A response to, “I have always supported Kirk Cameron and will continue to do so. I mean no disrespect to those who believe differently than I but just as they have the right to speak out for gay marriage, I have the right to speak against it. I agree 100% with Kirk Cameron. Sorry if anyone is offended, but that “First Amendment” thing applies to us Christians too.” Edits are noted.
“I’m more offended that you think that people who disagree with you are not allowing you your First Amendment Rights.
I don’t know how many times I’ve pointed out to people WHY I disagree with them, WHY I think their stance denies the human dignity of my friends and family, WHY I think their stance is counter to the ideal of equal protection under the law,….or when I point out how their ideas are flat-out wrong, such as Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort’s version of biological evolution – what a “transitional fossil” is, that the modern banana [was created in its current form instead of being] is the product of generations and generations of human agricultural intervention and looks very little like a wild banana, or any other such factual inaccuracy – and then instead of addressing what I have just said, instead of having an honest conversation with me, I am confronted with, “I have First Amendment Rights!!!” Look, nobody is shutting Kirk Cameron up…at all. In fact, unlike me and most other people, because he was an actor on an old TV show, he gets on the news – in front of literally millions of people and he says what he wants with no formal repercussions. He and Ray Comfort have a YouTube channel where they produce videos that communicate their ideas. They even distributed a bunch of books (such as they were) at one point. Even if I were rude enough to call him names, TELL him to shut up (with no power behind me), or lament at why anyone would give this guy air-time – I would not be taking away his First Amendment Rights. Yes, of course the First Amendment applies to Christians. They are THE most privileged religious group in the United States. They control a GREAT deal of the wealth. Very few people who are not Christian are able to gain public office. There are not one, but multiple television channels that are produced by Christian organizations. There are many, many lobbying organizations that represent the interests of various Christian sects and religiously motivated stances. How on earth do you think that your First Amendment Rights are under attack when people are offended by your ideas and point out why they are offended? Does that make any sense?
You can find examples of areas of the world where there is no Freedom of Speech – where there are blasphemy laws – where you can literally be shot by the legitimate authority of the country for insulting the state religion. There are places – like Iran – where apostasy is a capital offense. There are places where, if you speak against the government, you will be “re-educated” and the political opposition lives in fear of death and torture. Show me an example of where the people being persecuted are in the same group as the one who control[s] the money, the power, and the means of production. Usually, it’s the other way around. However, I think only in the U.S. are the oppressors so insistent that they are actually the oppressed – when they point out any disturbance in their traditional political authority, social privilege, and dominance as threats to liberty.
How twisted do you think what you just said would seem to those who live under these oppressive regimes – who currently languish in prisons and await brutal execution for simply speaking true to their conscience?
This isn’t about Christians being silenced. They aren’t. If anything, this is about Christians speaking their mind. It’s about Christians and others waking up to the realities of the ingrained injustices within our culture and our law – and attempting to fix it. Only a few years ago were laws against personal intimate relationships between adults rejected by the Supreme Court, before then, you could be jailed in many states for things that are absolutely nobody’s business. Just a few months ago, several of my friends had to live in fear of being discharged from the military if they happen to mention their girlfriends or boyfriends. Now, we’re attempting to deal with the fact that many families do not have the legal protections and privileges that legal marriage provides. I understand that you don’t see that as a natural progression toward the idea of civil rights and liberty for all. I do. I understand that you might see this trend as disturbing as what I see as a progression toward a more just society chips at your white privilege, your straight privilege, your male privilege and your religious privilege.
I suspect that you see any sort of dissent to your opinion as an attack on your rights. That’s not true. You have a right to express your opinion, and I will defend that right as I defend my own right to express my sincere convictions. However, you do not have the right to get your way.”
[He responded calmly and I admitted that was projecting quite a bit. At some point he brought out Pascal’s Wager – and I realized that reading Pascal’s Wager feels like this: Good times.]