Monday, May 16, 2005

John Leo on Tolerance vs. Affirmation

My recent posts on Frank Rich's outrageous assertion that all Republicans are closeted, self-hating homosexuals have prompted at least one commenter to question whether my stance indicates at least a tactit approval of gay-baiting hypocrites like the ones Rich singles out. My problem is not that Rich lied about these people - they and others like them surely exist. My quarrel was with his incredibly broad generalization that he drew from a handful of examples.

In a thoughtful piece in U.S. News and World Report, John Leo comes close to formulating a view that reflects my own. In discussing an overly 'politically correct' school textbook, Leo says the following:
In dealing with homosexuality, the job of the school is to teach tolerance, not to disparage traditional views. Gays are our neighbors and should be treated with respect. Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, one of two local groups opposing the curriculum, makes this point clearly. "Teaching respect for persons with same-sex attraction is appropriate and right," the group says. "But demanding affirmation of a homosexual orientation and behavior goes beyond the ethic of tolerance." The curriculum does in fact teach approval of homosexuality. Understandably, gays want that approval, but it can't be imposed by state schools.
That's about right, I think, for quite a few conservatives.

No comments: