Regrettably, sadly, there's a history of religious bigotry in my family -- Germans on both sides -- some of whom continued to fight the Thirty Years War until their deaths. My maternal grandparents (long departed) never voted until 1960. They registered for the first time in order to vote against a Catholic for president. I thought the family's religious bigotry had died out with my grandparents, until a much younger, very liberal family member recently treated me to an apparently rehearsed, out-of-the-blue, shocking, gratuitous riff on Mitt Romney, and, more specifically, Mormons and Mormonism.
It was nasty, ugly stuff, containing no context other than Romney's imminent presumptive Republican nomination for the presidency, and the diatribe included no attempt to explain how Romney's LDS faith negatively informed or influenced him as the governor of Massachusetts, as founder and head of a very successful business, or as the manager who saved the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. One suspects that we will hear far more of this sort of thing as we approach November and the other campaign becomes less confident and more desperate.
It was a very disheartening experience. I'm conservative, so, naturally, liberal relatives consider me to be the close-minded, non-inclusive, intolerant one. They should be more introspective and far more objective.
For decades, the American left has aggressively attempted to redefine constitutionally enumerated rights to favor one or more groups over others. If the Declaration of Independence were to be rewritten by today's liberals, it might begin something like this:
American progressives hold these truths to be self-evident:
- All cultures and religions are equally meritorious (except for Christianity)
- There is no objective truth (until and unless progressives declare the truth)
- You cannot legislate morality (Therefore, everything is "moral" -- except Christian morality)
- Progressives celebrate diversity and are tolerant, inclusive, and accepting of all fellow humans (except conservative, white and Christian people)
- Progressives are intelligent, thoughtful, reality-based, and benevolent
Objective? Diverse? Inclusive? Thoughtful? Reality-based? Benevolent? Not really. Progressives -- liberals -- are the worst offenders of their own axioms when they talk about the "evils" of those who dispute liberal versions of facts, policy, or, especially, morality. The bigotry liberals direct toward those with whom they merely disagree is staggering.
Liberals believe in free speech, unless it offends someone's tender sensitivities (meaning only that liberals disagree with it). They protest the "wealthiest 1%," but exempt from their condemnations billionaire liberals and wealthy movie and rock stars, most of whom share the same ideology. Many liberals believe corporations -- and capitalism itself -- to be evil, even though the capitalist system and many of the corporations of which they disapprove have created the products and standard of living liberals enjoy.
But the American left reserves its ugliest bigotry for Christians. When liberals speak or write about practicing Christians, especially evangelical Christians and, in this presidential election year, Mormons, no slander is unacceptable and no religious custom is off-limits. America's most prominent liberal has condescendingly denigrated Christians as "bitter clingers" to guns and religion. Liberals have (seriously) asked: "Do All Evangelical Leaders Believe Gays Should Be Put to Death?" They worry about reports that evangelicals are voting in record numbers. And they invent scenarios which question whether religious convictions resonate in the political arena. Every Christian, of any age or gender, is fair game for liberal animosity -- or left-wing redefinition. Liberals bash Christians with impunity, because Christians are...well...Christian, and behave in a Christian manner from which liberals fear no reprisal. Ironic, huh? And opportunistic, too.
No one on the left would dare speak of Muslims the way they do about Christians. Doing so would violate the liberal orthodoxy of multiculturalism, but, more importantly, such behavior might invite retaliation from some in the Muslim community. Apparently, there is nothing like a savage history and a continuing, credible threat of violence to immunize a group from liberal animus, to focus the liberal mind, and to encourage liberals to attend to their own affairs. Muslim societies, even those relocated in Western nations, remain immune to liberal criticism despite traditional, institutional toleration of misogyny, honor killings, pederasty, brokered and arranged marriages of children, and genital mutilation, among other distasteful practices. One suspects that if Christians were to hack off a few heads in response to the treatment they receive from liberals, they'd face far less liberal hostility -- at least openly.
If anyone were to describe blacks, Latinos, and women using the same sort of ugly stereotypes that liberals use to characterize Christians, liberals would be, rightly, angry and offended. But so would be conservatives. The point of an identical reaction from their ideological opposites escapes the left, which reserves for itself, alone, the "moral authority" to detect, condemn, and punish the most minute, even imagined examples of racism and ethnic or gender slurs, but only those which target black, gay, Hispanic, and female victims who embrace liberal orthodoxy. Liberals do not consider black, gay, Hispanic, and female conservatives "authentic." Accordingly, these do not merit liberal concern. In fact, the perceived political apostasy of minority and female conservatives and Christians has made them liberal targets.
Sadly, liberals will not consider, much less accept, that their shabby treatment of Christians is as ugly, ignorant, and offensive as the behavior of those who resisted the integration of blacks into American society. Though they are frequently both, liberals do not see themselves as either hypocrites or bigots.
They're too busy muttering liberal platitudes and insisting that the people they demonize pick up the tab for their liberal "generosity."