It's an age-old argument. In fact, it goes all the way back to kindergarten. A little boy hits a little girl on the head with a yardstick, she goes and tells the teacher, the teacher tells the boy to stop being mean, and the boys says, "The girl is a tattletale. She's the mean one."
But we're not in kindergarten anymore and this argument seems a trifle dumb coming from adults. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), for example, has made this argument twice lately regarding Gov. Jan Brewster (R-Ariz.) vetoing the controversial anti-gay bill SB 1062.
Here were her first comments in an interview with ABC News and Yahoo's "Fine Print."
"I was sorry that she made the decision, and it's because I believe that tolerance is a two-way street and we need to respect everyone's rights, including the rights of people who have sincerely held religious beliefs. Right now, there's a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States, and it's against people who hold sincerely held religious beliefs," said Bachmann.
Maybe she doesn't understand the meaning of the word "intolerance."
It's a simple word really. It means that SB 1062, which would have allowed business owners to refuse service to people based on whatever differences they considered against their religious views, was the epitome of the word -- the very definition of intolerance.
When good people take a stand against proposed legislation by saying, "Hey, you shouldn't treat people that way," well, that's not intolerance. It's not even close. It's not even in the same ballpark.
But Bachmann didn't stop there. Here are her more recent remarks in an interview with conservative radio host Lars Larson:
"There's nothing about gays in there. But the gay community decided to make this their measure. I think the thing that is getting a little tiresome, the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they've so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere," said Bachmann.
The gay community has so bullied the American people? Wow! Apparently, like the word "intolerance," the word "bully" is another word Bachmann doesn't have a clue about.
For a long time in this country, and even still today, gay people have been shunned, discriminated against, fired, verbally attacked, physically attacked and even killed for no other reason than being who they are. That's being bullied. Standing up for yourself, for fellow gay people, for anyone who has been treated like this, is not being a bully. It's being a decent human being.
So if you don't like people pointing out and taking a stand against your intolerance, then stop being intolerant. If you want to turn a blind eye to the bullying, fine, but stop accusing those with the courage to fight back as being the bullies. Don't try to put your shoe on their foot by claiming they're the ones being intolerant for not standing idly by as you so feverishly flaunt yours.
It's the same argument many of my friends make regarding judging. Some of them go on huge rants regarding homosexuals, and how they will never be allowed into Heaven, can't be forgiven, can't be saved, burn in Hell forever, yada, yada, yada...
When someone says, "Hey, you shouldn't judge," their response is always the same"
"Whoa. You're the one judging me!"