Initial reports of this afternoon’s shooting at the Family Research Council say that the gunman acted after “expressing disagreement with the conservative group’s policy positions.” Most assume the disagreement came from the left, and on the issue of same-sex marriage.
If so—and that’s a big “if” (remember the Nava case, anyone?)—we have reason to mourn. Whatever the deficiencies of those defending the orthodox view of marriage, the cause they advocate for deserves to be esteemed rather than held in discredit.
The first thing to be said is that no one should suggest that this incident shows that same-sex marriage activists have condoned or in any way intended to incite violence. They did not and do not.
Even if no one is to blame, no one has a right to be surprised. The same-sex marriage lobby set out to reorient the social consensus by labeling anyone who disagreed as bigoted and hateful. They spoke in the name of tolerance, but embraced intolerance as their main tool (for tolerance of one thing only comes at the price of intolerance of another). What the FRC shooting shows, then, (given the aforementioned assumptions) is that the campaign for same-sex marriage is working, and that it is not a campaign for “tolerance” in the abstract, but rather for tolerance of a very particular, even intolerant, kind.