The Desecration of Tolerance
The original meaning of the word, meant to spread the love of Christ, has been twisted to cater to the canard that tolerance is a gateway to do anything one wants with no reprise or repercussions from man or God.
"A common myth about tolerance is that greater tolerance always shows greater respect and greater humility and less tolerance always shows greater disrespect and greater arrogance. This delusion falsely assumes that tolerance is completely consistent with respect and humility. In reality, unrestrained tolerance demonstrates disrespect, apathy, and ignorance as will be discussed later. Likewise, the mere fact that one is willing to be patient with error and foolishness shows great humility on one's part. Is this not evident in Christ's Own willingness to put up with our humanity even to the point of wearing it?"
One of the most popular and most distorted words in the vernacular of The New Order is tolerance, and its continued profanation is reflective of the devil's despicable design of perdition.
Tolerance, as defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is the capacity to endure pain and hardship, the sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own. Michael Novak of Syracuse University has noted that "tolerance used to mean that people of strong convictions would willingly bear the burden of putting up peacefully with people they regarded as clearly in error." Historian Felipe Fernandez Arnesto has stated that tolerance means that we take differing viewpoints seriously enough to investigate and determine their validity not that we simply accept those views blindly or label them valid without even determining that validity.
True tolerance used to mean that one would endure and be patient with a view although we found it to be in error, wrong, silly, or clearly in conflict with the dictates of one's conscience. In short, to be tolerant meant that one was patient and caring enough to give the time of day to views, beliefs, and practices one clearly saw as erroneous, harmful, dangerous, or contrary to one's perception of right and wrong. Put simply, the original meaning of tolerance implied the following elements:
- Clear awareness and belief that a view or practice was contrary to one's own beliefs and conscience
- Willingness to investigate, discuss, and point out those differences and conflicts
- Willingness to put up with those views or practices to some degree within the confines of one's own conscience and moral code
- At no time surrendering one's own conscience and moral code in deference to those conflicting or erroneous views or practices
- At no time giving up the right to pursue the conversion of those erroneous views or practices to one's views or practices within the confines of one's own conscience and moral code.
In other words, tolerance meant that you recognized error or disparity, accepted that it existed, respected it enough to point out why you disagreed with that disparity or error, did what you could to correct or solve that disparity or error to the best of your ability, lived with that error or disparity relative to its moral and ethical seriousness, and maintained your own beliefs and practices consistent with your conscience and moral code.
The sacred meaning of tolerance is consistent with and transcends that original meaning described above. In this vein tolerance means that one loves and respects the other enough to continue to love him or her despite whatever differences or conflicts may exist between the other's views and practices and one's own. This is clearly in line with Christ's call that we love the sinner but not the sin, that we love and serve one another, and that we seek to be inclusive and not exclusive of people but not of beliefs and practices. Since we must endure differences to some degree without surrendering our own beliefs and practices, we cannot be asked to include differing beliefs and practices without giving up or surrendering our own to some degree. However, Christ repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to embrace all people, to include them in God's plan for salvation, as long as they were willing to buy what He was telling them about God, about Himself, and about each other.
Sacred tolerance, then, demands love, respect, empathy, compassion, consideration, sympathy, patience, mercy, and forgiveness. It requires all that Christ came among us to teach since one will not tolerate that which one does not love enough to put up with to some degree, which one does not respect enough to consider, and which one does not forgive enough to seek new ground. How Christ had to tolerate the lack of commitment, the weakness, the confusion, the foolishness of a lukewarm and stubborn people! How much did our Lord put up with those leaders who so stood for everything He spoke against! Despite this, the limits of tolerance stand at the line of respect for God and His Word as the moneychangers found out! God Almighty is about sacred tolerance. He puts up with our sinfulness, our weakness, our unfaithfulness, our disloyalty, our inconsistency, our disrespect, and our humanity because He loves us and wants our salvation enough to be patient beyond human understanding, to be loving beyond human capacity, and to be compassionate and merciful beyond human ability.
Sacred tolerance does not, however, mean that God will surrender His Own Word, Will, or Supreme Authority to keep "the peace", to keep everyone happy, to put up with us! Tolerance means you bend somewhat out of love, but it does not mean that you break or twist or distort out of shape out of weakness or fear of conflict. Likewise, sacred and divine tolerance is greatest in the face of innocence and purity, as demonstrated by Christ's endless patience with children in view of their sincerity, purity, and innocence.
Respect and Humility
A common myth about tolerance is that greater tolerance always shows greater respect and greater humility and less tolerance always shows greater disrespect and greater arrogance. This delusion falsely assumes that tolerance is completely consistent with respect and humility. In reality, unrestrained tolerance demonstrates disrespect, apathy, and ignorance as will be discussed later. Likewise, the mere fact that one is willing to be patient with error and foolishness shows great humility on one's part. Is this not evident in Christ's Own willingness to put up with our humanity even to the point of wearing it?
Next: Distortion, Deception, and Desecration
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.