Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Pseudo-Virtue of Tolerance

In this new progressive age in which we are living we are constantly lectured to by our leftist brothers and sisters about the absolute need for showing tolerance within our American society today.  Indeed, the necessity of practicing tolerance is preached from all levels of government, schools, social organizations, charities, and even some churches.  If one were to watch television for any prolonged sitting, it is a good bet that one would see a public service announcement stressing the need that we all act with tolerance towards one another.  Indeed, “tolerance” has been elevated to a virtuous level, or so it would seem. 

Now I understand the often altruistic intentions of many of those good folks that are decrying the need for tolerance in our society today, but unfortunately rather than improving society through our more tolerant actions, we seem to be debasing it often times and excusing actions and behaviors that used to be considered harmful, wrong, or sinful as just being part of the norm of everyday life now.  This sort of tolerance has defined deviancy down to the lowest common denominator often times.

Archbishop Charles Chaput formerly of the Denver Catholic Archdiocese and now of the Philadelphia Archdiocese is a brilliantly moral Christian man.  He also has a few critics because he is not one to bend Christian Catholic orthodoxy or doctrine, even if he were canonically allowed to do so, simply in appeasement to our new age demands to show greater “tolerance”.  Indeed Archbishop Chaput recently made a comment regarding this “tolerance trend” and put the non-virtue of tolerance into its proper perspective.  He stated,

“We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty -- these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil.”

What makes something a virtue?  Well, a virtue is something that when exercised is always for the truth and the doing of good.  Tolerance will sometimes fail to live up to that definition of virtuous behavior, if the very nature of something that is being tolerated is immoral or evil. 

Indeed, as a nation America has tolerated some great evils in its past regarding slavery and many of the actions towards our native American brothers and sisters, as some examples.  One can make the claim that many German citizens tolerated the initial abuses, for whatever myriads of reasons, in the rise of the Nazi Party and their systematic killing of the Jews.  Tolerance is not a virtue when the behavior one is tolerating is abhorrent, sinful, or evil.

The unfortunate irony of this call to tolerance is that often times those sometimes well-meaning folks espousing this pseudo-virtue are often the same ones showing a decided lack of tolerance towards those that disagree with their ideals or political agenda.  Indeed, one need only read the newspaper or turn on the nightly news to see myriads of examples of this intolerance coming from those that preach tolerance.

Often times our progressive friends will show contempt or disdain (certainly not tolerance) towards us conservatives and libertarians if we dare offer a contrary viewpoint on the veracity of anthropogenic global warming, gays in the military (or any LGBT issue), abortion, Christianity, radical Islam, evolution, just war, or government-compulsory wealth redistribution.  When it comes to many of these issues, to the typical progressive, their viewpoint is the “righteous” or humanistically moral one in their eyes, and thus they have no tolerance for those that would have the temerity to offer a differing opinion on the given subject at hand.  They are the moral, enlightened, and tolerant ones, you see.

So what then is the point of progressives espousing the need for all to be tolerant, even though they do not always practice what they are preaching?  Is it possible that there is something more behind this call for tolerance than simply a misguided altruistic attempt to get everyone to simply get along?  I am certain that many very good people have no other agenda than simply that aforementioned goal.  Unfortunately, I am also fairly certain that a not insignificant percentage of those tolerance-espousers are also trying to promulgate a more “tolerant society” that is in lock step with their political or world views.  In other words, they have an agenda.

This societal peer-pressured type of tolerance is seemingly being used more often as a form of control and censorship by the left in order to normalize what used to be unacceptable behaviors or ideals that were antithetical to American life.  The battle cry of “tolerance” thus becomes just another Saul Alinsky type of tool used to cow the timid conservative or the introverted libertarian into accepting what our western culture used to define as wrong, immoral, and in some cases just plain evil. 

It is my belief that we should all indeed strive to get along and love one another as we love ourselves, because every last one of us is indeed a sinner.  That said, when tolerance becomes a code word for cowing those from speaking out against what they know to be wrong simply to get along, our society will only continue to further slouch towards Gomorrah.   

12 comments:

free0352 said...

I took your quote and reworked it a bit.

“We need to remember that tolerance is not an Islamic virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty -- these are all part of Sharia and being a good Muslim. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil.”

How does he sound now?

Anywhoo, I agree about Liberals being NOT being tolerant of opposing conservative views. We are far more understanding of them than they us. We view them as simply wrong. They view us as evil.

That said, what specific cultural things in America do you suggest we stop tolerating. You mentioned slavery and broken treaties with Indians. Okay, I'm pretty sure we don't do those things anymore.

What is the problem here?

The Heathen Republican said...

Mr Paine, rumor is you were recently in Denver. I'm disappointed you didn't look me up.

Regarding your post, I work hard every day to innoculate my daughter against the tolerance meme, even though it's part of her school's values. Mostly I just tell her to be intolerant of stupid people, which is usually sufficient since the people we're supposed to tolerate are generally stupid.

Free, a few suggestions for things we should stop tolerating: unsupervised children, Democrat bigots, female circumcision, full veils, cheating in schools, casual drug use, sagging pants, loud talkers on cell phones...

free0352 said...

Call me a sucker for a free society, but I think people own their own bodies. So, if they want to say... ingest CRACK that is their business.

As for veils, who are we to tell someone what they can and cannot wear? That goes for pants worn a bit low as well.

As for female ritual genital mutilation, it's not legal in any State. As for other countries, I say we mind our own business. We have our own problems.

But those are all side points. I have a very simple philosophy.

Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose. What that means is, I tolerate just about anything so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

J. Marquis said...

People own their own bodies? Does that include women?

free0352 said...

Yes. That however does not authorize infanticide. A baby owns it's own body too, and no one has a right to take it away. Abortion at it's very core is a civil rights issue. A rights issue for unborn children.

T. Paine said...

Free asks, “That said, what specific cultural things in America do you suggest we stop tolerating.” I think Heathen gave a pretty good list of some of the things to which I was thinking should not be tolerated. I think the misappropriation of the sacrament of marriage by same sex couples is a good example. Abortion, other than to save the life of the mother, is another one. And yes, drug use too should not be so casually tolerated.

Don’t mistake my intent. I don’t necessarily think that everything I find intolerable should be criminalized and prosecuted. I simply think that from a moral standpoint, we have opened the barn doors real wide as to what we once considered inappropriate, immoral, and evil to be at least tolerable in society these days. We have regressed as a society because of this, in my opinion. It creates a very slippery slope accordingly. Hell, I even read an article the other day where “psychologists” were trying to say that child sex wasn’t necessarily an evil thing. NAMBLA should be very happy indeed about the things we are tolerating these days.

“Mr Paine, rumor is you were recently in Denver. I'm disappointed you didn't look me up.”

Mr. Heathen, I was indeed in Denver, but had precious little time for anything there as my boss had me tied up with all sorts of commitments. My God-children live there too so I get out that way from time to time. Hopefully we can meet in person one of these days in the future to further our plans for the overthrow of all things progressive! 

H.R. said, “Regarding your post, I work hard every day to inoculate my daughter against the tolerance meme, even though it's part of her school's values. Mostly I just tell her to be intolerant of stupid people, which is usually sufficient since the people we're supposed to tolerate are generally stupid.”

I never really looked at it like that, but often times that is indeed the case. Their logic for doing as they wish is based strictly on emotion rather than intellect many times, H.R.

“Call me a sucker for a free society, but I think people own their own bodies. So, if they want to say... ingest CRACK that is their business. As for veils, who are we to tell someone what they can and cannot wear? That goes for pants worn a bit low as well. As for female ritual genital mutilation, it's not legal in any State. As for other countries, I say we mind our own business. We have our own problems. But those are all side points. I have a very simple philosophy. Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose. What that means is, I tolerate just about anything so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.”

Free, again I agree with you up to a certain point. People do indeed have the right to do what they wish with their own bodies and property; however, I am not going to have ANY tolerance for that same crack-head to drive my grandkid’s school bus after smoking a rock. I am also going to make a comment to the idiot with his pants half way down his butt that he looks like a fool as he walks past me and my family on the street. Like I said, I don’t necessarily want to criminalize abhorrent behavior (abortion is definitely an exception though) but rather simply get society to speak up again against many of the things we are supposed to “tolerate” now, like openly homosexual people serving in the military, for instance.

Mr. Marquis, I will parrot what Free has already said here. Yes, people own their own bodies and that includes women absolutely. It doesn’t include the woman’s right to murder the unborn child she is carrying however.

John Myste said...

@Mr. Paine,

That said, when tolerance ... [we] only continue to further slouch towards Gomorrah.

Most people mean tolerance toward homosexuals and freedom of religion and such. I think you realize this.

@Heathen,

Free, a few suggestions for things we should stop tolerating: unsupervised children, Democrat bigots, female circumcision, full veils, cheating in schools, casual drug use, sagging pants, loud talkers on cell phones.

So, should we still tolerate Republican Bigots? Why are only democratic bigots forbidden? Sagging pants. That’s a good one. Why do a bunch of idiots want to run around with their pants around their ankles? Oh, and the color yellow, at least on clothing. I don’t care for the color yellow used that way.

@Free,

Call me a sucker …

Sucker.

As for veils, who are we to tell someone what they can and cannot wear? That goes for pants worn a bit low as well. Of course this is obvious. Heathen must have been joking. Either that or my respect for him just dropped several points (but not yet as low as Free’s respect for me).

As for female ritual genital mutilation, it's not legal in any State. As for other countries, I say we mind our own business. We have our own problems.

Agreed. Let the barbarians be barbarians.

But those are all side points. I have a very simple philosophy. That is so true.

Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my nose. What that means is, I tolerate just about anything so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

I would rather eat a tack sandwich dipped in hot oil than to agree with Free, but that just about sums it up. It is really the only non-bigoted view a person can have, which means democrats should make sure they don’t have it, since it would seem that it is just find if Republican are bigots.

@Marquis

People own their own bodies? Does that include women? Read your Bible. We men own their bodies.

@T. Paine,

Free asks, “That said, what specific cultural things in America do you suggest we stop tolerating.” I think Heathen gave a pretty good list of some of the things to which I was thinking should not be tolerated.

So, you’re narrow-minded also? (no offense. You know I love you).

I think the misappropriation of the sacrament of marriage by same sex couples is a good example. Nobody wants that. They just want to get married.

Abortion, other than to save the life of the mother, is another one. Ooo, not yet.

And yes, drug use too should not be so casually tolerated. Neither should religion, as it can also effects sound judgment. I don’t mind religion myself, but I am just going with the flow.

I simply think that from a moral standpoint, we have opened the barn doors real wide as to what we once considered inappropriate, immoral, and evil to be at least tolerable in society these days. Using drugs is not evil. Of Heathen’s list, the only think I would call evil is the wearing of baggy pants around your ankles. There is no sense in walking around looking like an idiot.

We have regressed as a society because of this We used to sacrifice our children to Moloch, but now we wear baggy pants, for God’s sake. What has humankind become?

It creates a very slippery slope accordingly. You do realize that a slippery slopes are usually fallacious, right? That things have theoretical ad absurdum conclusions in no way means that this is the only way to look at them.

Hell, I even read an article the other day. You go, Mr. Paine.

“psychologists” were trying to say that child sex wasn’t necessarily an evil thing. I agree with this, actually. Children will be children. Sex, when mutually consensual, is not evil unless done between an adult and a child where the child will be scarred because of societal mores. Babies are not evil. Children who have sex are not evil. Do you know what evil means?

Expected Optimism said...

I agree with your general point on tolerance, and also with the point that not tolerating something does not imply criminalizing it. I'm curious, however, how you would judge the appropriate level of response to something that you do not tolerate. When is it appropriate to call someone out in public, as you say you would do with the sagging-pants person? When would it be inappropriate?

T. Paine said...

J. Myste: “Most people mean tolerance toward homosexuals and freedom of religion and such. I think you realize this.”

T. Paine: Yes, John, I do realize this. Further, how many times have you read me writing that, as a Christian, I am taught to hate the sin but love the sinner. We are not supposed to condemn the person, as we are all guilty of sin, but rather we are to condemn and not tolerate the sin of the acts of homosexuality. I realize that we are not ever going to agree on this as we have different core axioms on which we base our arguments and opinions on the matter. You argue yours very well and yet still are unable to convince me that you are correct in your view point accordingly because of these differences. Further, most Christian denominations are tolerant of other religions and the freedom of their adherents to practice their faith accordingly.



T. Paine: “And yes, drug use too should not be so casually tolerated.”

J. Myste: “Neither should religion, as it can also effects sound judgment.”

T. Paine: Oh! Now I understand when you were talking previously about intolerance as referenced towards religion! Thanks for clarifying.



J. Myste: “Sex, when mutually consensual, is not evil unless done between an adult and a child where the child will be scarred because of societal mores.”

T. Paine: I think this is a point of misunderstanding due to my neglect in being clear with what I initially wrote. Instead of child sex, I actually meant adult w/ child sex, hence my NAMBLA reference. I am glad to see that you agree with me that this is something not to be tolerated, although your reasoning for it was a little off-putting if I understood it correctly. That said, children having sex with other children also is something which should not be tolerated for myriads of reasons, which I really don’t care to delve into right now.

T. Paine said...

Expected Optimism, first let me say thanks for dropping by and commenting. As to your question, I suppose it would be highly dependent upon the context of the “intolerable behavior” as well as the venue of that behavior that would dictate what me response would be. I guess I would need a specific example in order to determine what my response might likely be. I am not opposed to quietly voicing disapproval of obnoxious or inappropriate behavior to those guilty of it in public settings; however, I do tend to be more cautious speaking out if my family is with me simply for their safety reasons. Often times, those folks acting foolishly in an intolerable fashion typically aren’t fond of being told that they are acting thusly.

Often times a positive comment to someone when others are within earshot is most effective. As an example, my family is Catholic. During our Masses we therefore will have three or four young teenagers that will act as altar servers and assist during the Mass. Too many of the kids serving in this capacity will often wear casual clothing at best and sometimes inappropriate clothing for what Catholicism considers assisting in a Holy Sacrament. One young man that serves as an altar server though is always dressed in nice slacks and dress shoes and always is very reverent throughout his duties. My wife and I both noticed this and made a point of complimenting him for his attire and attitude accordingly. We did so when he was in the presence of some of the other altar servers after Mass, one of which habitually wears flip flops and inappropriate dresses. The point was made, as he realized his appropriate behavior was noticed and appreciated, while the other altar server was seemingly appropriately embarrassed without us ever having said a word directly to her.

John Myste said...

but rather we are to condemn and not tolerate the sin of the acts of homosexuality.

Overall your response was pretty good. However, it is not your place to tolerate or not tolerate homosexuality. Furthermore, the Bible condemns lots of things in the Old Testament, such as your friend Burr Deming likes to point out, the mixing of linens in clothing, that you do not condemn, so you don’t have to cherry pick this one.

Additionally, you do tolerate homosexuality, just as you should. Moreover, you don’t get to choose if homosexuality is or is not a sin. You are not God. I am not even sure God is.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, sub/dude said...

Amen, brudda. Right-on. As you most pro'bly can tell, a lotta power-hungry-elites, the top 2%, who control the stanky BO (yes, they foced the hand of GWB, too, through their billions), pit U.S. against each other in a knock-down, drag-out fight between the Democrats vs. the Republicans. Yawn. I'm not gonna participate anymore. You know further, friend, whomever gets into the Oval Office, shall be conformed and MissGuided precisely by the filthy rich to further their evil. I'm #@!! glad they won't be admitted into Heaven. Alas, all the POW!er and wealth they have created off the backs of hard-work'n-poor will get'm absolutely nowhere BUT the wrath of Divine Judgment. C'est la vie (French: that's [the] life). If I can respect and hold in awe the God who created me with MY injury in this finite existence, THEY certainly can, too. But, yet, money has a way off the NarrowPath, quickly following the Wide --- You want a wholegobbsalottsa wisdom? You've arrived at the journey of RITE given by the Holy Spirit to infect U.S. Those who turn-away? C'est la guerre (French: that's war). We'll dust-off our feet and joyfully enter the Great Beyond at croak'n time. Join this sinfull mortal, bud, for my BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy Upstairs celebrating our resurrection for maaany eons. See ya soon, brudda. God bless you.