So I came upon this trite today. To spare you, in the midst of some blathering about modernism, there was a whole lot of whining about the “intolerance” of Christians on the part of the LGBT community.
Here we go again.
First, a few points:
Christians and the LGBT community are not two mutually exclusive groups. There’s quite a bit of overlap between the two, actually.
Attempting to place Christians, as a group, within the societal model of “modernity” while at the same time, placing the LGBT community outside of it, or, generously, failing at it–is one of the most laughable ideas I’ve heard all week. Not to mention–this framing of the LGBT community as outsiders, as Other, or left behind as the world has shifted into modernity does give a wee bit of credit to the accusations of bigotry that the author is trying so hard to discredit.
“To the extent that a society becomes “modern,” then, it will be packed with people who hold to widely divergent beliefs and values, any of which may be questioned. And the glue of this system is not that we all agree with one another but that we make a commitment to not always equate disagreement, or even disapproval, with bigotry.”
I notice how carefully the author has avoided making any mention here of just what is in dispute here, or rather, who.
What is being disputed here is the very existence of the LGBT community, and their rights as citizens in this society. Christianity, as the author has identified it here, has opinions on the LGBT community, and has, is, and will continue to try to structure our society so that the LGBT community is marginalized, unequal, and without protections, so as to be in agreement with Christianity’s beliefs.
That flies in the face of the pluralism, modernity, and tolerance the author is writing about. What Christians believe about God, their ethics, and their own behaviors are Christians’ business. What Christians believe about other people, the LGBT community, and their freedom, rights, and protections are everyone’s business.
You don’t get to believe things about other people, try to impose them on everyone, and then cry intolerance when you’re called a bigot. And, you know, intolerant.
The author got the first part right. A modern society is a plural one, and one in which the ideals and values of individual groups get to be questioned. He got the second part so very wrong. The glue that holds a modern society together is not that we don’t refrain from calling bigots, bigots, but that each different group respects the others, and that our society does not elevate one group over the other. The glue that holds a “modern” i.e. pluralistic society together is that we co-exist peacefully. That our structure is neutral, that all groups are equal, having the same rights and protections. That individual groups keep their traditions, their beliefs, their values focused on themselves.
And the minute one group tries to impose itself on others? They can expect push-back, self-defense, and yes, being called bigots.