I suppose it’s too much to expect consistency, but hope is the last thing that dies. Still, you knew the minute Kirk Cameron gave his honest view of homosexuality on Piers Morgan (“unnatural,” “detrimental” and “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilizations”) the preternaturally youthful sitcom star wasn’t going to come out of this unscathed.
And he didn’t. Hollywood did what Hollywood has perfected and attacked him for being an intolerant creep. The funny thing is, they did it with a complete lack of irony, which means most of his critics are either stupid or lying when they say the marketplace of ideas should be wide enough to encompass even those ideas that are anathema (and to those with a Twitter-sized vocabulary, that means ‘disgusting.’)
Dan Savage is a great example of the hypocrisy displayed by the Tolerance Police. The noted gay blogger, advice columnist and activist has made sure whenever you google Rick Santorum’s name, you’ll come up with something obscene. Santorum has reacted with grace, and has basically ignored the attacks from a man who, I kid you not, spearheaded an anti-bullying campaign called “It Gets Better.” And given the fact that more people have so far voted for Santorum in the primaries than admit to reading Savage’s column, I’d say Rick is doing just fine.
But back to Kirk. Many find his views about homosexuality to be objectionable, just as many find homosexuality itself to be an abomination. That’s really not the point. If you are going to set yourself up as free-thinkers who are willing to allow the most vile and obnoxious matter to be released into the Twitterverse, the Blogosphere and the marketplace of what passes for ideas these days, you have to be willing to make room for cringe-worthy stuff.
And you don’t get to be the arbiter of what is, or is not, objectively objectionable. Because once we start electing Thought Czars who seek to improve the world by cleansing our minds of ‘judgment’ and ‘intolerance,’ we have become a society that manufactures virtue.
You might say that being tolerant of intolerance is, well, intolerant. (And she sells seashells by the seashore.) But that’s not really the case. If you allow someone to hold beliefs that make you want to pick up a semi-automatic and waive it in their direction, you are not agreeing with them. You are not even condoning their beliefs. What you are doing is allowing them to co-exist with you, a person they might very well think is immoral, maniacal or just plain dumb.
So if I have to live with Bill Maher and his vile attacks on people of faith (particularly of the Christian variety) the LGBT community should be able to deal with a former child star who starred in the Left Behind movies (no pun intended) and who worries about the state of their souls.