Gay rights move­ment is to­tal­i­tar­ian

The Covington News - - OPINION - ERICK ERICK­SON COLUM­NIST To find out more about Erick Erick­son and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate writ­ers and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www.cre­ators.com.

The gay rights move­ment has tended to be a well-choreographed stage pro­duc­tion over the last num­ber of decades. Over time, be­hind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay char­ac­ters in film and tele­vi­sion. They pushed gay ac­tors out of the closet and en­cour­aged cel­e­bra­tions of di­ver­sity.

A pop­u­la­tion that, ac­cord­ing to the cen­sus, makes up less than 10 per­cent of the na­tion, gives the im­pres­sion that it rep­re­sents at least a quar­ter of the pop­u­la­tion. Many Amer­i­cans are sur­prised by how few gay Amer­i­cans there ac­tu­ally are. To its credit, the gay rights move­ment has worked hard to shift cul­ture and opin­ion. The growth of ac­cep­tance of gay mar­riage is one of those ar­eas.

With the Supreme Court set to man­date gay mar­riage na­tion­ally this sum­mer, it might have been wise for such a well-or­ches­trated cam­paign to coast. Let the sen­ti­ment con­tinue to grow. But a move­ment hos­tile to tra­di­tion and reli­gion could not stop there. As I write reg­u­larly, you will be made to care about the is­sue, and the gay rights move­ment is rush­ing things sooner than they prob­a­bly should.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment en­acted the Re­li­gious Free­dom Restora­tion Ac­tion in the mid-nineties, and now 21 states have sim­i­lar laws. But in the past two weeks, gay rights ac­tivists and their al­lies in cor­po­rate Amer­ica sig­naled that pro­tect­ing reli­gion has come to an end. While they do not think a gay baker should have to bake a cake for a big­oted Chris­tian, they are in­sis­tent that Chris­tian bak­ers bake cakes for gay wed­dings or be driven from busi­ness.

An­thony Kennedy, Amer­ica’s black-robed mas­ter on the Supreme Court who de­cides ev­ery case based on what will en­hance his power to ref­eree the de­ci­sions of Amer­i­cans, is set to im­pose gay mar­riage. It will be his Brown vs. Board of Ed­u­ca­tion. But Kennedy, for all his faults, is a civil lib­er­tar­ian at heart.

Kennedy’s no­tions of ju­rispru­dence tend to play out with a “live and let live” at­ti­tude. Sud­denly, on the verge of to­tal victory, gay rights ac­tivists are let­ting their in­ner to­tal­i­tar­ian out too soon. In In­di­ana, a lo­cal pizza restau­rant owner dared tell a re­porter that her busi­ness would gladly make piz­zas for any­one, in­clud­ing gay cus­tomers. But the owner an­swered truth­fully that she was a Chris­tian and did not want to cater a gay wed­ding. Mind you, she had never been asked, but merely say­ing it was enough to gen­er­ate death threats and calls to burn the restau­rant to the ground.

In the New York Times, lib­eral colum­nist Frank Bruni in­sists that Chris­tians must be “made” to change their church doc­trines on sex­ual im­moral­ity, doc­trines that are 2,000 years old. Bruni ac­tu­ally quoted a gay rights ad­vo­cate that “church lead­ers must be made to take ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity off their sin list.” Bruni called this “wor­thy” and “war­ranted.”

Arch­bishop Cha­put of Philadel­phia, in 2012, wrote to his con­gre­ga­tion on abor­tion. He told them, “Evil talks about tol­er­ance only when it’s weak. When it gains the up­per hand, its van­ity al­ways re­quires the de­struc­tion of the good and the in­no­cent, be­cause the ex­am­ple of good and in­no­cent lives is an on­go­ing wit­ness against it. So it al­ways has been. So it al­ways will be. And Amer­ica has no spe­cial im­mu­nity to be­com­ing an en­emy of its own found­ing be­liefs about hu­man free­dom, hu­man dig­nity, the limited power of the state and the sovereignty of God.”

Amer­i­cans can dis­agree on gay mar­riage. The Supreme Court declar­ing it legal and im­pos­ing it on states that voted to pro­hibit it will not, like with abor­tion, change church doc­trines that have ex­isted for 2,000 years. The faith­ful will not sud­denly redact First Corinthi­ans or Matthew 15:19 from the Bi­ble.

In a na­tion that has prided it­self on in­di­vid­u­al­ity and free con­science, it seems we should al­low the mom-and­pop shop of com­mit­ted Chris­tians to opt out of gay wed­dings. But, even be­fore An­thony Kennedy rules, we are see­ing that will not hap­pen. The gay rights move­ment, a part of the left, is show­ing its to­tal­i­tar­ian na­ture.

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