My response to a Salon article by Alex Pareene --


I like Alex Pareene's writing and point of view.  I usually try to read his columns, but this one -- well, I know having to meet a schedule is tough, even if -- especially if -- you really have nothing to say, but  the schedule demands that you say SOMETHING. This one won't be in the collection of "best columns."

Here's the headline 

Study: Lots of Liberals (and conservatives) don't really want to vote for Mormons

Are people who don't like conservatives being intolerant when they say they wouldn't vote for a Mormon? 

and my comment posted there and here:

I never had anything against Mormons. In fact I always found it amusing and wonderfully bizarre that serious Roman Catholics, like Lawrence O'Donnell (a man whose show I watch regularly and whose adamant liberalism I enjoy and with which I usually agree)can point at the absurdities of the Mormon dogma and practices without seeming to notice the gynophobic fairy tales and cruelty of his own.

But after sending out countless drones of young earnest bigots and pumping upwards of 20 million tax-free Kingdom-of-Utah dollars out of their 1930's musical comedy tabernacle Mother-ship in Salt Lake City into our state of California (tax-free, i.e., we, the taxpayers, make up the difference) to deny OUR friends and neighbors of the same rights the rest of us have, my attitude to the Mormons is roughly the same as that of Fundamentalist Patriots to all followers of Islam after 9-11, i.e., "They are welcome in America only if they stand up and denounce and rebuke their crime against decency and humanity their church has committed against our fellow men and women."

I would not vote for anyone who has either approved of or remained silent and failed to denounce the vicious Proposition 8 that was -- let's face it -- covertly official policy of the Mormon Priesthood.

The constitution allows people the right to pray to whatever god or gods they believe in, to live in accord with those beliefs, but it does NOT give them the right to tell the rest of us that OUR beliefs, OUR ways of living are not acceptable, to deny us the same rights THEY value, to force us to accept their fantasies and give up our own. (Is there a difference between this and the behavior of the young bully who decided another student's hair style was "not acceptable" and went with his mob to forcibly deny him the right to his own sensibilities? I think not.) 

Mormonism aside, the Mormon candidate -- Mitt Romney -- is a bully and a thug -- and insofar as that resembles the way his church behaves, and I'm not saying his church is the only one -- of course it's not,  we have a right to be "intolerant" to them (as well as to Klansmen and Nazi's and hate-mongerers of all types) and reject them and all who agree with their ways.

I think that is perfectly justifiable intolerance. 

Many years ago, the most ethical person I have ever known (Howard Gossage) said to me: 

"Tolerance means 'you stink but I don't mind holding my nose.' 
Well, b-b-buddy, I DO mind holding my nose."

In this case, I refuse to hold my nose.
And of course, actual REAL conservatives (as distinct from right wing theocrats) should ALSO have a strong objection to any religious group that is enjoying the protection of the U. S. Constitution to believe and practice whatever it is denying the rights of social equality to another group they don't like because their lives don't conform to the beliefs of those doing the denying.

I am not holding my nose this time around.



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