You know how we reacted? Most people ignored the preacher, or if they stopped to listen, they did so in respectful silence. A few students would crack a joke every now and then, but it was a brief moment of levity, certainly not an attempt to in any way prevent the sermon from proceeding. After all, we understood that that preacher had every right to speak his mind on that public university, and we had no right to interfere with that preacher's speech. Although few on campus supported the minister's extreme beliefs and how he expressed them, we nonetheless were tolerant of his religious beliefs and his right to express those views publicly.
The other day I entered into a discussion with a colleague about tolerance. I expressed my opinion that people are much more tolerant today and talked about how attitudes have changed in a positive direction when it comes to race, national origin, and certainly sexual orientation. But later I was wrong. There is one area where people today are much less tolerant than they were when I was a college student: people's attitudes toward religion.
That same street preacher appearing on a college campus today would face a barrage of students shouting and insults. He may well be physically attacked or have the materials and equipment he brought with him stolen. When it comes to religion, the attitude of people today is incredible intolerance toward people expressing their religious beliefs. If you don't think so, view this video of street preacher Jesse Morrell who was assaulted and had his camera stolen during his sermon on a college campus..
Just days ago, an enterprising TV reporter decided to gauge local businesses' owners response to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The owner of "Memories Pizza" in Walkerton expressed support for religious freedom and said that while she would gladly serve LGBT customers, she would refuse to cater a same sex wedding. NBC reports:
"If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no," Crystal O'Connor, who described the business as a "Christian establishment," told ABC57.
The owner of a pizzeria in Indiana said Wednesday he was surprised by the backlash online following comments he and his family made in support of the state's much-discussed Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The O'Connor family, who owns Memories Pizza in Walkerton, told a local TV station Tuesday they wouldn't cater a gay wedding.
She added, "We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything."It is a shame that Ms. O'Connor confused the RFRA with the issue of her refusing to cater a same sex wedding. She can refuse to cater that same sex wedding because Indiana does not have a statewide anti-discrimination law covering sexual orientation, which is completely unrelated to the RFRA.
In reaction, hundreds took to the restaurant's Yelp page and flooded it with negative comments, one-star ratings and photographs of scantily clad men. Yelp has vowed to take down the negative comments unrelated to actual reviews of the restaurant.But the unbridled thuggery went even further. According to the Elkhart Truth, a coach at Concord High School took to Twitter, asking that people join her in burning down the restaurant.
Just this morning, the O'Connor family announced they would have to close the restaurant due to death threats they had been receiving.
Yes, intolerance, religious intolerance, is alive and well in Indiana.