Tolerance Does Not Mean Tolerating The Intolerant

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

"Tolerance", I suspect, isn't a word that was thrown around much 50 years ago.  But it does seem to be a buzzword today.  Everyone accepts and agrees that tolerance is a value and virtue.  But for some — those who haven't really gotten the memo on what "tolerance" means – the word means, in essence, "you must put up with my prejudice and bigotry".

This interesting selfishness is on display in a New York Times article today.  Many state laws require non-discrimination in adoption services.  In other words, if you are an adoption agency or a similar charitable organization, you must permit adoptions by gay couples as well as straight couples.

This poses a problem for Catholic Charities, who have had contracts with state governments to assist in adoption services:

“In the name of tolerance, we’re not being tolerated,” said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., a civil and canon lawyer who helped drive the church’s losing battle to retain its state contracts for foster care and adoption services.

The article notes that Catholic Charities does good work.  Or, at least, it quotes people who insist that Catholic Charities does good work.  And I don't doubt it.  But to point that out is kind of like saying the Woolworth lunch counter in 1950's Greensboro makes really good sundaes.  In other words, it misses the point.

The point: you're exercising in discrimination.

The article goes on to quote Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel and associate general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

 “It’s true that the church doesn’t have a First Amendment right to have a government contract,” he said, “but it does have a First Amendment right not to be excluded from a contract based on its religious beliefs.”

Note to Anthony:  You are excluded from a contract, but it's NOT based on your religious beliefs.  It's based on a requirement — which applies to everyone, not just religious institutions — that you don't discriminate.

Now Catholic Church is whining, because those state contracts account from 60 to 90 percent of the charities' revenues.  And now, they complain, they can't continue the "good work" of putting children into homes.

Listen, Jesus didn't require state contracts to do what He did.  And not for nothing, but I don't think the Catholic Church is starving for cash.  Just sayin'.

John Aravosis has some thoughts too:

The Catholic church isn't asking for freedom of religion. They want a tyranny of religion. They want to force everyone else to live under their rules. Such as their rules that say when a priest rapes a kid, or a lot of kids, you move him to another parish quietly where he can start raping even more kids. That's their definition of freedom of religion. It's the freedom to impose their moral code, as it is, on the rest of society. And while that might fly in Tehran, it doesn't fly in America.

The rest of us also have freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, guaranteed in our Constitution as well. The Catholics are only able to exercise their rights to the degree that it doesn't impose on any other rights that the rest of us are guaranteed. They don't seem to understand, or care, that other Americans have rights too. Whether those Americans are gays, or small children.