With the successful campaign to smear and intimidate the supporters of Arizona Senate Bill 1062 into silence, we have seen the true colors of modern liberalism: it is a totalitarian movement which seeks to destroy religious expression. This is bad enough, but sadly, this is only a symptom of the much larger problem of radical individualism run amok. In a way, the gay pride flag is a fitting emblem of the greatest of all sins, the sin of pride, which now animates the political left today.
The so-called equality agenda is of course very much in the news. It seems we cannot go a day without some new story blasted in the headlines. Last week it was the Olympics. The week before that it was a football player coming out of the closet to much fanfare. This week it was the Arizona Religious Freedom Act. Next week it will be another federal judge singlehandedly overturning a state constitution. Just as with the run-up to the Supreme Court decision on the ObamaCare individual mandate, opponents of religious freedom are sending a clear message to the Supreme Court once again that they will unleash havoc if the decision is not in their favor.
Anyone who dares dissent from the liberal agenda risks being labeled anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-woman, or anti-something else. The rainbow is supposedly a symbol of diversity and peaceful coexistence, but in the disgusting and scurillous manufactured outrage in Arizona this week, we have seen that entirely the opposite is true. This ancient and universal symbol has been perverted and corrupted beyond recognition. The left believes very deeply in the right to privacy, which is to say, you should keep your religious beliefs private.
In any other respect, the right to privacy does not have a good track record of late. Over the last several years, we have seen astonishing revelations of harassment of innocent citizens by the IRS and the Justice Department. We have seen the NSA scandal and Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and all the rest. Today we learn that a British intelligence service has been unwittingly collecting hours of amateur pornography and cyber-romances from Yahoo webcams without cause. In all this, where were the better angels of our nature to ask if maybe we have gone too far? How are we to trust the government to protect our freedom of conscience when it seems so much else is already being violated every day?
Whether in faithless elected officials or judges with lifetime tenure, the seduction of power is proving stronger than abstract notions like freedom and privacy. Unelected civil servants like Lois Lerner or Eric Holder now get to decide who should be punished by the apparatus of the government. Meanwhile renegades like Bradley Manning take the law into their own hands in other ways. The law is being abused wherever it is convenient to do so and utterly disregarded the rest of the time.
As Americans, we like to flatter ourselves that we are governed by laws and not by men, but when the men who carry out the law are consumed by their raw egotistical pride and the passions of the day, the law is no stronger than the paper it is written on. Nearly two centuries ago, Tocqueville warned against radical individualism for the future happiness of our Republic. Sadly, we are now getting a painful and vivid lesson just how dangerous these forces are when left unchecked.