Intolerance will not be tolerated

People used to know what tolerance entailed.  It was understood that even though your views were different from someone else’s, you still treated them with respect.  This view of tolerance has been abandoned for the most part by people who hold what are generally considered liberal views: pro-abortion, pro-same-sex marriage, soak the wealthy, etc.  There seem to be a not so subtle selective tolerance, as in only views which are acceptable to them will be tolerated.

Of course, this doesn’t really fit the idea that tolerance has been intended to convey.  Speaking from my own experience, my perceived intolerance doesn’t deserve tolerance.  It’s OK to call someone who opposes same-sex marriage a bigot; someone who opposes abortion on demand a woman hater/oppressor, and so forth.  In other words, liberals are just fine with intolerance, bullying, and name-calling — just not in their direction.  Oh no, that’s intolerant.

My point here isn’t really to debate these issues, I’ve done that elsewhere. I’m more interested in how someone who believes “intolerance” doesn’t deserve to be tolerated, determines what qualifies.  How do you figure out which views should be tolerated, and which ones deserve a vitriolic reprimand, and why?

Bonus question: Does it matter to you at all that this is just a tad hypocritical?


  1. Oh, my, do I ever know what you’re talking about! I’ve seen quite a few people even have their signature files saying “The only thing I don’t tolerate is intolerance,” or something very close to that. It got to the point where I’d see/hear comments like that and wonder if people had any idea just how *stupid* that comment was!

    There are two problems with those who demand “tolerance.” First, it’s not “tolerance” they are demanding. It’s total capitulation. It’s not enough to respect differences. Differences must be accepted as equally valid. Which leads to the ohter problem. They forget that part of the definition of tolerance is basically putting up with something that is bad, because you can’t do anything to fix it. Like a toothache until you can get to a dentist, or learning to live with chronic pain. The assumption is that their own position is “good”, so anyone who disagrees with them must be “bad,” so they must be forced to tolerate (accept) their position while shutting up about their own, not realizing that by demanding tolerance, they are actually placing their own position in the “bad” category of something that has to be put up with.

    I eventually came to the conclusion that what we need is not more “tolerance” but less. The demand for “tolerance” lowers standards and expectations. It used to be that we could expect people to do better, be better, and rise above their circumstances. Now, such notions are considered “intolerant.” If you point out the high rate of incarceration among minority groups and suggest changes that might help, you’re a racist. If you object to people living on welfare for multiple generations and suggest people should be taught self-reliance and responsibility, you hate the poor. If you object to taxpayer dollars paying for elective abortions, you are anti-woman, and on it goes.

    It gets really tiresome.

  2. Interesting discussion on politically correct tolerance. It is hypocritical, but some times we can’t tolerate things. Like Hitler, or Ann Coulter some people shouldn’t be tolerated because they hurt others as a main game i suppose.

    • Case in point. Someone who holds different political views is compared to Hitler. I remember back when someone put the Joker’s face onto Obama’s and that was called racist. You really think Ann Coulter hurts people in a way that justifies comparing her to Hitler? If so, then I suggest you are too emotionally fragile to be following politics.

      • Haha. No, I mean that sometimes we can’t tolerate people’s actions. Not comparing her to Hitler, although (in my Christian opinion) she is putting peoples eternal resting place in jeopardy with her rhetoric of hate.
        Haha. I don’t even know if I mentioned my political opinion, so not sure why you think I said difference equals Hitler. He used his political position in a way so as to kill people. That’s not a difference in opinion or political beliefs, that’s mass murder and genocide. So yeah, I don’t think we should tolerate those kinds of opinions because the damage is real.

  3. Some ideas deserve intolerance – bigotry for example. I totally agree that this desire for ‘tolerance’ is a bit of a broken idea.
    We should of course also recognize that the religious demand ‘tolerance’ of their ideas while putting up hellfire billboards about belief, abortion, gay marriage, and anything else they disagree with. Christian ‘tolerance’ is often express through Crusades, torture, and burning at the stake. eek.
    I’m not sure if this idea of tolerance should be replaced with some value of rational dialogue or just tossed out altogether. I think valuing reason, non-violence, diversity, and personal liberties are all relevant, and those should all lead to the ideal we seek when we talk about ‘toleration’. But I think also think toleration is sometimes thought to be a request to overlook things we vehemently disagree with – bigotry, rape, murder, indoctrination… That’s bad. We ennoble ourselves when we stand up to immoral acts. In such cases ‘toleration’ itself is immoral. But again, reason, non-violence, diversity, and personal liberty (just brainstorming) are all values that will moderate dialogue and provide some middle ground between overlooking something you disagree with and blowing people up.
    We respect each other when we are candid about our disagreements, and that candor will often be rightly called ‘intolerant’.

    • Jason

      Sometimes its difficult to figure out if you’re serious. You hold up the Westboro Baptists as if they are mainstream Christianity, then you go into the midevel times to find the religious groups murdering.

      Do you have anything that normal people can relate to, or are your complaints always representative of an over sensitive, I’m-a-victim crowd?

  4. It’s another example of the destruction of the English language. Liberals use intolerance as if it’s a synonym of hate. Some people hate gays (for example). That doesn’t mean they don’t tolerate them. I can tolerate a gay man living next door, shopping at the same store that I do, buying from me, selling to me, breathing the same air I do. We all tolerate people who engage in all manner of activities we may not condone.

    Really, the question is: what can be tolerated? The answer can be summed up by the old saying “Hate the sin. Love the sinner”. I love my kids. I will not tolerate their bad behavior. Ok… Sometimes I will. But, either way, I don’t hate them. But that’s what people would have you believe. That because I don’t tolerate (more precisely: condone) the behavior, I must hate the person.

    I have gay friends and family members (you’ll have to take my word for it). I love them. I don’t have to like their homosexuality.

    I hate that some of my acquaintances have had abortions. I HATE IT! I don’t hate them. I tolerate all of them. I love some of them.

    Is it merely a matter of semantics? YES! Words mean things. At least, they used to.

  5. I have to say that the Coulter to Hitler comparison seemed pretty clear. After review, with the benefit of follow-up comments, I don’t see it getting any better. Who might be hurt by Coulter’s remarks? The intended targets for one, and justifiably so. But also those who take offense when none are intended in their direction. There was a recent comment of hers toward Obama and her use of the words “retard” and “retarded”. A man with Down Syndrome wrote a letter scolding her for doing so and the Coulter haters praise this guy as some definition of courage and nobility for “standing up to the bully”. Rubbish. Coulter has made her mark by herself standing up to the bullying (both blatant and passive-agressive) of the left. Is she “caustic”? Sure. So what? Why no tolerance for her style? It is because of the political positions she takes. Not for her word choices.

    Tolerance would dictate that one sees beyond rhetorical flourishes to focus on the message intended. Just tonight I heard a re-broadcast of Dennis Prager’s show where in he spoke of receiving criticism. He claims, as I do in my own case, that he takes no offense by criticisms of any kind, but asks is there merit for holding the critique. A good policy for sure and a far better display of tolerance.

    The left isn’t concerned about tolerance. They’re concerned with control and power. To demand that we “tolerate” people who identify by behavior we know is disordered and/or sinful demonstrates their own lack of tolerance for opposing opinions.

    For Jason, those words regarding Christian tolerance is spoken with all the intolerance of the left that I just described. Any Christian who speaks of hellfire in references to the behaviors you listed is not expressing intolerance at all. He is expressing his beliefs of the eternal consequences of living a life in rebellion to the will of God. That’s not intolerance. That’s called “love”, as such talk is a warning. It is akin to saying, “go ahead and try to hold hot coals, but you will burn yourself.” How intolerant to warn against holding hot coals! Furthermore, references to passed crimes by people hiding behind Christian titles (Crusades, etc) is a cheap ploy that does little to dissuade others of your own intolerance of people of faith. Can’t you reference anything older than several hundred years to make your case?

  6. Jason says bigotry shouldn’t be tolerated, but his ilk get to define bigotry as anything they disagree with. Pretty sneaky.

  7. I never hold up Westboro Baptist as if they are mainstream Christianity. I very frequently admonish others that they aren’t mainstream. I think you’re remembering wrong. And as for religious groups murdering, there is very recent evidence of such in abortion clinic bombings, Sinn Fein, African Christians murdering homosexuals and children (for being witches). These are mainstream activities and don’t mention any single crazies or very small groups. And feel free to denounce all those groups as misinterpreting the Bible and badly representing Christianity. If you’re willing to do that, then kudos to you.
    The whole point of your post is ‘we Christians are victims of intolerance” so I think it’s you with the ‘I’m a victim’ mentality. I only brought up those things to remind you that Christians are hardly innocent of intolerance.
    As for bigotry, I see “narrow-minded, bias, discrimination” as the dictionary definition. It’s not about name-calling though (whether it’s bigotry or not). Immoral acts and opinions deserve intolerance. We just disagree about what is immoral. Taking rights from gays, women, and minorities is immoral and something I don’t tolerate. You equate abortion with murder and don’t tolerate abortion.

    • Actually Jason, the point of the post delineates between the political left and right.


      She calls herself that in self deprecating satire.

    • Jason,
      I don’t know of any real Christian who wouldn’t denounce people like the Westboro cult, or Sinn Fein, or the KKK or others who claim to be Christian and yet teach and behave as nothing more than pagans. These people are ALL minority groups and have never, ever represented Christianity, and yet they are the first ones atheists point to when denouncing Christianity.

      I have yet to know or read of anyone “taking rights from gays, women and minorities.” That’s a very broad undefined statement. But then again, you determine that if we deny “gays” the right to redefine marriage, then that is immoral; you determine if we deny the right of a woman to murder her unborn child, then that is immoral. I have no idea what supposed rights you think we seek to deny minorities (but you’d also need to define what is a “minority.”

  8. Typical dodge. That’s what the angry liberals say. It’s satire. I’m just joking. They’re all actually hateful and intolerant. Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow. Anyone who stands up and says it’s okay they’re just joking is simply biased unless they afford the same to the other side.

  9. SS,

    Ironically, Coulter is expressing much the same sentiments I have expressed elsewhere and to which I have alluded here. It is easier (and cheaper) to focus on the words she uses in expressing her points rather than to debate the points themselves. It is a common tactic. True tolerance would be to ignore her style and focus on her substance. But again, that would be too difficult, so instead, they focus on the words and insults she slings in making those points and then label her as if the points are never made.

    There’s also a major difference in what the Coulters and Becks do and what the Mahers and Maddows do. The former deal in truth and reality, and the latter mostly personal attacks with little desire to truly debate the underlying issues. I don’t know how much of the above videos have been viewed by commenters here, as the first ran on from one clip to another. But in one piece the phrase “camel jockies” was used and Coulter was trying to make the point that the leftist’s focus on such terms when a larger issue of the war on islamonazi terrorism is raging is worthless and pointless. The party of “nuance”, however, feigns an inability to detect sarcasm and mockery and pretends legitimate hatred and bigotry is afoot.

  10. Just as an aside, because it was brought up in one of the video clips, I did some quick research because the discussion didn’t align with what I thought I knew. As this Wiki article explains, Canada did have involvement with the Iraq war, the first Gulf War and other Middle Eastern situations during both periods. That is to say, that there is enough to make either opinion correct.

    I was curious about a few other things as well. I Googled “African Christians murdering homosexuals” and found this Wiki piece describing anti-homosexual laws including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”

    “”Aggravated homosexuality” is defined to include homosexual acts committed by a person who is HIV-positive, is a parent or authority figure, or who administers
    intoxicating substances, homosexual acts committed on minors or people with disabilities, and repeat offenders.”

    It should be noted that the article speaks of Christians opposing this legislation. It should also be noted that Christian churches always speak against and denounce violent anti-abortion OR anti-homsexuality activities.

    Sinn Fein is not a religious organization, but a political one. Despite its membership being largely Roman Catholic, they are not motivated by issues of faith but by political ideology.

  11. Happy Ashoura. Teaching toddlers self-mutilation is a good example of when tolerance is a bad thing.

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