Rather than having an open debate on ideological differences, the censorship and criminalization of conservative views has become the preferred method among some liberals. They ignore the arguments of gay marriage dissenters, all the while claiming they are irrational bigots. And now, armed with this new study, they can claim they are mentally ill.
Similar methods have been used by liberals in the debate over climate change. Rather than engage their ideological opponents on the issue, some liberals prefer to label their opponents irrational and use government force to punish them.
Recently, for instance, a group of 20 climate scientists wrote a letter to President Barack Obama endorsing Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's call to prosecute those who disagree with them about global warming. Annoyed by the usual democratic processes, the authors praised Obama for "making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available ... in the face of a recalcitrant Congress."
Writing for National Review, Andrew Stuttaford observed: "The use of the word 'recalcitrant' is telling, a word freighted with suggestions of petulance, stubbornness and unreasonability, a word that suggests that the signatories to this letter believe that it is impossible to disagree with their viewpoint in good faith, a belief that is all too consistent with a cult or, for that matter, the acolytes of a totalitarian state."
Liberals have already successfully forced wedding vendors out of business. Given the high levels of passion and energy over gay marriage, if liberals are willing to prosecute global warming dissenters, what would they be willing to do with gay marriage dissenters, if provided greater political power?
On the bright side, there have been efforts within academia to draw attention to the problems caused by the liberal biases within the social sciences.
This month, for instance, the final copy of a report on anti-conservative and anti-Christian hostility among social psychologists was published. The Christian Post reported on a early version of the report in February.
One of the problems they point out could be describing the Ciocca study: "Negative attitudes regarding conservatives can produce a psychological science that mischaracterizes their traits and attributes."
When researchers do that, the authors note, then there are "threats to truth-seeking that emerge" because the researchers, "members of a politically homogenous intellectual community," present conservatives, "their perceived outgroup (i.e., the ones who violate the liberal progressive narrative) in a negative light."
Additionally, religious conservatives in the United States still have tremendous resources to defend their own religious freedom. They can draw upon the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and federal and state laws. And, there are well-funded legal groups, such as Alliance Defending Freedom, American Center for Law and Justice, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Liberty Counsel (Kim Davis' attorney), which defend the religious freedom of Christians and others.
While most of the energy within American liberalism today has moved from a "live and let live" philosophy to an "opponents must be punished" philosophy, they wouldn't go so far as to try to lock up traditional marriage supporters in asylums, right? That would be crazy.