This is a long post. Sorry.
I think I need to weigh in a little on the Miss California/USA thing. Normally, Miss California/USA or Miss Anything is the last thing I care about. I honestly can’t think of many things lower on the list of importance. But while I was waiting for a table at breakfast this morning and reading some news on my Blackberry, I read some stuff on this story, and I just have to respond to some of the ignorance that’s going around about this.
Miss California (which, it turns out, isn’t her real name – it’s actually Carrie Prajean) was asked for her opinion on same-sex marriage. She said she’s against it. She was asked a question, and she gave an answer.
Not only did she answer the question, but she seemed to go out of her way to be nice in her answer. So out of the way, in fact, that she practically fell over her words trying to get them out – “I think I believe…” etc. She also pointed out that we have the right to choose what we believe, and she happened to have chosen this particular belief.
If Carrie had said something like, “I’m against same-sex marriage, and I think those who are in favor of it are wrong and are ruining this country and should be sent to an island somewhere and should all die…” etc., that would have been intolerant. Plus it would have been incredibly hateful, rude and kind of crazy. But she didn’t say anything like that. She was asked for her view, and she gave it – without demeaning anyone else’s view.
Here’s where it gets nuts. Carrie has been accused of being “intolerant.” Anyone who accuses her of intolerance doesn’t understand the meaning of the word tolerant. She has a view, which is contrary to the view of many other people. So, she disagrees. But “disagreement,” in and of itself, is not “intolerance.”
“Tolerance” means that I get along, and am respectful and gracious toward, people who have different opinions than me. However, and this is big – “tolerance” does not mean I pretend those differences don’t exist. “Tolerance” doesn’t mean I can’t have my own views, or further – that I can’t express my views.
To press this in a little *farther – if there’s no disagreement, then there’s no need for tolerance. Tolerance is irrelevant and unnecessary if there’s no disagreement or difference. Yet, it seems as though many of those who are demanding tolerance are really not asking for tolerance so much as they’re asking for agreement.
So it appears to me that many of those who are accusing Carrie of intolerance are in fact being intolerant of her.
*Is it “farther” or “further?” I’ve never been sure about that, so in this case I chose “farther.” I’m asking for tolerance on the part of the “further” people.
Also – I’m aware of the fact that Carrie may lose her crown (OH NO! GASP!) because of some inappropriate photos she had taken when she was a teenager. Just to be clear – that doesn’t speak to the issue of her views on same-sex marriage. It does, however, speak to her stupidity as a teenager. (I don’t care if she loses the crown or keeps it, and I haven’t really been paying attention to whatever she’s been doing in her little press conferences).
Finally, nowhere in this (long) post did I state my own views on the issue of same-sex marriage or anything else, for that matter. I’m saying that because people may read this and think, “Oh he’s just saying that because he believes (fill in the blank). I believe what I believe. If you’ll look through my list of FB friends, you’ll find people who differ from me on a lot of issues. We’re friends because we like each other for personal or professional reasons – or both. What I’ve written in this post was motivated by my frustration with ignorance in general, not by my moral or political views.
OK, I’m done.