Bachmann: Gay community has “bullied” Americans and “intimidated politicians”: http://t.co/t5I3AZFno2
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 10, 2014
A reader writes:
I wholeheartedly second your critical views on the spurious claims of oppression and religious persecution coming from Christian opponents of same-sex marriage, like Dreher, who don’t happen to share the evolving views of the majority of the society. He wrote:
I had a conversation with a man who is probably the most accomplished and credentialed legal scholar I’ve ever met, someone who is part of this country’s law elite. The fact that I can’t identify him here, or get into specifics of what he told me, indicates something important about the climate within law circles around this issue. On this issue, he lives in the closet, so to speak, within his professional circles, and explained to me why it has become too dangerous to take a traditionalist stand in law circles, unless one is prepared to sabotage one’s career.
To be persecuted or oppressed, there has to be some one or something doing the persecution or oppressing. But he cites no action taken by any other party – such as the guy’s employer, his colleagues, the state, or anyone else – that in any way constitutes real persecution or oppression. All he cites is this particular individuals’ own personal feeling of discomfort and unease with the growing unpopularity of his personal views on the subject. I’m sorry, but that’s just life in a free, democratic, pluralistic society where public opinion, politics and the law are constantly evolving, along with the rough and tumble of discourse in the public square.
Another adds, “One has to look no further than the email from your reader about his tragic health issues after being fired for being gay to know why this whining from Rod Dreher is total crap.”
What I found striking was the ferocious emotional fervor behind Rod’s complaint – even directed toward me, who’s about as pro-religious freedom and anti-victimology as you’ll get in the gay world. The best way I can think of explaining it is Rod’s and others’ pain at being deemed by their peers as some version of Bull Connor, when their perspective is much more nuanced and complicated than that. Sure, some opponents of same-sex marriage are lazy bigots. But some are traditional Christians who simply find the whole concept impossible to square with their existing convictions about marriage and sex. Some are just leery of excessive change. Some worry about unintended consequences. Some are just embarrassed by the whole thing and want it to go away. If the gay community ignores this, and rhetorically bludgeons all our opponents into the simple rubric of “bigots” or “haters”, we truly are engaging in a reverse prejudice of our own.
At the same time, of course, so many of those in favor of marriage equality, especially among the young, simply cannot fathom how someone can rationally be against it. It’s civil marriage, after all. Traditional Christians have long since gotten used to civil divorce. And so the new gay-inclusive majority is placing enormous psychological pressure on Rod and others. The next generation is demanding a reason for the resistance to civil equality for gays – and they cannot get one that makes any sense to them. Absent that, what are they going to believe? Of course they’re going to assume prejudice unless someone comes up with a very good reason for his or her position, especially when they use words like “bully” – a calculated attempt to push back against anti-bullying campaigns in high schools.