P&R Miscellany tries the now-familiar tactic of beating us liberals over their head with our own relativism and tolerance. P&R forgets that I'm not a relativist and I don't tolerate baloney.
P&R counters the successful backlash against South Dakota's failed anti-gay legislation by inviting us to shoe the other foot with the possibility that gay-hating Westboro Baptist Church members would demand to rent a party room from a gay entrepreneur, or that Klansmen would order catering from Harlem for a KKK wedding.
"Tolerance... should flow both ways," says P&R. The National Review correspondent he cites speaks similarly:
“Live and let live” implies a two-way relationship. Mutual respect is an attitude that, like the biblical leaven, has to be mixed in thoroughly and evenly, until the whole is leavened [Kevin D. Williamson, "Until the Whole Is Leavened," National Review Online, 2014.02.20].
P&R's and Williamson's own language grants us leave to dismiss their own argument. Their examples refer to customers who offer no two-way relationship (unlike bisexuals, who—well... um...), who do not respect the vendors with whom P&R hopes my liberal tolerance will mandate a relationship.
Gay couples don't walk into a bakery shouting, "God Hates Straights!" unless they are feeling really snippy and ironic. They won't yell at straight caterers, "Go back to Africa where you heteros belong!" That language doesn't fit the other foot.
Westboro's homophobes and the KKK seek the exclusion, damnation, and destruction of the people they don't tolerate. (Actually, I'm not convinced Westboro wants even that; they just want attention.) Gay couples just want to go about their business, then go home and give each other the business, pretty much like the rest of us.
Tolerance works, but it does not mandate the absurdity and moral surrender that P&R posits.