A few weeks ago Deacon Greg posted this video, and people are still visiting it and many of them are sending it on to me, believing I must not have seen it, and wondering what I think about the “tolerance double standard” it reveals.
Well, here’s my response to that, over at First Things:
There is no denying that the notion of “tolerance” has become somewhat fluid in the United States over the last decade, or that double standards apply to its application. Just last week, the Boston Globe scolded Vice-President Joe Biden for offering politically expedient racially tinged remarks that—had they been uttered by a Republican veep—would have provided high drama, headlines, and speculation about his ability to hold his office, for weeks on end. “[When] conservative speakers get overly exuberant and cross a rhetorical line, they are presumed racist or culturally insensitive, rather than refreshingly free-spirited,” wrote the editors. “One standard should apply.”
As I write this, Missouri Republican Todd Akin is preparing to withdraw from his senate race against the sitting Democrat Claire McCaskill, after having made an ill-advised assertion about pregnancies resulting from “legitimate rape.” Recalling how Hollywood has recently finessed the statutory-rape proclivities of film director Roman Polanski, (“it wasn’t rape rape” said Whoopi Goldberg”) one watches the shifting sands of “tolerance” whirl once again, as they cover and suffocate the fellow for a boneheaded and inarticulate distinction that we may, with good reason, assume would be found less-objectionable were it uttered by lips first purified with a Democratic Party cinder.
Nevertheless, though one may find a thousand instances of genuine “intolerant” hypocrisy and dozens of double-standards in the headlines of a day, though the very word “tolerance” be overused and misapplied unto meaninglessness, it is difficult to feel sympathy for Father O’Reilly; his actions toward the gay activists were intentionally provocative, which rendered his mumbles about “tolerance” insupportable.
You can read why I think so, here
St. Paul Street Evangelization