Tolerance is a Two-Way Street

The religious left is at it again. With Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) recently enacted, and promptly revised at the behest of some intolerant folks, came the inevitable backlash from those who want to force their beliefs on everyone else. Forcing someone to accept a different lifestyle is not a right but freedom to refuse to do something that violates one’s religious beliefs is. Yet those who yell and scream and throw temper tantrums the loudest seem to get their way.

It’s not that gay people and homosexuals want equal rights, they want people of faith and religion to fall in line with their agenda. They don’t want people to just coexist with them, they want people to accept them. Still, they don’t just want people to accept them, they want people to accept their behavior. Finally, they don’t want people to just accept their behavior, they want people to condone their behavior. In doing so they are essentially trying to force people of faith and religious beliefs to forfeit those beliefs and cater to their agenda and lifestyle.

If that means a baker is forced to bake a cake for a gay couple’s “wedding,” so be it. If that means a florist is forced to provide flowers for a “gay wedding,” so be it. And if that means owners of a pizzeria are forced to provide catering services for a “gay wedding reception,” so be it.

The quotations around the words wedding, gay wedding, and gay wedding reception are there to indicate that such is an impossibility. As I wrote back in June 2013 in my article You Can’t Change the Unchangeable:

Marriage, by definition, is the union between one man and one woman. It is not the union between two people regardless of gender. Marriage is reserved for one man, one woman groupings, no other combination, whatsoever.

The definition of marriage is unchangeable. It is what it is and cannot be added to, expounded upon or amended. It is nobody’s place to do that, not even the Supreme Court’s. Those who want to redefine marriage have complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage.

The key to understanding this issue is to understand the definition of marriage as being unchangeable.

Gay people can’t get married because it simply doesn’t make sense. Most people who oppose “gay marriage” are not trying to keep gay couples from being together. They just don’t want them hijacking the definition of the word marriage and trying to rearrange what the institution is: a sacred union between a man and a woman.

A man can form a civil union with another man and a woman can form a civil union with another woman. But that civil union cannot be called a marriage. The word marriage has its own definition and cannot be changed. Furthermore, there is nothing hateful or bigoted about that. It is just how it is.

This is the reason most people who oppose so-called gay weddings don’t want their freedoms infringed upon and don’t want to be forced to comply to an agenda that goes against their beliefs.

What’s fair is fair. If gay people want to be treated fairly, they must be willing to treat those who don’t hold their beliefs fairly. That means understanding that people have a right to disagree with their choice of sexual orientation. It also means respecting the freedom others have to not share their beliefs. It means not forcing a baker to bake a cake for a gay couple’s civil union celebration if that goes against that baker’s faith and religious beliefs. It also means not forcing a florist to provide flowers for a gay couple’s civil union celebration if that is contrary to that florist’s faith and religious beliefs. And it means not forcing the owners of a pizzeria to provide catering services for a gay couple’s civil union celebration if the owners feel it violates the tenets of their faith.

The point here, as Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) pointed out so eloquently before he caved in to the gay lobbyists and others, is that tolerance is a two-way street. If gay people want others to be tolerant of them, they, too, must be tolerant of others.