These are modern times. Religious Zealotry is no longer confined to the worship of a god or goddess. It can be an equally blind dedication to any idol, a dedication that moves beyond admiration or even belief and into worship at the expense of all other goals, ideas, morals and principles.
While we are all familiar with the traditional religious zealotry of the far right conservative Christians and the Islamic Fundamentalists, there is equal and even more destructive zealotry on what we call the "left" or Progressive end of the political spectrum.
Because such zealotry is blind, the zealots often don't realize they are violating their very own stated principles and ideals. Lately I've seen way too many examples of the leftist zealotry and it makes me terribly uncomfortable.
As a Liberal I strongly believe in diversity, tolerance and acceptance of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and even diverse value sets and lifestyles. This view or principle is stated often by ALL who claim to be liberals and progressives. You can see it and read it and discuss it on every liberal blog and progressive forum. Tolerance and acceptance are the holy grail of Liberal beliefs.
Except........ it seems the VAST and VOCAL majority of self proclaimed liberals and progressives don't believe a damned word of it. It seems their beliefs on any issue is actually a RELIGIOUS DOGMA that cannot and must not ever be violated. These so-called Liberals are nothing more than the Taliban of the Left.
One need look no further than famous (and incredibly talented) actor Brad Pitt's mother to see the Taliban of the Left in action.
Jane Pitt wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper in response to another letter. In what ought to be a liberal example of TOLERANCE she actually admonished a conservative Christian for his prejudice against the Mormon religion. Jane Pitt urged fellow Christians to vote for the man who shared their ideals of being "pro-life" and opposing "gay marriage," even if Mr. Romney didn't share their exact Christian faith.
Now, to be certain Jane was vocal and aggressive in her opposition to President Obama attacked his positions on these same issues.
Of course I personally disagree with Jane Pitt's position on both gay marriage and abortion. But, tragically, many of my fellow (not really) liberals and progressives took it much further.
Hollywood rose up and attacked Mrs. Pitt with vile and horrific glee. And the Twitterverse was even worse:
“BRAD PITT’S MOM WROTE AN ANTI-GAY PRO-ROMNEY EDITORIAL. KILL THE B***H.”
“Brad Pitt’s mom, die”
“F*** you, Brad Pitt’s mom. The gay community made your kid a star, you whacko.”
“Brad Pitt’s mother…what a brainless old b***h…”
“Brad Pitt’s Mom Slams Obama, Gays. That stand makes her a deluded, dumba** Fascist Repuke”
“I hope Brad Pitt has been supporting his mother and decides to cut her off. What a b***h.”
“Brad Pitt’s mom can choke on a (redacted).”
Jane Pitt has also received numerous death threats and the attacks are unrelenting. The Hollywood attacks have been played out all over television.
What disgusts me most is that (so far) Brad Pitt himself has been silent. He can't bring himself to step up to the plate and defend his mother. In fact the only prominent Hollywood voice to defend Mrs. Pitt is Jon Voight, Brad Pitt's Father-in-Law (Angelina Jolie's father).
As usual, conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin has said it best: "Hollywood and the American left love diversity, except when it offends their “progressive” value system."
An excellent article on Jane Pitt's letter and the Hollywood backlash can be found in The Huffington Post
UPDATE 7/12/2012: Brilliant blogger B. Daniel Blatt also defends Jane Pitt over on The Gay Patriot. This short essay is a must read confirmation of the misplaced hatred of the left in attacking Mrs. Pitt unfairly.