Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tolerance: What it Means

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Tolerance is one of those overused words which has lost touch with its original meaning.

"Tolerance" at its core is a Christian virtue. It is not a  universalist concept at all. The general trend of nations, tribes, and religions is discrimination, followed by marginalization or violence.

Tolerance has become a watch-word for forced acceptance, regardless of truth or legacy.

Islam is not a religion of tolerance, but submission. Those who do not agree with the tenets of Islam face shame, threats, demotion, even death in Islamic countries.

Tolerance is a Christian virtue, not a secular, nor an Eastern virtue. The Empire of Japan refused to permit foreigners to live and trade in the country for three hundred years following violent wars over religion.

Communism presented a forceful, final vision of the world, where the capitalist system, where private property would fall away in the face of  non-government, with the proletariat in charge.

These political movements do not entertain a difference of opinion, and freedom of speech and redress, or the press and religion, have no place among them.

They are not tolerant ideologies, and as such they cannot be tolerated in a free society.

Tolerance does mean "Everyone is right." Tolerance begins with a strong stance on what is right or wrong, yet respecting the natural rights of others notwithstanding differences of beliefs.

Natural rights, which pertain to individuals regardless of their heritage, ethnicity, or other physical dimension, do not exist in many cultures, where the value of an individual depends on something else in relation to the state, the ruler, the final determination of the group.

Yet what happens when those very beliefs conflict with the rights of others.

Then tolerance cannot be a factor.

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