Friday, December 20, 2013
In the news this week – an abundance of tolerance.
I’m proud to be an American raised to recognize that America is a melting pot and to accept the differences in folks that brings.
I know we don’t always get it right, but the idea is out there. I say, good for us.
This week the English Heritage Foundation opened the new visitor center at Stonehenge. They built a museum. Took out a road. Made quite an effort to return the site closer to its original incarnation.
This includes, within the museum, an exhibit of Neolithic remains found at the site.
A group of British druids took exception to this exhibit, demanding a proper reburial for the Neolithic Brit.
The modern druids are led by a man called King Arthur Pendragon*, Battle Chieftain of the Council of British Druid Orders and Titular Head and Chosen Chief of the Loyal Arthurian Warband Druid order. In other words, a loon. They staged a protest and threaten to disrupt the site all next year.
What amazed me was the calm tenor of the English Heritage response. “English Heritage Commissioners considered Mr. Arthur Pendragon's request to use replicas very carefully in September 2013 but decided that the original plan should go ahead.”
Okay. It is well-known the druids did not build Stonehenge. Whether they worshipped there is unproven and improbable. They may have passed through in a fashion similar to the way a million plus tourists do today.
But label any lunacy RELIGON and it’s hands-off. Let’s not be intolerant. God forbid.
My usual religious tolerance stance is this – I don’t care what you believe as long as you don’t try to force it on me. If you want to worship little blue fishes and pray at the foot of a lodge pole pine, have at it. Just keep it to yourself.
I’m rethinking that.
Maybe there should be a limit to tolerance.
Maybe, a better response from the English Heritage Foundation to the self-named druid king would have been – Look, you lunatic. Piss up a rope.
Seriously, the guy’s crest is a griffon with an erection. I say that pretty much proves he’s a dick.
Back in America, a reality television star made news by getting removed from his show for spouting racist and homophobic rhetoric.
I’m not providing a link to this fool, but you can’t Google “water fowl” without hitting the story.
And now, there is a campaign across social media to protect this racist, bigoted idiot’s** freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech, one of the foundations of this great country of ours.
Maybe it is about time that we called bullshit on this one.
Maybe spouting hate speech isn’t protected free expression.
Maybe we should call it what it is and not support its purveyors.
Maybe we should not tolerate intolerance.
Or ignorance. Or bigotry. No matter how delivered or labeled.
*His real name’s is John.
**The reason most sited is because he’s a “good Christian.” Really, good Christians, is this who you want as a poster boy?