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The Irony Of Progressives

Calum Hayes |
July 18, 2013 | 12:17 p.m. PDT

Columnist

Just because someone doesn't support gay marriage doesn't make them a bigot. (Jessie Terwilliger, Wikimedia Commons)
Just because someone doesn't support gay marriage doesn't make them a bigot. (Jessie Terwilliger, Wikimedia Commons)
She’s racist! He’s sexist! They’re all bigots!

No, I didn’t spend the week with the Deen family; these are all things “progressives” shout about those who don’t share their views.

You’re pro-life? Sexist.

You’re against gay marriage? Bigot.

There is always one more descriptor to come after those words. Pro-life? Believe marriage is between a man and a woman? Sexist, bigoted, closed minded. If there is one thing the progressive movement likes to accuse people who disagree with them of, it is of possessing a closed mind. This is not to absolve particular conservative individuals in this country of the things they have said. Lord knows there are racist, sexist, bigoted people in this country who say terrible things, but in no way does that make those people the norm simply because they share a belief or party registration with other adults.

There is a certain irony in progressives' use of the term "closed minded" to describe pro-life individuals and individuals who don’t support same-sex marriage. The term closed minded is defined as “intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others.” To be closed minded is to be incapable of understanding where someone else’s beliefs could come from. To be closed minded is to hear an argument or opinion you don’t agree with and automatically assume it comes from a place of ignorance. To be closed minded is to put down and dismiss the thoughts of others, solely because they do not agree with your own.

Have you caught the irony yet? Sexist, bigoted, closed minded. The majority of the United States identifies as Christian; 77 percent, in fact. Is it bigoted to feel that you have been instructed by your faith to defend your God’s definition of what marriage is? Is it closed minded to have your vote educated by your cultural and religious background? Is it sexist to believe in the sanctity of life when your God has told you “thou shalt not murder”? Is it closed minded to believe that every child is a gift from God, even if it his or her birth is unplanned, because that is what your faith has shown you? Is it ignorance to stand firm in a faith in which 77 percent of the nation says it also stands firm?

Those who believe that an individual of a certain skin color is inferior because of that skin color, are closed minded. Those who believe that a woman should have to subjugate her interests to those of a man or earn less in wages for the same job, are closed minded. Those who throw around words like racist, sexist or bigot instead of examining the motivations behind someone’s behavior, are closed minded. This is the big irony of the progressive movement. The progressive movement is so absorbed in knowing that change is right, 100 percent of the time, that instead of understanding that there could be cultural or religious motivations for someone to reject its position, it automatically assumes that people who disagree with its positions are closed minded.

At their core, racism, sexism and bigotry are all the physical worldly enactments of a belief that someone else is inferior. They imply that someone is a lesser being simply because they do not fit an individual's set of criteria for deserving equal treatment and respect. Racism, sexism and bigotry imply a determination of someone’s value, worth and motivations based on surface observations instead of an understanding of their character. To call someone racist, sexist and bigoted because they do not agree with your views on change is to determine someone’s value, worth and motivations based on surface observations instead of an understanding of their character. You cannot hear someone in order to learn about their motivations if you are always shouting. So maybe it is true what they say: that those with closed minds should have closed mouths.

 

Reach Columnist Calum Hayes here; follow him here.



 

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