An Acceptable Bigotry
It is often said that there are two remaining socially acceptable prejudices left. (“Socially acceptable” is defined as, “won’t get you pilloried by the mainstream media, academia, or other bastions of liberal elitism.”) One is anti-fundamentalism, which is usually assumed to include evangelicals. The other is anti-Catholicism, which we’ve seen a lot of from the left in recent weeks. The latest edition of the latter comes from Unitarian minister Debra Haffner, a “sexologist” who runs The Religious Institute, an organization dedicated to getting people of faith behind almost any sexual practice you can imagine. Kristin Rudolph of the Institute for Religion and Democracy has more:
On March 21, 2012, Haffner discussed her dissatisfaction with traditional Christian teachings on sexuality on the radio show, Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn. Lynn is a United Church of Christ minister whose group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, opposes orthodox Christian expression in public life.
Much of the discussion centered around the Health and Human Services (HHS) provision in the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, requiring most employers, including those who object on moral and religious grounds, to provide health insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients. Haffner asserted, “The argument that this [debate] is about religious freedom is a complete smoke screen. The fact that it’s now about birth control shows that it’s much bigger than a concern about embryos,” and supposedly, “about the Catholic hierarchy.” According to Haffner, opposition to contraception is not about genuine religious convictions, but “really about women and their sexuality. It’s about sexuality for pleasure, not just for procreation.”
Haffner ignored the possibility that Catholic believers still accept long-standing teachings on sexuality and contraception, and said “the science is very clear that modern methods of contraception do not act by causing women to miscarry fertilized embryos.” She questioned, “When is it that the Catholic hierarchy, because it’s not about the Catholic laity, it’s clearly about the Catholic hierarchy, is going to understand that we live in a different world than 100 and 200 AD?”
Let’s review, shall we? Haffner is a Unitarian, which means she stands for tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, diversity, and all other things wise and wonderful. Apparently, all those good things do not prohibit her from 1) questioning the motives of other religious believers; 2) asserting that said believers are primitives; 3) denigrating the intelligence of said believers; 4) imputing bad faith to those who disagree with her; 5) claiming that the religious beliefs of others are just a smokescreen for politics (any possibility of projection there, Rev. Haffner?); 6) contending that said believers are actually misogynists. Did I miss anything?
One of these days, I suppose I’ll stop being annoyed when prominent religious liberals make clear that tolerance, et. al, are only for those who agree with liberal politics and ethics. Ditto regarding their willingness to distort, impugn, denigrate, condescend to, and just generally disrespect anyone who dares disagree with their peculiar form of
bigotry orthodoxy. I’ve long since stopped being surprised.
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