Fri. July 27
About a week ago, I donated $200 to the cause of gay rights. I didn’t donate the money directly, but rather through businesses at a beach resort that I visited. And I’m a Catholic who does not support gay marriage. In there is a lesson about prudence, genuine tolerance, and the current flap over the Chick-fil-A restaurants.
But let me back up. Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy recently got in trouble for saying that he is a proud Christian and that his company is run “based on Biblical principles.” He also supports traditional marriage. Of course, for the bullyboy left in America, this could not be allowed to stand. Politicians in Chicago and and Boston are attempting to block Chick-fil-A from opening stores in their cities. It’s become redundant to point it out, but the modern left is anything but tolerant. As the brilliant scholar Robert George recently observed, liberals love to talk about tolerance, civility, and achieving a “grand bargain” between disputing parties–and then they inform you that part of the grand bargain involves you changing your mind about a fundamental belief. Of course Chick-fil-A is a business that is free to believe what it wants. Until it isn’t.
It’s all so totalitarian, so chest-thumping in that faux-virtuous way that is a hallmark of the left, so absurd. Which brings us to my donation to the cause of gay rights. Every summer since I was a kid I’ve spent time on the Delmarva Peninsula, a beautiful piece of land on the eastern shore of the mid atlantic region. Delmarva is the home of three wonderful beaches–Ocean City, in Maryland, and Rehoboth and Bethany, both in Delaware.
Rehoboth is known as a gay beach. It’s also the place where I spent some of my time in the summer as a kid; several of my high school friends’ families had places there. I remember there was a small portion of the beach itself that was known as gay (“Poodle Beach”), and being teenage boys from Catholic schools, we thought this was hilarious (one of those friends came out a few years ago and we had a laugh about our former adolescent selves). There were always a lot of girls in Rehoboth when I was a teen-ager, and there still are, but these days the gay population in Rehoboth has grown even more. There are now countless businesses run by gay people.
Last week, on one of my trips to Delmarva, I spent some time in Rehoboth. I went to restaurants, bought books, hung out on the beach. It’s a guess, but I’d say there is little doubt that some of my money went to gay business owners. And although I am a Catholic who believes in my church’s teaching about sexual ethics, it’s OK that my money went to people who may have in turn sent some of it to Barack Obama.
Because this is the difference between the left and sensible America. To the left, particularly the secular left, there is no corner of life that is untouched by politics. There is no quiet moment when it is just you and God, or place when you can lay down your sword and breath easy for a few moments. The world needs perfecting, after all. And people with self-esteem problems need validation. So everything you do, everyplace you go, is part of the struggle. There is no moment of true understanding when you say: yes, I disagree with this person, but they are made in the image and likeness of God, and I honor that before our different views (even as I fight for the rightness of my views). Besides, I’m feeling peaceful, I’m at the beach, I want some fries, and pretty much the last thing on my mind is that I am giving my $4.50 to someone who wants to marry his boyfriend.
There can be no such respite for the left. Because any challenge to the orthodoxy of absolute platonic tolerance–which actually amounts to validation and celebration–and creating heaven on earth is an assault on the fragile psyches of the people who are demanding that Chick-fil-A must fall. It amounts to saying they have no virtue, because the only virtue the left recognizes is the virtue of tolerance, which in their hands has become the epitome of intolerance.