And so tolerance has become the new morality. Those who condemn homosexuality are morally wrong. Those who condemn prostitution are morally wrong. Those who condemn abortion are morally wrong. Tolerance is moral -- and traditional morality is simply intolerant. Moore rips the traditional morality crowd as a bunch of conspiratorial bigots: "Your people are up before dawn figuring out which minority group shouldn't be allowed to marry today."
Socially liberal Republican Sen. Arlen Specter labels traditional morality immoral: "When you talk about gay rights, it's a civil rights issue, and you ought not to count votes on it. In the long sweep of history, those who favor gay rights are on the right side of the issue. It's a matter of moral principle."
The new religion of tolerance provides a slippery slope into moral oblivion. All activity must be tolerated, since sympathy for friends and family trumps traditional morality. With tolerance for sin comes acceptance of sin, and with acceptance, promotion. With Roe vs. Wade, Americans grudgingly tolerated abortion.
With tolerance came acceptance: Those who received abortions were no longer seen as immoral. Instead, they were the moral equals of ordinary mothers. Finally, abortion was promoted as a valuable alternative to pregnancy completion -- and those who condemned abortion were slandered as sinners.
When Republicans passed the partial-birth abortion ban last year, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California complained that such policy was immoral: "What I think is immoral is to take your views ... or my views ... and force them on the people of this country," she stated. "It is disrespectful, it isn't right, and it isn't what America is about."
The same progression holds true for gay marriage: tolerance, acceptance and promotion. The first step is always tolerance, and tolerance must be attained by appealing to sympathy. The easiest way to gain sympathy for social liberalism is to point out close friends or relatives participating in sin, and then dare us to condemn their actions.
So can we condemn Jeannette Angell as a whore? Can we condemn homosexuality or abortion as sinful? Of course we can. Morality cannot survive in a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) context. If morality extends only to those far removed from our personal lives, it has no meaning. To preserve traditional values, justice must take precedence over sympathy.