Marco Rubio: We're at the water's edge of mainstream Christian teachings being branded "hate speech"

Via the Brody File, hard to believe a country that’s 70 percent Christian would acquiesce in a legal regime like that, but then I look at this poll and remember we’ve already reached the point where Christian-owned businesses can be effectively shuttered by the state for politely declining to participate in a gay wedding. It’d be more accurate to say that the effort to brand Christian teachings that undermine progressivism as “hate speech” has already begun in the public sphere, with the fate of the private sphere still undetermined. Based on early indications, though, merely entertaining an opponent of same-sex marriage in your home has already risen to the level of a felony thoughtcrime, provided that he’s famous enough.

Over at the Daily Beast, Tim Teeman responds to Rubio with a nice illustration of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: It’s hysterical fearmongering to believe that gay marriage will threaten Christians, but to the extent that Christian teaching is prejudiced, well, then you deserve it.

“Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” Rubio said. Absurdly. You are only labeled a ‘homophobe’ and ‘hater’ if you come out and say something homophobic and hateful.

Mr. Rubio, despite great provocation by you and others like you, LGBTs and their supporters—many of whom are Christian, by the way—who back equality actually think you can say and think whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t incite violence and hatred. If it does, they will object, as any reasonable person might.

If you claim that LGBTs do not deserve marriage equality, and your argument has the ring of prejudice about it—and it necessarily would because you are arguing against the principles of equality—then expect to be called out for it.

But you are not being silenced. You are being disagreed with.

I don’t know. Does telling a gay couple “I can’t provide flowers for your wedding because my faith doesn’t recognize your union” have the “ring of prejudice” about it? If the attorney general of the state can level a six-figure fine for a statement like that, wrecking the business owner’s livelihood, is that being “disagreed with” or “being silenced”? If lefties are going to be ruthless with Christian holdouts from the new gay-marriage regime, they should have the decency to acknowledge the ruthlessness.

Interesting that Rubio’s using language like this now, though, after telling the media a few weeks ago that he’d probably attend a friend’s gay wedding if asked. That seems like a contradiction — why enable a legal regime that’s marginalizing Christians? — but it doesn’t need to be. What he’s objecting to in the clip isn’t so much the practice of gay marriage (although, for the record, he objects to that too) as the refusal of supporters to grant accommodations to businesses whose owners object on religious grounds. Those two should be separate issues, but increasingly they aren’t. How come?