The collective protest against Indiana and Arkansas's Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) has Fox News hosts' heads spinning. So, one host did what Fox News seems to do best — grasp for straws in coming up with an argument against the public's opposition to discrimination. During an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox's John Stossel called the gay rights movement "totalitarianism," because Stossel thinks the left is forcing everyone to practice acceptance with an iron fist. Or something.
In the latest installment of "What the hell are you talking about, Fox News?" Stossel and host Bill O'Reilly have a debate about the current backlash against Indiana and Arkansas's RFRAs. These religious freedom laws would allow businesses to deny services to same-sex couples, which Stossel thinks reflects a perfectly healthy democracy. And protesting against it essentially makes us North Korea. The Fox Business host gripes to O'Reilly:
This movement has moved from tolerance to totalitarianism. It’s the totalitarianism of the left.
You are absolutely right on that.
Needless to say, equating anti-discrimination beliefs to totalitarianism is laughable, but O'Reilly agrees with Stossel that it's a very serious issue plaguing American society. Later in the segment, O'Reilly goes even further and calls it "this totalitarianism, fascism that's being imposed by the secular, progressive fanatics."
What they don't agree on, however, is what the gay rights movement is threatening. Stossel insists:
This is not about religious rights; it's about individual freedom.
In other words, if a business or employee of a business wants to deny services to a gay couple, they should be able to do that without having to prove their exercise of religion is being burdened.
A bigot ought to be allowed to be a bigot!
And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is Stossel's thesis. May I suggest you name your first book after that brilliant exclamation? A Bigot Ought to Be Allowed to Be a Bigot.
This time, it's easy to laugh at this absurd conversation — usually, whatever comes out of Bill O'Reilly's mouth makes me want to cry — because their anger stems from watching society shift towards universal tolerance. The overwhelming opposition to the newly proposed RFRAs, from politicians, celebrities, companies, and even the sports industry, is reflective of a country that no longer sees gay rights as the issue of a minority group, but everyone's issue. And those who still refuse to accept this acceptance, like O'Reilly and Stossel, are realizing that there's not much they can do to halt the progress. All they can do is sit and watch helplessly, and occasionally call us fascists.
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