Reading George Fox

Re: The Christianists’ Terms of Surrender

On June 27, 2013, Sullivan wrote: “There is no way to resolve the deep cultural conflict in this kind of area; but there is a way to manage it. With civility, generosity and toleration – on both sides.” But this is problematic, how does one treat bigotry “civilly”?

Certainly the Christianists can continue to denounce LGBT folk in their churches. As is proper, there's no law against hateful speech. But as private citizens, we should treat that attitude the same way we treat Anti-Semitism, Racism, etc—replying forcefully with the truth of equality. Such hatred is morally wrong and there's no reason we should tolerate it in our lives. As long as their actions are confined to the religious sphere, they can be left alone. But when it comes to the public realm, even in the midst of transactions between two private citizens, the law must forbid discrimination.

This is what the fight around “religious liberty” is going to be about: the “right” to not sell flowers for a marriage between same sex couples; to not recognize said marriages in hospitals run by religious institutions; to not rent a hall to host a celebration.

We do not tolerate florists turning Jewish couples away, Catholic Hospitals keeping Muslim couples apart, halls refusing to rent to black couples. What makes hateful beliefs about sexual identity so special that we should confer the right to discrimination upon their believers?

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