The Newest Trend in Religious Intolerance Seeks to Drive Traditional Christians Out of Hollywood

Feb. 25 2019

Recently the movie actor Chris Pratt and a few other celebrities have received criticism—including by a columnist in the Washington Post—for attending evangelical churches that, while openly welcoming all comers, do not “affirm” gay marriage and homosexuality. Even though these churches avoid culture-war issues, and are generally silent on the topic of gay marriage, they are still called out for censure by such self-appointed “cultural gatekeepers,” as David French describes them. He explores the implications of this latest example of intolerance toward religion, which could easily affect many Jews and Muslims as well as Christians:

[A] core tenet of pluralism is the notion that people of diametrically opposed belief systems can live and work side by side so long as they treat each other with dignity and respect. I’ve spent my entire career working with people who believe that my religious beliefs are wrong, that my stance on sexual morality is wrong, and that my political judgments are deeply misguided. Yet even in the case of profound disagreement, it is easy to treat people well. It is easy to treat people fairly.

Conversely, it is the height of intolerance to believe that it is somehow problematic—absent any evidence of mistreatment on the job or on-set—that a person disagrees with you on matters of faith. And if it is an obligation for colleagues to go beyond “welcoming” each other to “affirming” each other’s deepest beliefs, where is the affirmation [owed to] faithful Christians? . . .

When I interviewed many years ago for an Ivy League teaching position, I was asked, “As a Christian, how can you teach LGBT students?” I wonder how many prospective [homosexual] professors were asked, “As a gay professor, how can you teach Christian students?” For me, the answer is clear. I teach (and taught) gay students the same way I taught any other student. As a Christian, I believe every human being is created in the image of God and is therefore worthy of being treated kindly and fairly. Disagreement is not disrespect. . .

[W]e cannot exist as a pluralistic and diverse society if the price of admission to any American industry is the abandonment of religious faith to conform to the demands of the intolerant.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at National Review

More about: Freedom of Religion, Gay marriage, Religion & Holidays

War with Iran Isn’t on the Horizon. So Why All the Arguments against It?

As the U.S. has responded to Iranian provocations in the Persian Gulf, various observers in the press have argued that National Security Advisor John Bolton somehow seeks to drag President Trump into a war with Iran against his will. Matthew Continetti points out the absurdities of this argument, and its origins:

Never mind that President Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, and Bolton have not said a single word about a preemptive strike, much less a full-scale war, against Iran. Never mind that the president’s reluctance for overseas intervention is well known. The “anti-war” cries are not about context, and they are certainly not about deterring Iran. Their goal is saving President Obama’s nuclear deal by manipulating Trump into firing Bolton and extending a lifeline to the regime.

It’s a storyline that originated in Iran. Toward the end of April, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showed up in New York and gave an interview to Reuters where he said, “I don’t think [Trump] wants war,” but “that doesn’t exclude him basically being lured into one” by Bolton. . . . And now this regime talking point is everywhere. “It’s John Bolton’s world. Trump is just living in it,” write two former Obama officials in the Los Angeles Times. “John Bolton is Donald Trump’s war whisperer,” writes Peter Bergen on CNN.com. . . .

Recall Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes’s admission to the New York Times Magazine in 2016 [that] “We created an echo chamber” to attack the Iran deal’s opponents through leaks and tips to the D.C. press. . . . Members of the echo chamber aren’t for attacking Iran, but they are all for slandering its American opponents. The latest target is Bolton. . . .

The Iranians are in a box. U.S. sanctions are crushing the economy, but if they leave the agreement with Europe they will be back to square one. To escape the box you try to punch your way out. That’s why Iran has assumed a threatening posture: provoking an American attack could bolster waning domestic support for the regime and divide the Western alliance.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

More about: Barack Obama, Iran, Javad Zarif, John Bolton, U.S. Foreign policy