Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They have no tolerance for tolerance except when it comes to themselves

Smart City Memphis has a must read blog post today regarding the Memphis Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinance that is being heard by the Memphis City Council.

Best quotes:
It’s an interesting paradox for so many of these folks. They have no tolerance for tolerance except when it comes to themselves. They have no patience with choices until it comes to theirs. They have no willingness to believe they may be wrong but they want us to accept silently the values alien to most of us that they espouse so loudly. As a Methodist pastor told us once (apologies to my Jewish friends), they judge everyone by the rules of the Old Testament but demand the love of New Testament when it comes to themselves.

Councilwoman Fullilove deserves a lot of credit for being on the right side of Christianity, but more to the point, she deserves credit for being on the right side of American democratic traditions when she suggested that government, in this case, city government, should represent the highest ideals and the best values of its people. Anti-discrimination policies should be superfluous by now, but sadly, as she knows from her past and she knows from listening to others knows about the reality of sexual orientation discrimination in our city – and notably many of our churches.

Brother Gaines and others apparently have no problem with selective discrimination – come to think of it, Southern Baptist Churches had no problem justifying discrimination against African-Americans even as the civil rights movement was under way. So, for many of us in our demographic, we find little to commend Rev. Gaines and other megachurch leaders when they profess to act as the moral compass for the rest of us.

At a time when tolerance is a selling point for cities, a vote against the city ordinance would stake out our claim to intolerance and sanctimony. It will chill efforts to recruit young professionals and immigrants to Memphis, and make no mistake about it, the success of cities today are directly related to both.

We are at a seminal point in Memphis history. Everything matters.
Memphis has a chance to position itself as a real City of Choice.

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