceptance, though wholly ignorant and pathetic, is legally and morally acceptable on some level because it does not infringe on the rights of others. However, the conclusions based on that lack of acceptance are morally reprehensible and (more relevantly to government) legally unsound. They are non-acceptance turned intolerance. And intolerance is the cornerstone of bigotry.

With that in mind, it should be obvious that those in favor of same-sex marriage are not intolerant, even if they think homosexuality is wrong. The time when it is appropriate to describe someone as intolerant is also the time when it is appropriate to use the word “bigot”, such as with anti-same-sex marriage people. They have infringed upon a person’s rights.

It can’t be helped that the word “bigot” is perfectly suited for the subject, but there seems to be some confusion with its use. The word itself does not equal intolerance. No one is infringing upon anyone’s rights or freedoms or liberties. No one is forcing Catholics (the bigoted driving force behind Maine’s recent bigotry) to accept anything. More over, no one is forcing anyone to do or believe anything whatsoever which infringes upon anything remotely important (i.e., rights, freedoms, liberties). Calling a bigot a bigot and not letting them get their bigoted way is not intolerance.

The confusion here is mind-boggling. It’s as if people have no ability to distinguish between intolerance and non-acceptance. What’s more, when non-acceptance shows up as a lack of respect, people further believe there is intolerance afoot. Puh-lease. If I say, for instance, that the belief that God created the Universe in the middle of the well-established civilization of the Sumerians is, in fact, a very stupid thing to think, I am not being intolerant. Where have I infringed upon anyone’s rights? Where have I stopped someone from having the freedom to hold such a stupid thought? The answer is that I have not done that. It’s simply that I, as well as most educated people, cannot give deference to such silly things. That’s a lack of acceptance, not intolerance.