Enlightened Intolerance an Enemy of Democracy
by Bishop Council Nedd II (bio)
Just before last year's elections, I was dismayed to hear police speaking openly at a local restaurant about potential violence no matter who won the White House.
Where I live in Central Pennsylvania, racial tension exists beneath everyday civility. Thankfully, there and across America, the concerns of my local police never materialized. America elected a black liberal to the presidency without feared "white rage" in "red states."
While Obama handily and peacefully won in California, civil unrest occurred due to something else on the ballot - Proposition 8, which upheld traditional marriage.
Californians can legislate by voting on referendums. Last November, many of those who voted for Obama also voted for Proposition 8 to amend the state's constitution to reserve marriage for heterosexual couples. It won with over 52 percent of the vote.
According the polling cited by the Washington Post, seven in 10 blacks voted for Proposition 8. Among Hispanics, 53 percent supported it.
Opponents of Proposition 8 were furious. Unlike 2000, however, there were no complaints of voter suppression, people turned away at the polls or faulty voting machines casting doubt on the results. The fact it passed was the sole reason for the outrage.
In a state where residents pride themselves on inclusiveness, tolerance and enlightenment, proponents of gay marriage decided the will of the people must be overruled.
Angry crowds marched. Threats were made against supporters. Efforts were made to find and punish those who funded the pro-Proposition 8 campaign.
The Mormon Church was particularly demonized, with Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks calling Mormons "un-American" for their support of Proposition 8. Mormon churches and Mormon-owned businesses were targeted for vandalism and boycotts.
A legal appeal to overturn the results was promptly filed. The California Supreme Court overwhelmingly backed Proposition 8, but let existing gay marriages remain legal. A few days after that ruling, a federal lawsuit was filed.
All this because people voted for what they thought was in their own best interest.
My father, born in a very segregated South Carolina in 1925, was fond of saying, "meet the new boss, the same as the old boss." The behavior of these cultural terrorists in California, I am saddened to say, illustrates his point.
One needs only to Google a few words to reveal the venom of Proposition 8's supposedly enlightened and tolerant opponents. Searching terms such as "Proposition 8," "terrorists" and the n-word shortly after Election Day, I read disturbing first-hand accounts of racial slurs. I also read diatribes I might assume came from white supremacists rather than those claiming to be from a persecuted class.
While these people were likely delighted with overwhelming black support for Obama, their true feelings apparently slipped out when people they always took for granted voted their conscience.
Six states currently allow same-sex marriage. But, in 30 states where it has been brought up for a public vote, traditional marriage prevails. Most recently, the government of the predominantly black District of Columbia rejected a marriage referendum because it would allegedly violate anti-discrimination laws.
When the people can't be trusted, take away their vote?
This minority-liberal schism, and the nasty liberal response, shows what happens when blacks leave the liberal plantation. Contempt is not reserved just for Michael Steele and Clarence Thomas anymore.
While I'm no fan of excessive government intervention, authorities have investigated infractions not as egregious as this in the past.
A Justice Department investigation is unlikely, but it could fall under the purview of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission investigated the 2000 election, and this seems to have more merit.
Imagine the surprise when those claiming to be the most tolerant are found to be the least willing to deal with change. It would prove that what my father said in the past remains true today.
# # #
Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the bishop of the Chesapeake and the Northeast for the Episcopal Missionary Church, is the honorary chairman of In God We Trust (http://www.ingodwetrustusa.org) - a group formed to oppose anti-religious bigotry. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
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