"Either you are with me, or you are my enemy." - Anakin Skywalker
Ever notice how the concepts of "rights" and "freedom of speech" get tossed around like so many other buzzwords of our time, only to be rescinded the moment you say something with which the champion of said concepts takes offense to/disagrees with?
Such is the state of our cultural and political milieu. In a society which publicly extols tolerance as virtue and relativism as the only absolute truth... it's absolutely mind boggling to watch what happens when one tries to carry either to its logical conclusion.
Because when those persons who claim to champion choice and acceptance as universal entitlements are faced with an idea, circumstance or individual they find unsavory, they do what comes naturally to the human mind: they make a judgment of their own, and do indeed beg to differ.
If you don't believe me, examine with an unbiased eye (if you can) the cultural showdown issue of the moment, Christianity vs. homosexuality. It would appear that the Church, on the one side, is considered hopelessly outdated, hypocritical and hateful in her opposition to homosexual behavior, and in her refusal to officially condone or sanction such behavior, despite pressures to do just that.
On the other hand, the champions of the homosexual agenda, gay activists and the media, are portrayed as heroic and somehow revolutionary in their attempts to bully the Church into doing exactly that: changing. The very thing they claim they cannot - or will not - do, they are demanding of their perceived adversary. The irony is stark and might even be entertaining, were the stakes not so high.
Because it's not enough, it turns out, to live and let live. When someone believes something to be true, holds it as dogma, extols it as reality ... they can't stand to be contradicted or disagreed with. Besides shaking the foundation of certainty upon which their knowledge rests, it irks them that someone should beg to differ on something so dear and so true for them. Despite every protest that "what's true for them isn't true for me... they won't rest until they reverse the adage and make it so, force it to be so.
Hence the push for curriculum overhaul and revision in our school systems. Hence the agenda-driven entertainment programming on the big and small screens. Hence the inability to rest until rights are not simply guaranteed for those who believe as they do, but the rights of those who disagree are eradicated.
How's that for tolerance?
It begs the question really, quo veritas? And whether or not true veritas can be discovered, if we're all operating from subjective positions of experience and personal belief.
What's a post-modern, globally-minded citizen to do? If only there were some, I don't know, higher Truth to check our beliefs against, some immovable yardstick agaisnt which we might measure the assumptions and certainties of our age.