The face of tolerance

Catholic apologist Mark Shea’s observation that ‘tolerance is not enough, you MUST approve or be punished’ in relation to the same-sex marriage debate is looking evermore prophetic.

Please take a few minutes to watch the following video, produced by Manif pour Tous.  (PSG refers to the riots and subsequent damage caused following the victory of the Paris Saint Germain football team in France’s first league)

The label of bigotry has been bandied about so much that it has become meaningless and yet surely in this context, it is entirely apposite. If we accept that bigotry is someone who behaves towards another with hatred, contempt or intolerance and treats them unjustly on the basis of their beliefs, then there can be no other word to describe what we see here, aside from perhaps totalitarianism.

But language and labels are only helpful in so much as they help us to concretely identify the attitudes, cultural shifts and political forces that are underpinning such a disproportionate response to an overwhelmingly peaceful protest.

This video should challenge everyone, regardless of where they stand on the matter of same-sex marriage or political spectrum, which has now transformed into issues of free speech, rights to protest and religious freedom. This kind of response has absolutely no place in the pluralist, progressive and liberal utopia promoted by those wedded to the politics of identity.

If this video doesn’t cause a profoundly uncomfortable reaction, then one should ask oneself some serious questions.

As for what we as Catholics, or anyone seriously opposed to same-sex marriage should do, the answer lies not in validating the politics of identity and competing victim hierarchies, which only perpetuates cycles of victimhood and oppression, but simply in continuing to quietly, peacefully and yet firmly, protest. And pray. Pray not only for the repeal of this madness, but also for the grace of understanding and forgiveness for those who are so determined to see all opposition crushed. Pray for the future generations who are going to grow up denied the recognition of a biological mother and father and pray that the legislators and activists realise that using force to stamp out groups of political and cultural dissenters is an extremely dangerous road to travel down.

Above all pray for resoluteness of purpose, for fortitude and courage, because we will be seeing an awful lot more of this type of response. As will our children.


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