33 Examples of Intolerant Liberalism in 2014
2014 may be remembered as the year of intolerant liberalism, also dubbed the new intolerance, dogmatic liberalism and illiberal liberalism.
In no particular order, here are 33 examples of intolerant liberalism in 2014:
1. "Duck Dynasty"
The year began with a controversy surrounding the popular television show Duck Dynasty. In January, A&E announced the reinstatement of Phil Robertson after he was initially suspended from the show for controversial remarks about homosexuality.
2. HHS Continues to Force Americans to Support Products for Which They Have Ethical Objections
Even after a repudiation from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Obama administration has continued its effort to force some Americans to pay for birth control and abortifacient drugs that they find morally objectionable.
Closely-held corporations must be allowed an exemption from the birth control mandate if it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs, the Court said. Nonetheless, the Obama administration has continued to require that certain religious groups, like colleges and hospitals, be active participants in something they find morally objectionable.
There were many other examples this year of liberals trying to force Christians to participate in an activity that is in opposition to their religious beliefs:
10. State Laws to Protect Religious Freedom Under Attack
In reaction to efforts to force Christian wedding vendors to serve same-sex weddings, some states sought to pass or strengthen their state-level version of the national Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The federal RFRA was passed with almost unaimous bipartisan support in the 1990s and signed by President Bill Clinton. In 2014, however, the nation was deeply divided over whether religious freedom should allowed when it comes into conflict with, what some call, "gay rights." The debate first occured in Arizona, where opponents falsely claimed that the law would allow businesses the right to deny gays access to public accomodations. The debate continued in Georgia, Mississippi and Michigan.
11. Gay Activist Groups Withdraw Support for ENDA Because It Protects Religious Freedom
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act had the support of gay activist groups last year when it was passed by a Democrat-controlled Senate. But after the U.S. Supreme Court supported religious freedom protections for Hobby Lobby, some gay advocacy and atheist groups rescinded that support, saying they could not support a bill that also protected religious freedom.
12. Gordon College Under Attack After Its President Signs Letter Asking for Religious Freedom Protections in Obama's Executive Order
After President Barack Obama announced he would sign an ENDA-like executive order for government contractors, Michael Wear, who led the faith outreach for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and worked in Obama's Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, wrote a letter to Obama, along with 13 other signers, encouraging him to include the same religious exemption that was in the Senate bill.
One of the signers of that letter was D. Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College, an evangelical college in Massachusetts. Even though the letter was not asking for any special treatment for Gordon College (the order only applied to government contractors), the letter was written by a former Obama White House staffer, and the letter was only asking for what was already in a bill passed by a Democrat-controlled Senate, the act of signing that letter made Lindsay and Gordon College a target for certain gay activist groups. As a result, the mayor of Salem, Massachusetts,ended a contract with the school and Gordon is being investigated by its accrediting agency.
13. Brendan Eich Forced Out at Mozilla for Supporting Traditional Marriage
Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla, was forced out of his job because he supported a California ballot initiative to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
14. Harvard Student Called for End to Tenure to Expel Conservative Professors
Writing for the student newspaper, a Harvard student called for getting rid of tenure so that colleges could get rid of conservative professors.
15. HGTV Cancels Benham Brothers Show
HGTV cancelled a reality show with the "Benham Brothers" after they discovered the brothers were outspoken conservative Christians.
16. SunTrust Bank Cancels Benham Brothers Bank Account
For some intolerant liberals, conservative Christians should not only not be allowed to have their own TV show, they should also not be allowed to have bank accounts. After the public controversy, SunTrust Bank told the Benham Brothers they would no longer have them as a customer. After a public backlash, SunTrust reversed its decision.
17. NYT Reporter Says Traditional Marriage Supporters "Unworthy of Respect," Deserve Incivility
In a Twitter debate with Ryan Anderson, New York Times reporter Josh Barro said it is OK to be uncivil toward traditional marriage supporters because such people are "unworthy of respect."
18. Houston Mayor Subpeonas Pastor's Sermons, Private Communication About Homosexuality
After Mayor Annise Parker was sued for throwing out petition signatures and declining to place on the ballot a repeal of the city's new transgender law, her legal team issued subpoenas to five Houston pastors for all of their sermon notes and personal communication related to homosexuality and gender identity. The move, apparently an attempt to intimidate the pastors into backing off, backfired quickly. There was national outrage over the subpoenas and legal experts from across the political spectrum all agreed that the subpoenas were overly broad. Parker first changed the subpoenas to not include sermons, then dropped the subpoenas entirely. The suit will go to trial in January.
19. Wikipedia Editors Attempt to Remove Entry for the Federalist After Neil deGrasse Tyson Flap
The Federalist, a conservative news and opinion website, ran a series of articles pointing out that celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson had misquoted former President George W. Bush in his public speeches. References to that story were being removed from Tyson's Wikipedia entry. At least one Wikipedia editor took the spat a step further and tried to remove The Federalist's Wikipedia page.
20. Kickstarter Censors Fundraiser for Abortionist Gosnell Documentary
Kickstarter, a crowd funding website, would not allow a campaign for a film proposal about abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell to accurately describe what Gosnell was convicted of doing (stabbing babies to death). While Kickstarter's CEO claimed that describing what the movie was about was inconsistent with his website's "community guidelines," columnist Kirsten Powers pointed out Kickstarter has been selective in how it has applied those guidelines.
21. Philosophy Professor Says Global Warming Skeptics Should Be Imprisoned
Lawrence Torcello, assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, wrote an op-ed arguing for criminal penalties for those who criticize scientific claims about global warming. In one of the examples he used, the penalty was imprisonment.
22. Ezra Klein Criticized for Hiring Gay Man With Different Opinions Than Most Gays
Ezra Klein, a former liberal columnist for The Washington Post who started Vox.com, was denounced by some liberals for hiring Brandon Ambrosino. Even though Ambrosino is liberal and gay, the fact that he has said some things that are slightly out of step with what liberal gay men are "supposed" to say made him a target for those close-minded liberals.
23. Marquette University Trains Employees to Report Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage as Harrassment
Marquette, a Catholic university in Wisconsin, required all its employees to undergo anti-harrassment training in which opposition to same-sex marriage is considered a form of harrasment.
24. Marquette Professor Suspended for Criticizing Teacher Who Will Not Allow Students to Voice Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage
Consistent with No. 23, a Marquette teaching assistant told her students that those who support the traditional definition of marriage should not voice their opinions in class because such views are offensive. After John McAdams, associate professor of political science at the university, wrote a blog post criticizing that pedagogy, he was suspended.
25. Radical Feminist Conference Forced to Change Venues After Transgender Opposition
The Radfem Conference, a group of self-described radical feminists, has been forced to change venues on several occasions due to intimidation tactics by certain transgender groups. These radical feminists hold views that transgender groups do not like. In particular, the radical feminists think there's an important difference between one who is female and one who is male but thinks of themselves as female. So the radical feminists should not be allowed to hold a conference, those transgender groups believe. In the August issue of New Yorker, Michelle Goldberg wrote about the transgender group's intimidation tactics, which included threats of violence.
26. Christian Groups Booted From California College Campuses
California state universities, the largest state university system in the country, will no longer recognize Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as a student group because the organization requires its leaders to hold beliefs consistent with the organization's beliefs.
27. "It's OK to Hate Republicans," University of Michigan Professor Wrote
Susan Douglas, professor of communications at the University of Michigan, penned an op-ed for In These Times titled, "It's OK to Hate Republicans." Republicans vilify others, she complained in the article, vilifying Republicans as dogmatic, rigid, intolerant of ambiguity and supportive of authoritarianism. The title was later changed to, "We Can't All Just Get Along," at the request of the author.
Also in 2014, there were many attempts, some successful, to disinvite college speakers, lest students be exposed to different points of view:
For some additional reading on this issue, check out these articles:
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