published Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Intolerance running rampant

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Is tolerance reserved for those with only one set of beliefs?

Increasingly, in President Barack Obama's America, that appears to be so.

• Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, invited to be the commencement speaker at Rutgers University, graciously withdrew after two months of protest there over her support of the Iraqi War during the administration of President George W. Bush.

• HGTV pulled the plug on its new reality series "Flip It Forward" earlier this week after it was exposed that twin brother hosts David and Jason Benham supported traditional marriage and life for the unborn.

• Brandeis University withdrew its commencement invitation to Somali writer Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school's "core values."

• The Newton Daily News, a small newspaper in Iowa, recently fired its editor, Bob Eschliman, for comments he posted on his personal blog on his views of same-sex relationships.

• An undergraduate columnist in the Harvard Crimson recently suggested the school "give up on academic freedom in favor of justice." Citing work by conservative Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield that she hoped could be suppressed, she said that "when an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue."

• Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich was driven out as chief executive officer of the free software community for donating money to support California's Prop. 8, which promoted traditional marriage.

Those are only recent examples. But you know the scenario. If you don't like the president's policies, you're a racist. If you're not for same-sex benefits for city employees, you're homophobic.

Conservatives, people with traditional values, those who prefer personal and fiscal responsibility, are labeled as odd, out of sync, individuals from another planet.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for example, recently was called a "ventriloquist dummy" by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for being politically conservative.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on a radio show earlier this year that extreme conservatives -- such as those who are "right-to-life" -- have "no place in New York."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., just this week said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing while he was ranting about gridlock that "for some, we don't want anything good to happen under this president because he's the wrong color."

Comments like these come from members of a Democrat Party that prides itself on being inclusive, tolerant and welcoming of the beliefs of other people.

"What's disturbing in [some of these] cases, though, is that we're seeing an increase in organizations firing Christians, specifically, because they express their beliefs in their personal lives and through personal, nonwork outlets," said American Family Association President Tim Wildmon. "At issue here is the growing presupposition that holding Christian views somehow makes one unfit for a job. The more we see individuals being fired for their Christian views, the less convinced we are that the rhetoric of tolerance we so often hear from the left is anything more than that -- rhetoric."

The majority of people in the country, Republicans and Democrats, resent this extreme partisanship, this political correctness-gone-wrong. They see their family members, their neighbors and their friends victimized by it. But they don't know what to do.

Some people want to put their hope in the fall elections, hoping a Republican Senate will help, or the 2016 presidential election, hoping that a conservative president can reverse what's been lost. But with higher education, the mainstream media and many judges all in cahoots with the intolerant, the task looks like a tall one.

But the country has overcome extremism in the past, and, as they have before, perhaps Americans will follow the example of those supposedly intolerant Benham brothers, who chose to answer the intolerance rained on them by suggesting people do what Jesus Christ said to do in the face of such hate -- turn the other cheek.

"The first and last thought on our minds as we begin and end each day is: 'Have we shined Christ's light today?'" they said in a news release. "Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpieces of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is ... misinformed. ... If our faith costs us a television show then so be it."

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Easy123 said...

No one should have to "tolerate" intolerance, bigotry and ignorance. Simply believing something doesn't make it immune to criticism in a functioning society. Hiding your bigoted, hateful, ignorant beliefs about homosexuals behind "Christianity" doesn't mean you get a pass.

But I always like to watch Christians play the victim. Because everyone knows how badly they're persecuted in this country where 80% of the population claims to be a Christian. Keep whining, martyrs. You're not fooling anyone.

May 10, 2014 at 3:41 a.m.
LibDem said...

It's true that good conservatives can't hardly catch a break anymore. I hear tell in some places they don't even want Christians carrying their guns into churches which are really dangerous places.

The onliest thing still sacred is fiction writing.

May 10, 2014 at 8:51 a.m.
librul said...

"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed."

-- Mark Twain

May 10, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Hooray for the students at Rutgers! It tickles my innards to see them call out Condoleezza Rice for the vile, despicable, dishonorable creature she is. EVERY person who served in the Bush administration, from GW on down the line, needs to be held in the utmost contempt for their lying and deceit in taking us into a shameful, useless, ill-begotten war (Actually, both wars were unjustified.) Every one of them has the innocent blood of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis on their hands. They should all be behind bars for life instead of writing their memoirs and giving speeches for a hundred thousand a pop.

And this editor has the audacity to call it "intolerance," when all those students were doing was telling it like it is, speaking truth to someone who was complicit in lying to the American people and causing rivers of innocent blood to flow?

May 10, 2014 at 11:58 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Conservatives, people with traditional values, those who prefer personal and fiscal responsibility, are labeled as odd, out of sync, individuals from another planet."

I love the way he so matter of factly implies that we libs DON'T have personal and fiscal responsibility. Funny but all my liberal friends are and always have been every bit as personally and fiscally responsible as any conservative I know. And as for those poorer people on food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, and SSDI that conservatives like to call "moochers," they are comprised of just as many conservatives as liberals.

Just because we libs believe in the value of strong safety net programs doesn't mean we want to use them as a "hammock." I wonder...have any conservatives who say such idiotic things and honestly think that food stamps or welfare pay out enough to live large and kick back in a hammock ever actually tried living for long on what those programs pay out? Not hammock-swinging comfort, by any stretch of the imagination!

May 10, 2014 at 12:27 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I find it interesting how conservatives and Christian fundamentalists are wrapping their bigotry and hatred of others in nice sounding phrases, like "support of traditional marriage"..."hating the sin but loving the sinner"..."intelligent design"..."pro-life" or "individual freedom and personal responsibility." Who can argue with such positive sounding utterances? I guess the abolitionists back in the good ol' glory days of Southern plantations and slavery were considered intolerant, too, when they spoke out against the white Southerners' "right" to own slaves. After all they were just enterprising, industrious, God-fearing landowners, making money and keeping the economy going, giving those poor uneducated black folks a roof over their heads and steady work. Damn those intolerant abolitionists.

May 10, 2014 at 12:56 p.m.
librul said...

Yep, Rick - it's heartwarming to see that when war criminals like Condosleaza tiptoe out into the public square in an effort to rejoin respectable society they are shown by those who care about justice that they are not in prison only because the corrupted, neutered judiciary has their back - just as its appointments were intended.

The case of Zucotti park memorial demonstrator / bystander Cecily MacMillan shows how far down the tubes American jurisprudence has gone. When an innocent woman tries to protect herself from a groping cop who grabs and bruises her breast by giving him a well-deserved elbow in the face, and she is sentenced to SEVEN YEARS in jail there is no doubt we are living in an out-of-control police state.

When shocked jurors have to respond by writing the judge to ask that he negate her jail sentence because none of them were aware that an act of self defense against such an affront to one's person by a pig could even carry jail time, all doubt is eliminated.

May 10, 2014 at 1:10 p.m.
librul said...

One wonders how Deerfield Beach, FL will deal with Satanic "persecution" resulting from the SCOTUS' recent ruling?

May 10, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Librul, I was disgusted and outraged when I saw/read the story about Cecily MacMillan. Yes, we are living in a militarized police state where protesting (at least if you're a LIBERAL protester, demonstrating against the oligarchy, the unregulated excesses of Wall St., the MIC, the oppression of extreme conservatism and austerity gone amok) is treated as a crime, or worse - an act of terrorism.

My understanding is that the judge has not yet passed sentence. The truth of the matter is that the cop should have been charged and Cecily MacMillan treated as a victim. If that judge imposes anything more than a suspended sentence, I would hope that there will be an immediate uprising, with thousands of people taking to the streets. I am hoping the time will come soon that enough people will get so disgusted with the status quo of extreme conservatism that there will be protests of hundreds of thousands of people, where the cops will not possibly be able to contain the tidal wave of fed-up, angry demonstrators. I can barely walk, have to use a cane to get around, but I swear I will gladly join such a protest.

Don't know if you saw this on Democracy Now or not:

May 10, 2014 at 2:49 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

BTW... I notice that you referred to her as a "demonstrator/bystander." I read somewhere that she was not really demonstrating at all, that she just happened to be there, was on her way somewhere else, and she suddenly found herself in the midst of the maelstrom.

May 10, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.
conservative said...

Wow! Mr. Cooper must have hit hard.

Most of the regular Atheists have shown up

May 10, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

If by "hit hard," you mean saying completely outrageous, dumbass things, you got that right, con-man. We're just doing our job, making sure to set the record straight, talking sense to all the nonsense that you conservatives/fundamentalists spew out on a daily basis.

May 10, 2014 at 4:51 p.m.
Plato said...

Well I don't think Condy should be bared from her gig just becasue she went on Sunday Morning talk shows, and articulated whitehouse talking points to convince people we were facing a nuclear threat . . . . whoops - and where the heck was Darrell Issa when we needed him?

May 10, 2014 at 7:25 p.m.
librul said...

.... probably making whoopie with his blowup doll.

May 10, 2014 at 8:25 p.m.
wallyworld said...

Yeah, I seem to remember these words flowing from this war criminal's mouth: Will we see the smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud? They all knew they were lying and played along for funzies ~ how sick is that?

May 11, 2014 at 7:02 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.