‘Tolerate my Intolerance!

Wow. Just wow. With the Tories having spectacularly messed up their election campaign, throwing away a comfortable majority with an election that didn’t even need to happen just yet, we now see them looking to form a minority government with the assistance of Northern Irish political party the DUP (Democrat Unionist Party). The DUP has made it plain that they are anti-choice, anti-same sex marriage, and anti-climate change. In the 1980s, the DUP was involved in attempts to form a paramilitary group, opposed to Anglo-Irish cooperation, and frequently opposed other power-sharing ideas and measures. The party’s founder, Ian Paisley, was a firebrand who opposed civil rights for Catholics in Northern Ireland during the 1960s and he supporting making homosexual acts illegal, with his party falling in lockstep behind him. As a final insult, they want creationism instilled in public schools.

Yet, criticising these facts is apparently ‘intolerant’. Yup, you read that right. Apparently ‘liberals’ should be accepting of cultural differences, and respect the DUP values…

Basically, the DUP should be free to push a discriminatory agenda as much as possible, and criticising this is unacceptable…


I refer to this remarkable article. Let’s take a look shall we?

Memo to London-based liberals: not everyone shares your point of view. Some people — brace yourself for this — have different opinions to yours. Amazing, I know. But true. So please dial down your hysteria about the DUP. Because I know you think it makes you look super-tolerant to bash the supposed rednecks and religious fruitcakes of Northern Ireland who’ve never attended a gay wedding or made a donation to Greenpeace, but it of course does the opposite — it exposes your own intolerance.

Note to this article’s author – the DUP want to impose their opinions upon everyone. They want to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. They want to deny women the right to determine their own futures. They want to perpetuate policies that harm the environment. Having a different opinion is one thing – using political power to hurt other people, in the manner the DUP wish to do, because their religious views apparently trump everyone else’s values, is the very definition of intolerance.

The fury over the DUP is reaching fever pitch. Once it had been revealed that May would be working with the DUP, people were out in force to mock and sneer at these ‘religious fundamentalists’ and ‘climate-change deniers’ —the greatest thoughtcrime of our era — who are antsy about gay marriage and opposed to the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland. This party doesn’t even believe in dinosaurs, guffawed internet wags, after it was revealed that some DUP members hold creationist views.

Some even took to the streets of Westminster yesterday to rage against the DUP. A few hundred impeccably right-on young people carried placards branding the DUP ‘anti-gay, anti-women, anti-green’. (It amazes, and terrifies, me that being critical of the politics of environmentalism is now casually put alongside homophobia and misogyny as an unspeakable evil. That’s pretty fundamentalist too, no?) One protester’s comment summed up the flimsiness of the fury. ‘I didn’t know who the DUP were, I had to Google them,’ he said. From Googling a party to railing against it in the space of minutes: the modern mindset summed up.

Emphasis mine. It astonishes me that someone can be so casual about the dangers of climate change, with the potential to cause a lot of long-term hardship for, oh, I don’t know, the entire freakin’ human race! Besides, it’s the ignorant mindset – the DUP are scientifically illiterate, and they want to spread this – this sort of position is damaging in the long-term for so many reasons… and yes, their other positions are very much homophobic and misogynistic.

Everyone needs to calm down. For two reasons. First because the DUP’s views are relatively common in Ireland and, I dare say, in many parts of Britain. Look, I know this is inconvenient, and you’d prefer it if everyone in the country was a carbon copy of you and your lovely friends, but some people out there are religious. They have traditional views. They think marriage should be between a man and a woman and they think abortion is morally wrong. They aren’t evil. They aren’t fundamentalists. They just don’t agree with you.

It’s not a question of agreeing. It’s a question of the DUP actively denying others rights because they feel their faith matters more than anything else. That’s wrong.

2 thoughts on “‘Tolerate my Intolerance!

  1. Your comments on this situation is basically how I feel about the whole situation. Opinions are just opinions until they prevent another human from living their life as a human has the right to.

    Liked by 1 person

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