09 June 2004

Who's intolerant, extremist?

As I've written before, I'm not a terribly partisan person for the most part. But these remarks by NDP leader Jack Layton caught my attention:

"The Conservatives actually want to turn back the clock. They have intolerant, extreme views on things like abortion, on the right of lesbians and gay men to marry."

One wonders who gets to define what's extreme and what's not. Those acknowledging the existence of a reality not of our making, governed by laws to which we are subject would appear to be intolerant. Those recognizing that basic human institutions have stable definitions anchored in the givenness of God's world are now called extremist. This would appear also to cover those admitting that abortion ends a human life. To be sure, there will always be people expressing bitter disappointment upon learning that the cosmos cannot be infinitely moulded to suit their desires, but where is the justice in their labelling as extremist those breaking the unpleasant news?

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