Who’s Intolerant Now?

Not long ago Gary Bauer, head of the Family Research Council was invited to speak at a prayer breakfast held by the United States Coast Guard. The invitation expressed glowing praise for Bauer's work with families. The date was set, invitations were sent out, hundreds of tickets were sold. Then suddenly, just days before the event, the prayer breakfast was cancelled. No explanation, no apologies. Just cancelled. A few discreet phone calls finally uncovered the problem. It turns out that the congressman who heads the committee that oversees the Coast Guard had complained. That congressman is Gerry Studds, an avowed homosexual. And Gary Bauer, a strong evangelical Christian, has been an outspoken opponent of President Clinton's proposal to open the military to homosexuals. So when Representative Studds learned that Bauer was speaking at a Coast Guard function, he wasted no time. He got on the phone and demanded that the prayer breakfast be cancelled. As a spokesman for Studds explained later, the congressman was worried that the event would become, in his words, a "pulpit for a right-wing ideologue to vent his political agenda." And since Studds holds the purse strings for the Coast Guard, his will prevailed. The event was cancelled. The same admiral who had praised Bauer's work so highly in the invitation now had the job of telling him the speech was called off. The story is a chilling illustration of what homosexual activists will do when they gain political power. Evangelicals will be branded right-wing ideologues—and muzzled. Sometimes all it takes is a single threatening phone call. Gays like to present themselves as a poor, oppressed minority whose political activism is just a reaction against unbearable injustice. It's a stereotype gays carefully cultivate to win sympathy for their cause. But the facts are much different. Marketing surveys show that the homosexual movement represents mostly well-educated middle and upper-class people. Their average household income is considerably higher than the American average, and they have fewer expenses, such as children. Homosexuals are three times more likely than the average American to hold a college degree. They're also three times more likely to hold a professional or managerial position. And far from being politically powerless, in recent years homosexuals have demonstrated political clout far beyond their numbers. Gay victories include legislation in several states and cities granting homosexuals protected class status; "domestic partner" policies in many corporations granting them the same benefits as married couples; educational programs presenting homosexuality as a healthy alternative; and, of course, the election of several openly gay people to political office—like Congressman Gerry Studds. The truth is that no matter how much they may chafe under social disapproval of their sexuality, gays are a well-heeled and powerful group. And the incident with Gary Bauer illustrates how they intend to use that power: to silence any opposition. Bauer immediately contacted the media, but so far there's been no moral outrage at the suppression of his free speech rights. The much-touted liberal tolerance extends only . . . to other liberals.


Chuck Colson



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