I recall seeing my first Co-Existence bumper sticker some time after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. At first glance, who could disagree with that notion? I stay in my home with my beliefs, and you stay in your home with your beliefs and we will cross paths when a cup of sugar is needed or at a community viewing of the season premiere of The Walking Dead. The truth of the matter is that in this life, reality will always trump idealism because there are some principles that simply cannot be merged together. My Christian faith will, at some point, run against my fellow citizen’s non-faith and the beliefs of my Muslim neighbor will come at odds with me the Christian and Ted, the atheist. And that is fine!
The greatness about America is in our “white picket fences.” Have you ever actually seen one? They come about chest high to the average person and could not possibly deter even the weakest of robbers, but deterrence is not the purpose of these fences. These fences denote boundaries of property. The practice of community is made possible from the chest up, where the Christian and the Atheist can commune and embrace one another in the spirit of the common good. This is made possible because the Christian and the Atheist are two separate entities residing within their boundaries. The Atheist might be welcomed by the Christian neighbor to attend their weekly Bible study, and the Christian might very well be welcomed to bake brownies (Pot brownies if in Colorado) for the Christopher Hitchens book club but each is open to decline for reasons of principle. And the Muslim neighbor might very well invite the Atheist and the Christian over for a dinner one Saturday evening.
These fences keep each person separated but not imprisoned. This is what I thought the C0-Existence Movement meant, but then the CEO of Mozilla is forced out of a company he built because he supported Prop 8 (The bill banning same sex marriage in California). Either the notion of Co-Existence was never a sound philosophy to begin with or its main purpose was never liberty, but equality. Economist Milton Friedman once said that to pursue equality before liberty means that neither will ever be attained. “You can only aim at equality by giving some the right to take things from others. And what ultimately happens when you aim at equality is that A and B decide what C shall do for D… except that they take a little bit of a commission off on the way. A society that aims first for liberty will not end up with equality, but it will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other kind of system that has ever been developed.”
True equality will never be a reality until we embrace the loving arms of death herself, but if you hunger for liberty, then you will find yourself as about as equal footing with your fellow man in the realm of the living. I fear that the C0-Existence we have been sold has been mislabeled under the guise of peace and liberty, but it is no more than an authoritarian force ready to strike down any dissidents it deems unworthy. The CoExist Movement has set up a metaphorical Death Camp of Tolerance, and intolerance will not be tolerated.