What's surprising (or maybe not so) is that even though 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8, protests against black churches are virtually nonexistent. And everyone knows exactly why: Such actions would be viewed as racist. Yet these opponents of Prop. 8 can protest vehemently and shout obscenities in front of Mormon temples without ever being accused of religious bigotry. There's a clear double standard in our society. Where are the hate-crime cops when religious conservatives need them?
There were many of us who passionately opposed Obama, but you don't see us protesting in the streets or crying "unfair." Rather, we are submitting to a democratic process and now asking how we can support "our" president. Just because we don't like the election outcome doesn't give us the right to bully those who oppose us. In other words, if democracy doesn't tip our direction, we don't swing to anarchy. That would be like the Wild West, the resurrection of which seems to be happening in these postelection protests.
I agree with Prison Fellowship's founder, Chuck Colson, who wrote: "This is an outrage. What hypocrisy from those who spend all of their time preaching tolerance to the rest of us! How dare they threaten and attack political opponents? We live in a democratic country, not a banana republic ruled by thugs."
Regardless of one's opinion of Proposition 8, it is flat-out wrong and un-American to intimidate and harass individuals, churches and businesses that are guilty of nothing more than participating in the democratic process. Political protests are one thing, but when old-fashioned bullying techniques are used that restrict voting liberties and even prompt fear of safety, activists have crossed a line. There is a difference between respectfully advocating one's civil rights and demanding public endorsement of what many still consider to be unnatural sexual behavior through cruel coercion and repression tactics. One thing is for sure: The days of peaceful marches, such as those headed up by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seem to be long gone.
The truth is that the great majority of Prop. 8 advocates are not bigots or hatemongers. They are American citizens who are following 5,000 years of human history and the belief of every major people and religion: Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Their pro-Prop. 8 votes weren't intended to deprive any group of its rights; they were safeguarding their honest convictions regarding the boundaries of marriage.
On Nov. 4, the pro-gay community obviously was flabbergasted that a state that generally leans left actually voted right when it came to holy matrimony. But that's exactly what happened; the majority of Californians -- red, yellow, black and white -- voted to define the margins of marriage as being between one man and one woman. California is the 30th state in our union to amend its constitution in doing so, joining Florida and Arizona in this election. Like it or not, it's the law now. The people have spoken.
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