I mentioned the case of Brendan Eich a little while ago. He’s the genius that basically invented JavaScript, which web programmers are very familiar with and have been using since 1995. He co-founded Mozilla, the company that produces, among other things, the Firefox web browser. He was going to be the company’s CEO recently, until someone noticed he gave $1,000 to the Proposition 8 effort in California to keep marriage to mean one-man-one-woman. He was run out of the company for what I called a Thought Crime. He was eminently qualified to be the CEO of the company, but because he had the politically incorrect idea that marriage should mean what it’s meant for millennia, he was pressured to resign. There were no allegations that he had ever treated someone badly because of their sexual orientation, but he had, according to some, the wrong idea about marriage, and therefore he was unfit to be CEO of the technology company he helped create.

That’s what I want to stress here. In every other way, he was qualified for the job, but he had opinions that some disagreed with, and they created an atmosphere where Eich could not function in that job. That, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what the word “intolerance” means. The irony is that those who created that atmosphere would very likely consider themselves the tolerant ones. The sad part is, they are unable to see intolerance in themselves because of the way they have redefined the word “intolerance” to mean “disagreeing with me”.

That was exhibit A. Exhibit B showed up a couple weeks ago when twin brothers Jason and David Benham were green-lit to host a new show on Home and Garden TV – HGTV – about fixing up dilapidated houses for families in need. Who in the world could be against that?

Well, in a radio interview, David Benham said this, and made some people mad.

We don’t realize that, okay, if 87 percent of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand, we have no-fault divorce, we have pornography and perversion, we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation, we have adultery. We even have allowed demonic ideologies to take our universities and our public school systems while the church sits silent and just builds big churches.

So this is a rant against an apathetic church that doesn’t stand up for what it believes in. And he lists off several issues that the Christian church, in general, does find wrong. Not all of them agree on all of the issues, true, but the larger point he is making is that all this is happening while the churches build bigger buildings but too many don’t actually do anything about the issues they do agree are problems. A fair point.

But did you catch the problem? The blog Right Wing Watch did. These ideas expressed by the Benhams were simply not politically correct and did not line up with their opinions, so they “tolerantly” screamed loud and long over it, and HGTV rolled over, cancelling the show before it even aired.

The real problem here, aside from more instances of being judged guilty of Thought Crimes by the “tolerant” Left, is that this was no fan outcry (the show hadn’t even aired yet), nor a huge outcry. One blog with, I guess in the eyes of HGTV, enough influence, was enough to get them to cave in to the bullying and drop the show. A few folks, who can muster the required offense and indignation, are enough to shut down people who are, again, qualified for their job, but whose thoughts on unrelated issues are not orthodox enough for the Left.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Matt Walsh summed up this issue succinctly on his blog entry on the subject with this sentence, “[I]f you mention the ‘gay agenda,’ the gay agenda will prove there is no gay agenda by having you fired for mentioning the gay agenda.” Indeed, the Benham’s point out in the CNN interview video you can find in the show notes, that their issue is with the agenda; not specifically homosexual persons, but the agenda that is being pushed on our culture, by those who are straight as well as gay.

But a commenter on the Google+ page for my "Consider This" podcast made a good point in regard to this. He said, “Liberals don’t hate christians .. they just hate their ‘agenda’.” Aside from his suggestion that a real Christian can’t be liberal (a suggestion he reinforced in our conversation, and which I’m sure a few of my liberal Christian friends, or even I, could easily take apart), it’s a fair question; can you be against an agenda without being against the individuals covered by said agenda?

I would say “Yes”, and here’s why. When you are against an agenda, you seek to influence the culture and/or government. When you are against individuals, you seek to punish individuals. Eich and the Benhams sought to influence government, in Eich’s Prop 8 donation case, or influence the culture, in the Benham’s case where they would just be who they are on their show. Conversely, those who disagreed with them sought to take out their pound of flesh on those men personally.

Yes, I’m sure that, somewhere, there are contrary examples, but on the whole, this is how the fight has been. And I’m sure that those who are for same-sex marriage would like to paint Prop 8 as a case of going after individuals. It is not. It’s a question of whether it’s good for our culture to redefine an institution that has served us well for as far back as you care to look. And in spite of how you want to frame it, Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, as a couple of examples I pulled out of my head at random, do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, both in serving and in hiring.

The difference between the two sides is clarifying.

I really have to wonder how many people are really represented by those who are doing this bullying. Would most gays have really cared that the Benhams were Christians? How many would have looked past their differences and enjoyed watching the charitable work they were doing? I guess HGTV thought, not enough. But I guess we’ll never know.

Filed under: ChristianityConsider This!CultureFree SpeechHomosexualityLiberalPodcastsReligion

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