Dear Anyone Who Supports Gay Marriage,
My favorite writer of all-time is Gilbert Keith Chesterton who lived and worked in the first quarter of the last century in England. Old Gilbert - as absolutely no one used to call him - despised a movement called "eugenics" that essentially sought to breed a "superior" race of humans (which also meant breeding-out "inferior" races/classes of people). Chesterton used his influential platform as a very popular journalist and author to incessantly attack the entire idea, from top to bottom. He even wrote a book about it: Eugenics And Other Evils.
One of the loudest proponents of eugenics was a man named George Bernard Shaw. He was a secularist and socialist and stood for nearly everything GKC stood against. The two of them engaged in legendary debates, both in person and in print. They warred over their conflicting ideas with the passion of apostles.
And yet, the two were close friends for decades. They spent time together and wrote each other letters. They shared meals and smoked cigars.
How is this possible? How could they disagree so vehemently on things that were so vital to their core worldview, and then head to the pub for pint after such spirited debates?
Think about that the next time you call someone a bigot, or are called something equally offensive by someone on the other side of the gay marriage issue. Neither side has to compromise what they believe to be the truth for civility and good manners. And please remember that simply disagreeing isn't a bad or mean thing, despite what our culture rams down our throats.
People ask me all the time how I can get along so well with liberals. The answer is easy: I take them as seriously as I would like to be taken. Once you have that respect for their degree of conviction - whether it's accurate or not - it then becomes about the ideas. And when those debates become about actual ideas - about making the case for your side and not simply personal attacks - then when you walk away you can shake hands and laugh about things like people slipping on banana peels or those fake Groucho Marx mustache glasses. (Can you believe people actually used to think those were funny?)
While I can't speak for every single person in this country who call themselves a conservative Christian, I'm willing to play the part of GK Chesterton. But, to be perfectly honest, I'm having a hard time in this whole Chic-fil-a controversy finding a GB Shaw. (Below is a picture of GKC and GBS, with their mutual friend Hillaire Belloc in the middle)
Calling someone a bigot, demanding a litmus test of total agreement or accusations of hatred and intolerance, these things end the discussion and certainly do not win the argument. Where are the voices on the Left who want a serious dialogue because they trust that their opponents are genuine? Who is willing to put aside the ad hominen attacks and debate on the substance of the issue?
I'm ready, willing, and able.