It might be easier to stomach liberals sermonizing about tolerance, inclusion and religious freedom if they didn't come to the tolerance table with such thoroughly unclean hands.
Just as the best way to confirm that a pathological liar is lying is to see his lips moving, the surest sign of liberal intolerance in progress is a liberal's denunciation of conservative intolerance. The louder he protests, the more certain you can be of his own culpability.
Two current news stories illustrate the point. One involves liberal mania over the freedom of California judges to associate with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The other concerns the controversy over President Bush's nomination of a conservative Christian physician to serve on a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory commission.
Two California bar associations are pressuring the California Supreme Court to amend California's Code of Judicial Conduct to prohibit judges from associating with the Boy Scouts. The Los Angeles Bar Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco claim that if judges affiliate with the Boy Scouts, they will create a perception that they have an anti-homosexual bias.
Why? Because BSA has a policy -- ruled legal by the United States Supreme Court -- of excluding homosexuals as scout leaders. Presently, the California Judicial Ethics Code prohibits judges from belonging to organizations that practice "invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation."
"Nonprofit youth organizations" are exceptions to this rule, but the two bar associations are determined to close this "loophole." They are saying, in effect, that California judges should be denied their right to participate in groups whose policies reflect values with which they disagree.
What's the difference between affiliation with the Boy Scouts and membership in a church that not only excludes homosexuals as pastors but openly condemns homosexual behavior as sinful? You can be sure there are plenty of such churches. Does that mean that California judges should not be allowed to be members of those churches lest they give the impression that they may carry the church's values (biases) into the courtroom?
You can dress this up however you want to, but what this boils down to is militant liberal thought police trying forcibly to impose their secular values on our society. If you dispute this, then tell me whether you think these groups, or others like them, would be in favor, for example, of barring the judges' membership in gay rights organizations. Couldn't an argument just as reasonably be made that a judge's affiliation with such organizations would create a perception of his anti-Christian bias?
No, these groups are not champions of tolerance, inclusion or religious freedom, but a certain set of politically correct values. And if you don't share those values, you will not be tolerated, included or accorded religious freedom, much less freedom of speech or association.
If you think I'm just blowing smoke, then look at the next glaring example of liberal intolerance on the front pages today. Radical feminist groups have become hysterical over President Bush's appointment of Dr. David W. Hager, a University of Kentucky obstetrician-gynecologist, to serve on the FDA's Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. The purpose of this committee is to study and make recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of approved and experimental drugs for obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties.
That exemplar of open-mindedness and tolerance, The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is in an uproar over Dr. Hager's appointment because he is openly pro-life (shhhh -- he even promotes abstinence before marriage).
Why, just this year he participated in a Christian Medical Association campaign seeking to reverse the FDA committee's recommendation, in 1996, to approve RU-486, the abortion pill. Anyone who defies the liberal feminist sacrament of abortion must not be permitted to serve in government positions, from judgeships to executive branch advisory positions.
The feminist groups charge that Dr. Hager's ideological views create a conflict of interest that should disqualify him from serving. But Hager insists that his Christianity and pro-life position are "not going to keep me from objectively evaluating medication. I believe there are some safety concerns (about RU-486), and they should be evaluated."
Once again, the liberal position is to exclude participation by those who don't subscribe to the tenets of their secular religion. As we can see, what the left means by tolerance, inclusion and religious freedom is tolerance, inclusion and religious freedom only for those who worship at the altar of humanism and excommunication of all others.