By Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph
By Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph
From European Dignity Watch
A proposed Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the 17th of September. It called for direct surveillance of supposedly intolerant behavior of individual citizens and groups by Governmental bodies. Put forward by an NGO, the ideas contained in the policy proposal would not only create double standards on the issue of tolerance but would severely limit freedom of speech and expression. It is part of a broader trend of such ideas becoming official EU policy.
A prominent 45-minute slot was given to the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), to present their policy proposal at a recent meeting of LIBE this week. The ECTR is an international NGO established in October 2008 by Aleksander Kwasniewski, formerPresident of Poland and Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress. Unfortunately, their understanding of tolerance turns out to be a highly problematic mixture of vaguely defined terms (such as tolerance), double standards (regarding to whom this tolerance should apply), and a radical call for public control of citizens and private groups.
According to Section 4(f) of the document: “There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant (….) especially (…) as far as freedom of expression is concerned”. And in Section 1, it broadly defines “tolerance” as “respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group”.
by Denis Prager, National Review Online
I cannot count the number of times I heard liberal professors and liberal writers quote the phrase: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
The phrase is brilliant. There is actually no threat to America of fascism coming from the right. The essence of the American Right, after all, is less government; and fascism, by definition, demands ever larger government.
Therefore, if there is a real fascist threat to America, it comes from the left, whose appetite for state power is essentially unlimited. But because the Left has so long dominated American intellectual, academic, artistic, and media life, it has succeeded in implanting fear of the Right.
I have never written that there is a threat of fascism in America. I always considered the idea overwrought. But now I believe there really is such a threat — and it will come draped not in an American flag, but in the name of tolerance and health.
[...] Take tolerance.
Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an event photographer’s refusal on religious grounds to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple amounted to illegal discrimination.
The photographer had never objected to photographing gays. She did not, however, wish to be part of a ceremony that she religiously objected to. In America today, thanks to myriad laws and progressive justices, one can be threatened with jail time for refusing to participate in an event he or she has religious objections to.
This is what happened to a florist in Washington State who had always sold flowers to gay customers, but refused to be the florist for a gay wedding: sued and fined.
This is what happened to a baker in Oregon who had always sold his goods to gays, but refused to provide his products to a gay wedding: sued and fined.
This is what happened in Massachusetts, Illinois, and elsewhere to Catholic Charities, historically the largest adoption agency in America. Their placing children with married (man-woman) couples, rather than with same-sex couples, was deemed intolerant and a violation of the law. In those and other states, Catholic Charities has left adoption work.
In the name of tolerance — fighting sexual harassment — five- and six-year-old boys all over the country are brought to the police for innocently touching a girl.
In the name of tolerance — girls’ high school teams in California and elsewhere must now accept male players who feel female.
In the name of tolerance – businesses cannot fire a man who one day shows up on the sales floor dressed as a woman.
For the Left, tolerance does not mean tolerance. It means first, acceptance. And second, celebration. That is totalitarianism: You not only have to live with what you may differ with, dear citizen, you have to celebrate it or pay a steep price.
By Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph
By Joseph Backholm, Family Policy Institute of Washington
If you don’t actually remember it, you’re certainly aware of the Cold War the United States was involved in with the USSR for forty-four years. We were fighting, but everyone was being passive aggressive about it.
Something similar has been happening culturally in the war on religious freedom. For years the war has been undeclared and the damage to religious freedom has generally been classified as friendly fire. “I wasn’t shooting at you, I was trying to shoot hate and intolerance; so sorry about that.”
The victims have been numerous. Here in Washington State, a florist is fighting for her business in the face of two separate lawsuits that arose from her decision not to provide floral services for the wedding ceremony of long-time gay customers.
And around the country bakeries, doctors, counselors, court clerks, and wedding photographers have been victims of the war on intolerance; specifically because of their beliefs about sexuality and marriage.
All along the way, those tightening the noose around the neck of religious freedom have claimed to be allies all along.
That’s changing. Now that they feel they have the upper hand, they no longer feel the need to be tolerant.
by Campaign Life Coalition
It’s been said that history is a vast early warning system. If so, Christians in America should heed a somber warning from Canada based on our country’s documented experience after redefining marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act less than 2 weeks ago has paved the way for the redefinition of marriage in your country.
The direct consequence of homosexual 'marriage' in Canada has been the loss of free speech, parental rights, the persecution of Christians, and systemic discrimination in the workplace. Neither people of faith, nor Republican Party leaders should believe the lie that legalizing same-sex marriage “won’t affect the daily lives of heterosexuals”. It has in Canada. It will there too.
Campaign Life Coalition has documented in chronologic order, the progression of religious persecution over the past decade in a report titled “Anti-Christian Persecution & Oppression in Canada: The high cost of legalizing same-sex marriage”.
Download the CLC report here which offers a glimpse of America’s certain future should it fail to stop the gay ‘marriage’ juggernaut.
In 2003 Canada’s provincial courts began usurping the authority of democratically-elected representatives by legislating from the bench on gay “marriage”. Since that time, Christians who publicly disagreed with homosexuality became the targets of persecution and tyranny. Following the redefinition of marriage at the federal level in 2005, this discrimination against people of faith acquired a type of moral legitimacy and proceeds in unrelenting fashion.
By Ashleigh Killough, CNN
Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed sparred with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Sunday, saying opponents of same-sex marriage should not be viewed as intolerant.
His comments came after Maddow said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that those who oppose the right for gay and lesbian couples to legally wed think public policy should "demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist."
"But you don't make any less of us exist," she added. "You're just arguing in favor of discrimination."
Saying he "can't let that go," Reed, an unapologetic social conservative, jumped in to disagree.
"This suggestion that because somebody wants to affirm the institution of marriage, that they're ipso facto intolerant – by that argument, Barack Obama was intolerant 14 months ago," he said.
Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in May 2012, saying his views on the issue had "evolved." When he campaigned for president in 2008, Obama said he was not in favor of same-sex marriage and felt that civil unions were sufficient.
Reed also pointed to a host of other lawmakers who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which did not recognize same-sex marriages for federal purposes. The Supreme Court struck down a key part of that law last week, effectively granting same-sex married couples more than 1,000 marriage rights and benefits that heterosexual couples can receive.
But Reed said many of those who previously supported DOMA are now against it.
"By that argument, 342 members of the House, 85 members of the Senate – including, by the way, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Pat Leahy – who all voted for the law, and Bill Clinton, who signed it into law, were intolerant and motivated by an animus and a hatred for gays."
By Darren McCaffrey, Sky News Reporter
Welsh Secretary David Jones is attacked over claims same-sex partners cannot provide a suitable environment for raising children.
Welsh Secretary David Jones has provoked criticism after saying that same-sex partners could not provide a "warm and safe environment" to raise children.
The Conservative MP made the remarks when asked on ITV Wales' Face To Face programme about the Government's plans to introduce gay marriage, which he voted against.
He said: "I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can't do."
The Prime Minister's spokesperson responded by saying David Cameron rejects Mr Jones' claims about children in same-sex families and that he is in favour of same-sex adoption.
"The Prime Minister believes gay families can provide warm and safe environment for raising children," the spokesperson said.
The shadow Welsh secretary, Owen Smith, claimed the comments proved that "nasty party is alive and well under David Cameron".
He said: "David Jones' comments are profoundly offensive and he should apologise immediately."
Equality campaigning group Stonewall have also attacked the Welsh Secretary's comments as "offensive and inaccurate".
By Stephen Glover, Mailonline
Then I heard a Tory MP whom I hadn’t heard of speak in the Commons debate on Tuesday. David Burrowes, a leading opponent of gay marriage, described how he had been called a Nazi and a bigot and subjected to death threats because of his views. His children had been told that their father is a bigot and a homophobe.
I thought of Polly Toynbee, and her ‘nest of bigots’. What nasty, intolerant language to use. The language of a bigot, in fact. I asked myself whether anyone I knew, or had heard, spoke about the supporters of gay marriage in such terms. I couldn’t think of any.
Then I took another look at the YouGov poll so freely cited by the BBC. It’s true that 56 per cent of respondents said that they were in favour of gay marriage, but there were 38 per cent against. That’s a substantial minority, and perhaps the figures would be different if the question were asked in a different way.
For example, a ComRes poll commissioned by a group called the Coalition for Marriage asked whether ‘marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman’. This poll found 53 per cent in favour of this proposition and 36 per cent opposed.
I wonder how often this poll was mentioned by the BBC. I’ve heard no reference to it. To a large extent, the question frames the answer. YouGov put it one way, ComRes another.
My guess — no, it is closer to a conviction — is that only very few people are passionately in favour of gay marriage. Indeed, the YouGov survey found that only seven per cent of voters rate the issue as one of their most important concerns.
Moreover, the British are polite and tolerant people, unwilling to erect barriers against their fellow citizens. They are also terrified of being branded as ‘homophobic’, which has joined ‘racist’ and ‘Nazi’ in the lexicon of things that none of us wants to be.
By Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home
by Alistair Thompson, The Commentator
The Rotherham Council/UKIP case is just another symptom of the intolerance and contempt displayed by the politically correct towards ordinary people
On Saturday we learnt that two foster carers from Rotherham had the three children they were looking after removed – their crime, membership of the UK Independence Party.
But as our political leaders scrambled to denounce this latest incident as a "one off" the sad truth is that it is anything but. Indeed these cases are occurring with an alarming regularity and show that Britain has become a less tolerant country. What is more, the fingerprints of Messers Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband are clearly visible.
Less than two years ago the PM branded UKIP members “fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists”. The clear implication is that UKIP is no better than far-right groups like the British National Party (BNP), or English Defence League (EDL).
Is it any wonder that social workers, who have had years of state-backed equality training and indoctrination, think they can act with impunity against UKIP supporters, since, just like the PM, they see them as swivel-eyed head bangers, not fit to be parents?
But this is just the latest example of the establishment's increasing intolerance.
Just a fortnight ago former housing manager Adrian Smith, from Trafford, had to take his employers, the Trafford Housing Trust, to the High Court for breach of contract. Mr. Smith, who had been demoted and had his wages docked by 40 percent for posting a comment on his private Facebook about the government's plans – saying he thought gay marriage in churches was an "equality too far" – won his case. Despite winning, and being awarded ‘token’ damages, the Trust has made clear that they will not reinstate Mr. Smith to his former role.
Despite Mr. Smith’s legal victory, the Trafford Housing Trust feels that his demotion on the basis of what he describes as “his Christian faith and views” is and was justified.
Where was the political outcry over this case? Has the PM issued a statement on Mr. Smith’s case? No.
October 12th, 2012 Jill Posted in Intolerance Comments Off
By Edwin Meese, Heritage Foundation
As summer faded to fall, a Chicago alderman’s fury toward Chick-fil-A finally seemed to be cooling. But fall is fickle in the windy city, and Proco Joe Moreno once again is threatening to stall the chicken chain from opening in his ward.
By Maggie Gallagher, National Review Online
If your job is to promote diversity, signing a petition to get a referendum on overturning Maryland’s gay marriage law on the ballot is bound to be controversial. But that’s exactly what Dr. Angela McCaskill, Gallaudet University’s Chief Diversity Officer, did in July. Now the resulting furor, first reported at Planet Deafqueer, has resulted in McCaskill being put on paid administrative leave today.“Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer,” Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz said in a statement. “However, other individuals feel differently.”According to the statement, Hurwitz will use McCaskill’s leave to determine her future at Gallaudet. An interim Chief Diversity Officer is expected to be appointed.McCaskill didn’t respond to a request for comment. According to her university biography, she was the first black deaf woman to receive a PhD from the school.
by Zac Alstin, MercatorNet
In discussing same-sex issues, let's scrap the labels and return to facts.
According to the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC), as of 2009, men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for approximately 2 percent of the US population, but 56 percent of people living with HIV. This same demographic suffered 61 percent of all new HIV infections that year.
The CDC uses the concept of MSM because actions speak louder than words: actual behaviour is a better predictor of disease risk than self-identification. But even though actions speak louder than words, words are much easier to interpret. In fact, words are too easy to interpret, and in our contemporary verbal glut we are at risk of losing touch with the meaning embodied in real actions and real objects.
Here’s the problem: the CDC uses the term “MSM”, and we discover to our surprise that we don’t really know how to interpret such a concept. If only they’d said “gay men”, we could all slide neatly into our prejudices. MSM is a fact; “homosexuality” is an idea, an interpretation, an ideology, a historical movement, and a rallying point in the culture war. Does MSM equal homosexuality? Some would answer “yes”, others “no”, and thus we are back in the realm of interpretation.
If we are going to be intellectually honest, we should try to capture the truth beneath mere interpretation and prejudice. But escaping from an established framework is hard work. Some people frame the debate over same-sex marriage as an attack on traditional values by a gay lobby intent on normalising and gaining public affirmation for their lifestyle choices. Other people frame the debate as a homophobic bulldozer of religious conviction crushing the basic human rights of a long-victimised minority.
How can we reach the truth?
From Christian Concern
From Conservative Home
By Michael Cook, MercatorNet
By Tim Stanley, Telegraph
In this newly released video, volunteers with the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) describe how they were violently assaulted by pro-homosexual “marriage” advocates while promoting traditional marriage on college campuses and in the public square.