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If you don't agree with my behavior, does that make you a bigot?
If you don't like my writing style and the way I communicate, does that make you hateful?
If you disagree with my politics, are you a racist for doing so?
If you don't embrace my Christianity, are you therefore a Christophobe?
How about smoking? If you think it's bad for my health and for our culture at large, does that make you judgmental and intolerant?
Finally, let's turn the tables. If I am offended by your beliefs concerning my behavior, should a local judge have the power to declare your objections harmful and therefore imply that they have no legal standing or protection in a court of law?
Well, this past December in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's Proposition 8 by saying this: "Religious beliefs that [certain behaviors] are sinful or inferior…harm [those who practice such behaviors]."
Judge Walker went further: "Many of the purported interests identified by proponents [of Proposition 8]" he said "are nothing more than a fear or…dislike of [the people who practice a given set of behaviors]."
Well, regardless of your politics or your religion this ruling should send a shiver down your spine.
What Judge Walker just said is essentially this: If you disagree with me behaving in a manner that falls outside the legal and moral boundaries of our shared culture and if your disagreement is grounded in a religious belief—any religious belief—then you are a fear monger and bigot and your views have no legal protection.
How does that make you feel about your freedom of religion and freedom of expression?
You'd better agree with me because Judge Walker says you are a bigot if you don't.