I suppose I should start out with a disclaimer so some of you don’t turn me off before reading any further: I do not support the spirit behind the image posted to the right. I really don’t think it’s helpful (clever as it may be). However, it highlights an important point that deserves serious attention: Those who preach “tolerance” the loudest and most often tend to practice INtolerance the loudest and most often.
I am a pretty tolerant person. In saying that, I mean that I live among those who have different views than mine and I don’t work towards shutting them down. I don’t try to yell louder than them so they cannot be heard. I don’t try to shame them into silence and I certainly don’t try and kill them or otherwise rough them up. That is tolerance. I tolerate them. I don’t agree with their views. I tolerate their views. I will passionately state my own based on Truth from Scripture because I believe the eternal state of someone rests on it. Those are my views. At the end of the day, though, I don’t demonize them or call them names for not accepting them. That would be intolerance. My position is that I don’t expect non-Christians to act or think as though they were Christian. That’s lunacy.
Here’s the thing: To state a personal belief and practice is NOT being intolerant. To viciously attack or demonize a person who states a personal belief and practice absolutely IS. I am growing weary of the double-standard. Watching a news show the other day, a commentator went into a near rage calling Dan Cathy “a fool” for using his business to attack gays. Seriously? What Cathy was accused of simply did not happen. He stated his views.
In a response to whether he was against same-sex marriage, Mr. Cathy’s quote was, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” How is that anything but a statement on what this particular business is based on; a set of core beliefs that clearly does not include support for changing the definition of marriage (a definition that has never been anything other than it is right now throughout our history as a humans)? He has a right to that view and is supposed to have a right, as do those who are pro-gay, to state those views publicly in an orderly manner.
Further, he should not be coerced into building his business on principles that are not his personally held convictions. This company has not been charged with discriminating against those whom they serve. This is not a civil rights issue. They simply stated what they believe. Now politicians are working to shut them down for their personal beliefs? Are you kidding me?! We’re now living on Fantasy Island where the unbelievable and absurd becomes reality. Critical thinkers rather than thoughtless, emotional and ideological reactors are desperately needed. Apply within. You don’t have to buy their product, but it is wrong to try to use political power to shut them down.
The bottom line: If you want to see tolerance practiced…practice some.
*** It certainly does to at least some. In this culture, if I’m not actively pro-gay, I am expected to keep my “judgmental” mouth shut or be prepared to receive the rebuking scorn of “the tolerant”.