Saw a disturbing CBC “Power and Politics” panel on the issue of Tory leadership candidates marching in gay parades. Four panelists; with only Stockwell Day to speak for the Tories. The position one panelist kept repeating, to apparent general agreement, is that this was obligatory or else the politicians were declaring themselves “homophobic.” A more or less direct quote: “it is not enough to show tolerance. You must show that you support and celebrate Gay Pride.”
An odd standard, as Day observed, to apply in other circumstances. Do we really consider politicians who do not regularly attend Yom Kippur celebrations anti-Semitic? Are we now going to?
This new conflation of tolerance with approval is alarming in many ways. If tolerance has no value, and only celebration and support counts, we will only tolerate what we celebrate. This is the most extreme form of intolerance. All views with which you disagree would be silenced.
In the present case, what is not being tolerated is Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, religion, or ethical codes in general—a lot of targets. Celebration, as opposed to tolerance, of “gay pride” is intolerance of all these groups.
Essentially all religious and moral traditions teach that homosexual acts are sinful; but that is even beside the point. All teach that pride and lust are sinful. “Gay Pride” parades are celebrations of pride and lust, at least as explicitly as they are celebrations of homosexual attraction.
Any believing member of any of these religions, or of any other established moral code, cannot in good conscience march in a gay pride parade. Requiring this is excluding them from public life.
It is, perhaps more alarmingly, excluding anyone who sincerely follows any established morality from public life. This is a guarantee of the worst government available.
In sadly only too related news, we see a general furor over obscure leadership candidate Richard Decarie, and demands, including by prominent Conservatives, that he be barred from the race. Because he stated publicly that being gay is a choice.
He said some other things, as well, all perfectly unobjectionable, but this is the one the headlines have fixed upon.
Yet “being gay” self-evidently is a choice, in the most basic sense. While I may and may not have a choice concerning who sexually attracts me, I obviously have a choice as to whether or not to have sex with them. Otherwise, there could be no objection to rape.
Being “gay” is obviously a choice in another sense as well. If not, why do gays themselves speak of a “gay lifestyle”? There is an element of choice in being “gay,” in the minds of “gays” themselves. “Gay” does not equate to “being attracted to members of the same sex.”
As to whether one chooses to be attracted to those of the same sex—that too is unclear. We do not know, and it is deceitful to insist that we do. As recently discussed in this space, the traditional view, right up to Freud, is that we can control and are therefore fully responsible for our lusts.
We live in an increasingly intolerant age.