For what seems like a very long time I have struggled with the word "tolerance". It seems that those who use the word are almost always using it when you disagree with their out-of-norm behavior. Why is it that if I disagree with flag burning, I am the one that is accused of being intolerant? If I disagree with homosexual behavior, why am I the one that is intolerant? If I put up a Nativity, shouldn't I be able to expect atheists to be tolerant? (Never understood this one. If an atheist doesn't believe there is a God, then all persons related to a God would be fictional characters. Do atheists get upset at Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Superman, for they are as fictional as a Joseph and Mary, to an atheist?)
Patience, sufferance, forbearance; liberality, impartiality, open-mindedness. Synonyms of tolerance.
Open-mindedness is another one...I am 50 years old. I was once open minded about many things. But, for most things I have looked at the issue from different aspects, I have read the pros and cons...and I have made my decision on where I stand on many, if not most issues, and I have "closed my mind". Just how long was I expected to keep an open mind about everything? I have closed my mind on flag burning, and I am proud that I have, it is wrong to be American and burn our flag, but a court has ruled that I must tolerate it.
While we have stood on the sidelines watching, our court system has put many things into the must tolerate column: Gay-marriage, flag burning, abortion, Christmas, prayer...
But finally, a court has ruled that "Tolerance is a two way street."
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Christian graduate student expelled from Eastern Michigan University's counseling program after refusing to provide services to a gay client.
"A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems... as the price for obtaining a degree," the 6th Circuit wrote. "Tolerance is a two-way street."
A ray of hope for the good guys?! And, I don't necessarily mean Christians in as much as I mean those of us who have been tolerantly pushed around in the name of diversity, open-mindedness, anti-jingoism...
I did not see a news report on that ruling. Good to see this.
You bring up good points.
Expanding on what you have written, tolerance as we known it has been altered to mean "new tolerance." While tolerance is mandated by the courts, it conversely disregards the absolute meaning of traditional tolerance.
For example, one may disagree with another's position without diminishing his own personal convictions, but do so with respect and peace--this is traditional tolerance.
New tolerance demands that everyone's perspective is correct, so long as it applies to the absolute position that everything is acceptable. This defies the law of contradiction. One cannot possibly have absolute acceptance of everyone's views as being correct without discrediting those with absolute beliefs. Otherwise, he would not truly be tolerant. What new tolerance subscribers strive to do is to justify an action that would otherwise be controversial or viewed as wrong. It is then subjective and lacks accountability. Such tolerance is the result of an illogical argument.
Additionally, those who push new tolerance are forcing those who do not believe this to accept something that is in violation of conscience. This is nothing less than tyranny wrapped in liberal rhetoric to divert from the real issues at hand.
Regarding the laws and tolerance, some may argue that we are required to tolerate an immoral law or practice. This is true within the constraints of the law. However, we are not required to give up our morality or sense of right and wrong in order to legitimize bad legislation and social policy. Nor should we.
All laws are based on some level of morality. What many people fail to recognize is that the liberal side, steeped in secular humanism, is in fact its own brand of religion or ideology. So then, what we have is in fact a war of right vs. wrong; good vs. bad; moral vs. immoral. Some would call this righteous vs. evil, and correctly so.
As I mentioned to one of the other bloggers, if there are no absolutes, then there is no need for any law.