sex abuse

Not All Opinions Are Tolerable

In every election year, the progressive folk start talking about tolerance. Actually, progressive folk talk about tolerance a lot. It’s kind of our thing.

I’m a Unitarian Universalist, which of course ALSO means that I hear a lot of talk about tolerance. One of our seven principles is that every person has inherent worth and dignity. I believe this on a theoretical level. Some days I even believe it on an actual level. In fact, I always believe it enough to be, for example, anti torture. Congratulations Al-Queda, you have enough inherent worth and dignity that you should NOT be waterboarded!

Here’s the thing, though. Tolerance is great. In all seriousness, obviously you need to treat people well. Don’t be an asshole, is what I’m saying. But I feel like tolerance often gets confused with the idea that all opinions are automatically valid, because TOLERANCE!

But…the thing is not all opinions are valid.

The opinion that women should not have agency over their own bodies and should not be able to make decisions about their own reproductive choices is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that gay folks should not have the same rights as straight folks is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that people of color are somehow less than is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that global warming is not happening is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that torture is acceptable is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that “some women rape good” or it’s the victim’s fault if she was drunk or wearing a miniskirt, is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that religion or football or Boy Scouts gives you the right to cover up the systematic sexual abuse of children  is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that religion is an excuse for subjugation of any kind is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

The opinion that  hitting children is good parenting is bullshit, and I will not waste time discussing it.

There are lots of things that reasonable people can argue about. The drinking age. Whether marijuana should be legal. How best to improve our schools. Cloth or disposable diapers. Merit pay for teachers. The most ethical way to eat. Whether to use a clicker or just treats to train your dog. How to die well.  Whether goat cheese or Parmesan is better. The best kind of chocolate. What animals can be in zoos. Etc etc. And then there are things that are not debatable. There are opinions that are just not tolerable. If you hold these beliefs, well–hold them, fine. But my rights end where yours begin, and if you want to hold them, don’t you even think about putting them on anyone else. I’m tired of hearing about how good progressives or good UUs or whatever are tolerant. We can be tolerant in the sense that we do not hurt others, but that does not mean that we have to put up with opinions that are not tolerable. There is a right and a wrong, at least some of the time. It isn’t always absolute and there are lots of grays and nobody is ever all bad–as they say, even Hitler was a vegetarian–but there are still right and wrong. And the far right? They are just wrong. So yeah, that means I’m not going to respect you if you vote for Romney/Ryan. Because it is not ethical. And I can be tolerant and still assert your inherent worth and dignity if you vote for that ticket–but that doesn’t mean you are right, or that your opinions are tolerable.


Read Around The Web

the dangers of hotel housekeeping (in which the NYT op-ed page is actually halfway decent about sex crimes!)

let’s play Spot the Institutional Racism! (the comments on this post are mostly good…until you get to “Ashley” and “Katie” who are all, well we are colorblind and you all suck since you SEE RACISM OMG. ::headdesk::

Oh look, Daily Kos actually addresses White Privilege in a way that doesnt scream “STOP WHINING you overly sensitive people!”

OMG its an eight year old shark conservationist! I LOVE THIS KID.

The Feds Finally Borrow Hillary’s Balls to refuse defunding Planned Parenthood

Apparently there’s gonna be a Sarah Palin movie, and not the Tina Fey kind, either. Too bad, because the Tina Fey kind is the only kind worth watching.

This may be the worst thing I’ve read about the prez candidate, and in a world that includes Palin, that’s saying something.

ETA because the girl scouts are apparently abortion pushers!

OH AND LOOK A PSA I ACTUALLY LIKE and it aired during Glee which means people actually saw it, hooray!

The Catholic Church is really starting to piss me off

Now, it’s not as though we have the best relationship to begin with. I think their stance on abortion, homosexuality, birth control and women in general is–how can I put this delicately?–patently absurd. Not a fan of telling people they’re hell-bound, either. But of course these are functions of lots of churches (and I am generally pretty furious with the fundamentalists of any stripe, as well) but.
Condoning the systematic rape of children? REALLY? Come the fuck on.
As I’ve said before, I have exactly zero issues with folks believing things that are different from what I believe. Radically different. Fine. You believe the Bible is literal? Go for it. All about the idea of heaven and hell? Great. Abortion is murder? OK. Teh Gays are all huge sinners? Whatevs. My problem comes when you decide YOUR beliefs should GOVERN my life. You think abortion is murder and you want to take away MY right to have one? Oh hell no. That’s just not okay.
And the Catholic Church? Well. I like lots of Catholics. Some of my favorite people are Catholic. And so my problem is not at all with everyday Catholics. Do I have a problem with the Pope? Oh yes. Yes, I would say I have a big fucking problem with the Pope.
He did not defrock a priest who abused MORE THAN 200 BOYS.
In addition to COVERING UP CHILD RAPE, the man used a goddamn sermon to accuse people of GOSSIP. Because that’s exactly what uncovering a giant, massive, fucking enormous system of condoning the systematic rape of children is. JUST LIKE GOSSIP GIRL.
There’s the fact that he is refusing to testify.
Also: apparently, the Church has decided that the fact that NYT dares to report on their COVER UP OF CHILD RAPE is the exact.same. as the fucking Holocaust.
This makes me so, so, so angry I can barely breathe.
Quite honestly, like the wonderful Sylvia Vane, if I were Catholic–even culturally–I don’t think I could be anymore. As Angie the Anti-Theist pointed out, I could not in good conscience give money to an institution that was willing to do this.
Try them. Try them all, and convict them. Every fucking priest who abused a child. Every fucking priest who covered that up. Try and convict every last of the fuckers. Let’s send a message finally that it is NO OKAY to take advantage of children.