Should one tolerate intolerance? What is intolerance? Daily Kos writer Mark E Andersen implicitly asked those questions in a front-page post this past Sunday, and answered them in the manner you'd expect of a blogger for the lefty site.
Apropos of the flap over former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich's backing of Proposition 8, Andersen declared that he, like "the vast majority of us on the left," is "tolerant" of different opinions, but that he won't put up with "actions" he finds "bigot[ed]...outdated, backwards," such as opposition to same-sex marriage. He asserted that it's a "simple fact" that "the Tea Party and their conservative brethren...are bullies."
From Andersen's post (emphasis added):
...We've all heard this argument from the right before, that those of us on the left are the ones that [are] intolerant because we refuse to tolerate the beliefs of the right.
I am a tolerant man. I judge people by their character, not by race, color, creed or sexual orientation. I firmly believe that the vast majority of us on the left have a very similar viewpoint. Where I draw the line is by actions. If you are a bigot, I am going to call out your bigotry and shame you. That is not me being intolerant. That is standing up for those who are oppressed and giving them a voice.
What the Tea Party and their conservative brethren are are bullies - that is a simple fact...[Bullies] blame the victim and claim they are the misunderstood victim in all of this. If you have a belief that causes harm to others, if you have a belief that because you are [fill in the blank: white, straight, Christian, etc.] and that makes you better than [fill in the blank: African-Americans, homosexuals, atheists, etc.]. Then you are a bigot and your views are outdated, backwards and have no place in modern society. You are not a victim, you are nothing more than a loud, vocal bully.
...I feel sorry for [conservatives]. I really do. Going through life so full of hatred is a sad, sad thing...
I often wonder what will be the defining moment for those on the right. What will it take to get them to accept people as they are? When will they finally understand the words that Thomas Jefferson wrote so many years ago:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Today, the pursuit of marriage equality is just one more battle being fought so that one more group of people can pursue the happiness that they have so long been denied.