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 Tolerance Strikes Again 

June 15, 2006 
paragraph indentAnother media typhoon: “Metro Board Member Fired for Comment on Gays.” I’m glad I don’t have to unpack that headline for Grandpa Sobran, who went to his reward in 1959, when the world was more or less normal. Today's column is "Tolerance Strikes Again" -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.Today you may lose your job for using the word normal.

paragraph indentGrandpa Sobran deserves to be remembered for one priceless remark. When my father asked him, around 1938, why he thought there would be another war, he explained, “You can’t have two bulls in the same pasture.”

paragraph indentThat simple, pregnant comment contained a presumption about normality that is no longer acceptable: that bulls like cows better than they like other bulls. In the age of Brokeback Mountain, we must allow for the possibility that a pair of bulls may prefer an alternative lifestyle.

paragraph indentSo the Republican governor of Maryland fired the guy, one Robert Smith, for saying, “Homosexual behavior, in my view, is deviant.” Feeling a need to explain this quaint view, Smith added, “I’m a Roman Catholic.” Catholics still believe that bulls prefer cows. A dogma, I guess.

paragraph indentThe governor also felt a need to explain his action: “Robert Smith’s comments were highly inappropriate, insensitive, and unacceptable. They are in direct conflict to [sic] my administration’s commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance, and opportunity.”

paragraph indentSuch “tolerance” makes the blood run cold. Smith made his comment on an obscure cable show, where he was giving his own opinion (“in my view”), one unrelated to his office. Another Metro board member, speaking as “an openly gay elected official,” said he was “deeply offended,” called for Smith’s head, and got it. Such is tolerance in the year of Our Lord 2006.

paragraph indentAdmittedly, Smith made a poor choice of words. He should have said, “Sodomy is a perversion.”

paragraph indentMy old friend Ann Coulter has made the remarkable discovery that when you say obvious things that everyone knows to be true, people listen gratefully. She realizes that polite argument with liberals, couched in timid euphemism, gets you exactly nowhere. Their “tolerance” extends only to people who accept their dubious and even absurd premises.

[Breaker quote for Tolerance Strikes Again: The wisdom of Grandpa Sobran]paragraph indentYes, I’d rather not hurt people’s feelings. But there are so many people nowadays who are positively eager to be “deeply offended” that you’re a sucker if you try to avoid offending them. We’re dealing with aggressors who pose as victims.

paragraph indentThe current vocabulary of hypocrisy includes such words as gay, lifestyle, and the ludicrous homophobia, which systematically deny the obvious. We’re talking about an ugly and unsanitary perversion as well as an immoral way of living, the sadness of which should excite our pity as well as our censure.

paragraph indentWhy should we pretend otherwise? Only because of new taboos — social pressures against candor — that are as perverse as sodomy itself. We are to make believe that “marriage” can mean something it has never meant before, that the rectum is as suitable a receptacle for the male seed as the womb, that a filthy and fruitless union is equal in dignity to one that produces human life? And all this with a straight face?

paragraph indentOh, Lord. Victorian hypocrisy had nothing on the liberal kind, which insists that all the generations before us were wrong. Overnight we must repudiate what everyone always knew and still knows. We have seen the same obligatory amnesia with fornication and abortion; evils have suddenly become “rights.”

paragraph indentAnd this is what our children grow up being taught in state schools and the mass media. Democratic values, you know. Equality. Tolerance. Constitutional rights. Raising public awareness.

paragraph indentBut the lies, being lies, don’t work too well. For some reason, kids still love real love — the fruitful mutual love of men and women. They refuse to accept gay as something positive; they use it as a term of abuse and ridicule. They recognize it as a joke, no matter what their elders try to tell them. Reality is insistent. Humor remains, as ever, the final revenge of the normal on the official.

paragraph indentThe enormous official effort to normalize the abnormal is doomed. Note the root word norm: G.K. Chesterton long ago observed “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.”

paragraph indentBut normality seems to be the one thing liberalism’s inclusiveness excludes and its tolerance can’t tolerate.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2006 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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