In case there’s any doubt: I support gay marriage, and I have no objection to birth control. But I also believe that a free society should permit its members to disagree on these issues. And that when liberals use the government’s coercive powers to force believers to change their views or act against their most deeply held spiritual convictions, liberals (paradoxically) commit an act of illiberalism.
Linker, formerly of The New Republic and most assuredly both a progressive and a published critic of America’s theological bent, issues a warning that the Left would do well to heed: you won, now win well.
Be magnanimous in your victory by taking a liberal stand for tolerance and pluralism. Leave us with our beliefs, however wrong-headed you think they may be. Engage us in debate and try to give our views the thoughtful consideration that we should give yours. Maybe even invite us into your homes and resist the temptation to call us names as we respect each others’ differences.
But above all, do not try to coerce those of us who do not share your convictions to endorse behaviors or beliefs that we hold to be wrong. Doing will only serve to harden our convictions and place the nation on the road to conflict.