Intolerant Tolerance: Marriage Undefined

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In California, a judge has over-ruled a ballot referendum in which millions of voters affirmed a belief as ancient as humanity itself: namely, that marriage should be confined to a man and a woman, not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or any other arrangement.

At the University of Illinois, a Catholic professor has been reportedly fired for explaining Catholic teaching on homosexuality to students enrolled in a course on Catholicism.

What do these incidents have in common? A lot, really. Among them, they reveal the limits of liberal values like “tolerance” and “diversity.”

Under the umbrella of these empty slogans, liberals/progressives advocate all kinds of things, but, ironically, not everything. There is a limit to what they’ll tolerate. There is exclusion in their alleged inclusion. Their diversity is not completely, well … diverse.

Thus, we have the peculiar paradox of a toleration of “gay marriage.” The disciples of diversity welcome those who advocate the homosexual lifestyle, to the point sanctifying it via holy marriage—which is no less than a sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church, with roots as fundamental as the Garden of Eden. Yet, those who dare to dissent from orthodoxy are cast out, over-ruled, dismissed. They are heretics, instantly excommunicated. They are not tolerated.

Is this really diversity? No. This is diversity narrowed to the point where the word no longer applies. Indeed, words have meaning; or, at least, their supposed to have meaning—when it’s convenient, I suppose.

For that matter, a word in danger of losing its meaning—by the apostles of tolerance—is marriage. That’s a definition that must retain its sacred meaning.

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • I’ve always been struck by the irony of the phrase “celebrate diversity.” We don’t celebrate what makes us different; we celebrate what we have in common. Thus the Mass is properly termed a “celebration”–of our common relationship with Jesus as expressed in our desire to receive the summit of our common faith, the Eucharist. A birthday party is a “celebration” of the person whose birthday it is, and whom all the partygoers presumably have in common as a friend or family member. Even a funeral can be thought of as a “celebration” of the life of a person we all knew.

    “Celebrate diversity” is an empty phrase that was cooked up a few decades ago by people who don’t apparently have much that is real to celebrate.

  • I think a major reason they cannot tolerate our “heresy” is that we commit a sort of blasphemy against their god. They worship at the altar of the triune god of tolerance, diversity and choice.

    This new quasi-religion carries the fervor and headiness of an ongoing revolution seemingly on the verge of victory. Its devotees are incensed that like Sidrach, Misach & Abdenago, we dare to deny the divinity of their god: “Know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18)

  • I think both the article and comments are very insightful – well done.