UPDATE: INSTALANCHE! THANKS PROFESSOR!
UPDATE #2: LINKED BY THE OTHER McCAIN! THANKS STACY!
UPDATE #3: QUOTED IN CNN'S BELIEF BLOG
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The Other McCain helpfully identifies the true culprit in the shooting at the Family Research Council: Rachel Maddow.
"And why not? If you Google her name with Chick-fil-A and Family Research Council, you get more than 450,000 hits."
Stacy McCain isn't seriously accusing Ms. Maddow, and it should go without saying that she bears no responsibility for the actions of a madman (or plain old criminal), whether or not he believed himself to be acting on behalf of a cause she advocates. And that's true even if her blog did imply that responsibility for Rep. Gabby Giffords' shooting lay at least in part with Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle.
I hope and expect that those of us on the right resist the urge to respond in kind, whether through such odious casting of blame on political opponents, or through what Ann Althouse accurately describes as civility bullshit.
If reports that the shooter was carrying a Chick-Fil-A bag are accurate (HT: The Other McCain) then that may suggest a political motive, coming as it does in the wake of the Great Chicken War of 2012.
With respect to which, I had assumed that we were at the point where just about everything there was to be said had been said, even if everyone had not yet said it. But I'll take this opportunity to lob in my two cents.
Bigotry just ain't what it used to be.
Back in the day, you had to work at it. You had to actively hate other people for attributes over which they had little or no control, and on top of that you had to translate your hatred into concrete action: denying blacks their right to vote, shutting women out of educational and professional opportunities, bashing gays - it was a lot of work.
Now the bar has been lowered so much, anybody can be a bigot without even getting up off the sofa. The Great Chicken War showed that in 2012, all one need do is subscribe to a conventional understanding of Christian teaching, and boom! You're a bigot.
That's a glib treatment of a serious topic, I know, but bear with me.
Twenty years ago - shoot, five years ago - my opinion that gays should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else marked me as an open-minded person. Suddenly, without my views changing a whit, the goalposts have moved and I am, evidently, a bigot.
I'm not even particularly opposed to gay marriage; I'm fine with it when achieved via the political process, but opposed to having it imposed by judicial fiat. I want my gay friends and relatives to enjoy the same rights as everyone else, but I also want people with religious objections to homosexuality to be treated respectfully, and not run roughshod over their views.
The two goals are in tension and I think compromises must (and can) be reached. For example, if that involves giving gay people the full panoply of inheritance, hospital visitation and other rights, while calling it something other than marriage, then I can live with that.
Yet judging by the rhetoric deployed against Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-A of late, my hope for some compromise with which most people of good will can live evidently marks me as a bigot.
Well, I don't think it makes me a bigot, and I don't think standing up for Dan Cathy's First Amendment rights can fairly be construed as bigotry. And I think the sort of incontinent accusations of bigotry that characterized the Great Chicken War actually reflects very poorly on those making the accusations.
I don't deny the existence of anti-gay bigotry, but "bigot" is a very powerful word in our time, perhaps similar to the term "communist" in the 1950s; to level the allegation is to create a perception of guilt, and that ought to engender some circumspection in anyone bandying the term about.