I have a confession to make: I’ve had it with tolerance. There. I said it. It should be noted that I’m confessing to the 21st century definition of the word, not the original meaning. In 1412 the word tolerance came into English from the Old French. Then it meant endurance or fortitude, strength. It took almost 200 years for the word to take on the sense of permissiveness. Today Merriam Webster defines tolerance as a willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own or the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant.
“To accept… something harmful…”? Really? I can see enduring something harmful. I can see allowing “feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from [my] own.” But to accept means to receive something to one’s self – to accept a compliment, or to accept a gift. Much that is happening in this world is nothing a sane person should accept.
How can anyone tolerate the horrors that occur daily in the Middle East? Do I really have to be tolerant of the group that crucified nine young Christian men in Syria last week? Do I have to think of Muslim female mutilation as acceptable? Must I look on the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian Christian girls and just shrug my shoulders? After all, most Muslims are nice people. I’m not sure why we think that, other than the fact that most people of any stripe tend to behave themselves most of the time. I once had an English class that unanimously thought we shouldn’t judge the 9/11 hijackers because we had to be tolerant of their beliefs. Really? Should we be tolerant or accepting of ideas that are dangerous, of ideas that threaten our well-being?
I have close relationships with people whose theology differs from my own; that’s not a problem. I believe in confessing to God directly; my Catholic friends prefer to confess to a priest. Fine. It doesn’t hurt them if I have the audacity to connect to God directly and it doesn’t cramp my style if they prefer the confessional. I have friends who believe that the Rapture won’t happen until the end of the Tribulation, but I’m pre-Trib. One day, history will determine which one of us is right. In the meantime we agree to disagree and all is well.
But some worldviews are treacherous, and I refuse to accept those attitudes as being the moral equivalent of biblical thought. Our freedom, our physical safety, the very function of our society is threatened, either subtly or overtly, by two specific belief systems. One – orthodox Islam – threatens death for unbelievers, while the other – Progressivism -- touts “tolerance” as its most important value. In fact, it seems that progressives win extra gold stars when their tolerance includes truly perverse behaviors – like those of radical Islam.
For instance I don’t hear progressives denouncing the treatment of Muslim women – they scream, “War on Women!” if their birth control isn’t paid for by everyone else, but they don’t bat an eye over Islamic honor killings. I find that confusing and infuriating. Nothing seems to break the leftist façade of tolerance other than conservative, Christian thinking.
Actually, I can be quite tolerant when I see no threat, when no one is in my face. Like most conservatives, I don’t care which adults other adults hop into bed with. Nor do I care what they do there. I don’t even want to know; it’s really none of my business. I find it untenable that the LGTB community wants me to not only live and let live, but to give my whole hearted, marching-down-the-street-in-drag approval. I can’t; I take Romans 1 seriously, as is my right. It’s offensive, I know, but I believe that God knows what He’s doing.
I can understand that there are those whose hormonal balances create physical, emotional and social confusion. My heart goes out to those folks, but I have no tolerance for the perversity of gay “pride” parades and can’t begin to understand why gays would want to pretend to be “married.” Most same-sex “marriages” are not sexually monogamous. So, why bother? And don’t tell me that you have a constitutional right to marry whoever you want. You have a right to marry a member of the opposite sex – the word “marry” has no application beyond that. And don’t tell me that gays are born gay – genome studies of thousands of identical twins prove otherwise.
Basically I have no tolerance for untruth. I’ve had it with Muslims claiming their religion is peaceful and then beheading people who disagree. I’ve had it with the left whose followers have the impudence to think they know better than God how to organize a society, and yet when their ideas fail to produce the expected results, who do they blame? Conservatives. Christians. God.
I’ve had it with the left’s insistence that people of color are unable to register to vote, incapable of earning a living, unlikely to make decent parents – and then they want to call me a racist. I’m intolerant of the left’s inability to argue their points intelligently, resorting ASAP to name-calling and verbal abuse. There is no need for that, just tell me where and when socialism has produced prosperity, and before you say “Sweden” go read some Swedish history and then find out what effect Swedish inclusivity has had on the incidence of rape there. There is no need to rant on and on about how terrible America is – go elsewhere; the borders are open both ways – go live somewhere you can be proud of and stop messing with the only socioeconomic system that has ever worked to everyone’s benefit.
But, but, but aren’t you a Christian? That’s not a very Christian thing to say. Yes, I’m a Christian, but that doesn’t translate as “pushover.” Jesus Christ stormed into the Temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers – He had no intention of tolerating evil. We do, as Christians, have to be very stern with ourselves and judge only the sin and not the sinner. After all, we’re all sinners and we are all tempted, but when wicked ideas, ideas that could spell the end of our society saturate the culture, those of us who care have to stamp our feet and call foul. We can’t just lean back in our recliners and buy the silliness about life in the 21st century and accepting change.
Human nature didn’t just instantly reform itself 14 years ago; true, astounding technological advances amaze us on a daily basis, but evil is robustly alive and I will not be tolerant. Tolerance, as defined today, isn’t much of a virtue anyway – all it requires is general numbness, ignorance and moral disinterest. All it means today is the championing of evil. That is intolerable.