Tolerance in the Land of Lincoln


John Kass has a great column in the Trib about a simple experiment in tolerance.  Those who prate most about diversity and tolerance should try some.

2 Responses to Tolerance in the Land of Lincoln

  1. Rick Lugari says:

    I’m pleased that the young lady dealt so well with the harsh criticism from her peers. When I was that age I don’t think I could have. Her experiment was good, though I could have told her the outcome beforehand. It’s that strange irony of the American left, they brand themselves as the tolerant and loving but are actually the most intolerant and hateful.

  2. Ryan Harkins says:

    Perhaps it would be more charitable to say that the left’s use of “tolerance” as a slogan is misleading, misapplied, or simply inaccurate. Very, very few people actually believe that we should tolerate anything. At the far end, the only thing not to be tolerated is intolerance, but further in the spectrum, there is more reason.

    Tolerance, of course, cannot include actions that are despicable. Degrees might come into play for some people, but the rape of a 7-year-old can never be tolerated. It would be hoped that most agree that rape in general can never be tolerated, but certainly the molestation of an innocent child is so reprehensible that it could never be tolerated. (And notice that there needs to be a distinction between the criminal and the crime; we could, if the rapist shows true repentance, tolerate him; but his crime is never, ever to be tolerated.)

    Tolerance, as the left uses it, isn’t necessarily about trying make relativism a way of life, isn’t necessarily about accepting anything, but supporting those minority groups with a different outlook that have been classically suppressed, oppressed, or unjustly forced into dark corners. Lately, they’ve taken that a step further in seeking acceptance for some behaviors that are morally questionable at best, gravely disordered usually, and sometimes even intrinsically evil.

    So I’ll throw the left a bone and accept that they don’t really mean tolerance when they say it, but use it because the term sounds good. The problem that they don’t realize is that tolerance in and of itself is neither good nor bad. Some things should be tolerated–differences of opinion, for example–while other things should never be tolerated. One has to be firmly grounded in moral theory, with an objective standard to weigh against, in order to start flinging slogans of “tolerance” around.

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