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Suggestion For Rand Paul: Retire words Like ‘Tolerance”

Friday, March 22, 2013
posted by Bob Siegel

Originally published by Communities@Washington Times.

SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2013 ― On a roll from his famous filibuster that protested drone strikes on U.S. citizens without a trial, Rand Paul seems to be taking advantage of a growing popularity by positioning himself for a future presidential bid that could distinguish himself from most Republicans.

“I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s lives as much as possible would be more appealing to the rising generation,” Paul said a few days ago.

Certainly he was speaking in the kinds of generalities that could get him off the hook should the political wind change, but these days “tolerant” is code for the acceptance of a gay lifestyle.  His statement about “Keeping the government out of people’s lives” seems to be dropping a similar hint, namely, the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Although he is a Republican senator, it’s no secret that Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul are very sympathetic to the Libertarian point of view. On its face, keeping government out of marriage sounds very consistent with the general Libertarian philosophy of a limited relationship between state and citizen. Unfortunately for Libertarian causes, the militant gay agenda does not see legal marriage as its final battle, but rather one more step toward a whole litany of rights including the right to never be challenged or criticized.

The real objective is to make it illegal to even speak against homosexuality. While militant gays have gained more traction in recent years, their goals have been openly, shamelessly stated for quite some time.

“We are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a protection from wrong. We also have a right — as heterosexual Americans already have — to see government and society affirm our lives.” (From homosexual spokesperson Jeff Levi in a speech for the National Press Club in Washington, 1987).

Rand Paul is to be commended for the way he stuck up for our Constitution before Congress last week.  But an important part of that document is the First Amendment. The day same-sex rights include “a right to affirmation” hopefully Paul will also stick up for those who want the freedom to express their reasons for not affirming a gay lifestyle.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that militant gay activists do not speak for all homosexuals. Many gay people just want to be left alone. Others, such as openly lesbian radio talk show host Tammy Bruce, bravely challenge the militant agenda by writing books like The New Thought Police.

Still, the militant wing of the gay movement makes the most noise and people are listening all over the world.

In Ireland, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 forbids “incitement to hatred on account of race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation.”  This law includes public speaking, broadcasts and written materials.  One would think that a “hateful motive” would be in the eye of the beholder but not in Ireland. Violation of this law includes “insulting” and that actual word is used in the language of the law.  Similar laws exist in England, Norway, Canada and Sweden.

America is fast on its way to embracing similar legislation under terms such as “hate speech” and “hate crime.” Congress passed a Hate Crimes Protective Act in 2009.  Since violent crime is already punishable under the law, getting into the head of a person to interpret “hate” carves a thin line between hate crime legislation and hate speech legislation. Next time we may just see a law about “hate” even without the crime.

Ambitious California is already well along this road. It is now against the law to say anything disparaging against homosexuality in any California class room (SB 48). They have also made it against the law for psychologists to offer reparative therapy to homosexual teens under 18 years of age (SB1172).

Just last year, a judge in New Jersey made a ruling against a Christian retreat house that had declined permission for a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its property. The Judge said the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals(Life Site New.Com 1-13-12).

Those who argue for same-sex marriage tend to offer patronizing lectures about separation between church and state and how the church should stay out of non-religious state marriages. For many Christians, that would be acceptable. They may disagree with two people of the same gender getting married, but they could live with it. Unfortunately, examples of judicial activism in America and laws about hate speech in other countries provide little evidence that the “separation” will work both ways should same-sex marriage become nationally recognized in the United States.

How ironic that in the name of tolerance, those who disagree with the gay lifestyle for religious reasons are not being tolerated. Although such an observation is already hypocritical in its own rite, when we also remember the First Amendment which Rand Paul and his Libertarian fans cherish so deeply, perhaps Paul’s challenge to Republicans for their lack of tolerance should be re-examined.

The truth is, nobody tolerates everything. Do you tolerate slavery? Do you tolerate racism? Do you tolerate rape? Do you tolerate murder? OK, then each topic should be discussed on its own moral merits. When homosexuality or any other emotionally charged issue comes up, the question should not be whether or not we tolerate the practice but why we do or do not tolerate the practice.

We should also rethink the careless way people toss around the word “hate.”  The word has become little more than a label for those who disagree with some popular liberal idea. With that logic, should we assume that those who dislike Christian morality hate all Christians? Liberals would shudder to be described in such a way, but they aren’t shy about accusing their opponents of hate.

Cutting through all the emotion and name calling, we are left with a rather simple, obvious fact: People do not always agree on moral values or the strong words used to express healthy dissent. This is exactly why our First Amendment exists. We must protect free speech, even from those who would replace it with “sensitive, tolerant speech.”

If even a Libertarian sympathizer like Rand Paul does not understand the current vulnerability of our First Amendment, America is on its way to becoming Europe, which means America is in trouble.

# # #

Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Bob sometimes selects reader’s comments and responds to them on his radio show. Details of his program can be found at www.bobsiegel.net.

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9 Responses to “Suggestion For Rand Paul: Retire words Like ‘Tolerance””

  1. doug porter says:

    please keep talking like this.

    signed,

    the Democratic Party

  2. Megadittos, Doug.

    signed,

    the Libertarian Party.

  3. Bob Siegel says:

    To Doug Porter:

    Wow, Doug! You sure showed me! Only one thing to remember before you pat yourself on the back: What I said about the militant gay agenda was true and backed up with facts which you failed to refute. Perhaps those who speak the truth will lose elections. Perhaps my comments are out of sync with the majority but truth is not determined by the majority. The majority once embraced slavery too. What is the point of winning elections if we are going to lose our rights to freedom of speech? On that day, we will no longer by the United States of America anyway.

  4. Bob Siegel says:

    To Bradley and the Libertarian Party: If we lose our rights to freedom of speech (the only concern in my article) we will be a country as far away from Libertarian philosophy as it can possibly be. Just which part of that do you fail to understand?

  5. Bradley J. Fikes says:

    Bob,
    Libertarians understand the danger to freedom of speech from the PC movement very well, perhaps better than you do. Reason magazine regularly condemns such intrusions into personal liberty, as does small-l libertarian Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit. The threat to free speech will always come from a majority, which is why freedoms of the minority are important. As Ayn Rand said, the smallest minority is the individual.

    Fixating on the “militant gay agenda” does indeed mark you as intolerant, and those who follow your advice may turn the California GOP into a minor party. That is what Doug was getting at, and I concur. Moreover, similar trends are at work among public opinion nationwide. To counter the appeal of socialized rights and redistributionism, the GOP needs to speak in way that everyone can relate to. And since everyone is an individual, the GOP can best make an appeal on that basis.

    If you fail, the Libertarian Party will be glad to fill the void. People like Rand Paul provide one of the best hopes for saving the GOP, so you should welcome him as an ally.

    The real foes of freedom are those who undermine the concept of negative liberties found in the Constitution. This is true regardless of whether “hate speech” against gays is forbidden, or whether Nanny Bloomberg controls what we eat. It all has the effect of socializing what are supposed to be individual liberties.

    I remember back in the 80s that Libertarians were often not taken seriously, because we were supposedly such a fringe group, and had such small membership. So I suppose your speaking directly to Libertarians represents progress.

  6. Bob Siegel says:

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. You have either read very few of my articles or perhaps this is the only one you have ever read. I talk about a very wide variety of subjects and am not “fixated” on any one of them. You say you are concerned about freedom of speech, perhaps more than me. That sounds rather arrogant and makes zero sense if you are not also concerned (not fixated but concerned) about the militant gay agenda. Our rights to freedom of speech are being challenged in MANY areas, but at the moment, a contrary view of the gay lifestyle is the speech which will be the first one to go. We must protect all freedom of speech and if that is the current one, I would think a Libertarian would be very concerned.

    As for tolerance, you sound completely intolerant of my view.

    Your hypocrisy disgusts me.

  7. Bob,
    I not only tolerate but vigorously defend your right to say what you say. But as for persuading Libertarians to your point of view, you’re going to get an unpleasant surprise.

  8. Micheal Erl says:

    Yes Bob, your well educated on the Neo Con Movement. Being Irish Catholic, of pre Vatican bent, I was disgusted with how the movement has been so bent on the destruction of the Roman Catholic structure in Ireland.

    I am well traveled in Ireland. Watching the Atheists operate in Ireland, with the identical tactics is quite putrid. Civil rights, Church Rights, Morality are all targets of this enigmatic movement.

    To rely on Political Hacks is absurd. Rand is going nowhere. His father like Ross Perot went nowhere. They love the attention. They have safe seats. Rand Paul can ring the bells like Glen Beck, but it’s all show.

  9. Bob Siegel says:

    To Bradley

    I don’t mind you or any one else disagreeing with my point of view. If I were not used to that I would not write columns.But I am not trying to get legislation passed which outlaws those who disagree with my point of view. The militant gay movement is.

    Meanwhile, let’s add up your “consistent logic”: You disagreeing with my point of view is not intolerance, but my disagreeing with the militant gay agenda, and working to defend the rights to express that disagreement through free speech IS intolerance? And appealing to Libertarians to care about this vital free speech issue is going to get me an unpersuaded response? Good luck on your Libertarian cause. Let’s talk again when our rights have been removed. We should not have to wait long.

    Warmest Regards

    Bob Siegel

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