Intolerance of Intolerance

You know, there’s a conservative talking point that tends to show up when there is an outcry against something like the Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (I’m not sure what it’s being restored from, but that’s besides the point.).

 

It goes something like this.  Somebody, a business owner, acts in a discriminatory manner, refusing to cater a gay wedding, for example, citing their religious values.  Some combination of public outrage and government civil rights  law results in that not working out so well for said business owner.  People who agree with the business owner complain that their  values are being violated by people on the left, who supposedly advocate tolerance being intolerant of the values of the person seeking to discriminate.

 

In short, they complain about the intolerance of people who preach tolerance.

 

And you know, as a liberal, I am intolerant of intolerance.
Tolerance isn’t some libertarian pipe dream where nobody is forced to associate with whatever “others” they don’t want to associate with.  Real civil society doesn’t work that way. Civil society calls us to interact publicly with all sorts of people.  Civil society has rules that govern business and public accommodations.  We have these rules to ensure the great unrealized promise of our country:  equality of opportunity.  In the business and public sectors, that  equality comes about only with rules that establish protections for people who have been historically subjected to discrimination.

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About Andrew

I'm a Christian, American, liberal, geeky, thoughtful, Northwest-transplanted Angeleno husband, father, and pundit who writes about anything he can think of.
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