Tolerance is hardly a two way Street
When president Obama recently came out in favor of gay marriage, I believe it to be a political move more than a conviction of the heart; especially in an election year. Since the issue is once again in vogue (depending on what side you take), the T word is trending high.
Tolerance, in it’s textbook form, is something the world could use more of-in certain situations…when someone cuts you off in rush hour traffic, when your child makes a mistake but feels remorse and learns a lesson, or when an elderly person takes three times as long to do something that causes you to wait.
But when tolerance collides with core beliefs, it requires a surrender of character to exercise the T word. Tolerance in this instance is a sign of weakness that is easily dismissed because of our poor understanding of the word-and, frankly, because of intimidation by certain factions in society that are not so tolerant!
Words that are closely related to tolerance are resignation, passiveness, passivity, compliance, conformism, obedience, subordination, willingness, submission, and submissiveness. These are words that are not related to character and conviction. These ARE words, however, that are all trying to accomplish a similar goal. That goal is conformity to the individual invoking the T word. But I digress…
I am opposed to gay marriage. I will make no apologies for it. I would be happy to have an intelligent conversation with an opposing viewpoint on the issue. However, it is nearly impossible to do so nowadays because of the invocation of the T word.
So before we can discuss and possibly learn from each other, we must deal with the tolerance factor. And why are those who are opposed to gay marriage deemed intolerant? If we are ever to allow open dialogue, pursue truth, and allow for expression that truly is enlightening, then we must abandon the use of the idea of tolerance in it’s grossly deformed current image. Furthermore, why is it that you are deemed intolerant if you do not conform with the group that has deemed you such? Is this not considered hate? Or at the very least name-calling or bashing? Simply because one expresses a contrary worldview to another does that make it a form of hate?
Hate is a word of action that originates in the heart. But one is not necessarily hating by stating a position. But someone who calls another a name or labels them unfairly is bigoted. When is the last time you heard someone who is for gay marriage called a bigot. Yet that same person will play the intolerance card simply because another disagrees with them.
Bad behavior towards another in an ordinary civil setting is something I NEVER tolerate! You should always respect another person’s opinion. That is a right that everyone should be afforded. But to misuse the idea of tolerance to intimidate and bully into conforming to be like someone else is something I will never tolerate. And regardless of your position on any issue, I do not condone it.