"Are there any limits to tolerance? Many would deny it, saying we should be tolerant under all circumstances, because intolerance is always wrong. This is not true. Tolerance is not always right, and intolerance is not always wrong.
The limit of tolerance is reached when tolerance would deprive someone of sovereign inalienable rights. Suppose you are sick; suppose you have pneumonia. The doctor examines you and says: 'You are very sick; your body is full of pneumococci and stretococci germs and some other cocci germs. But we must be broadminded about these evils. I find your body is a particularly fertile field for developing these germs. Instead of curing you, I am going to make a study of pneumonia as it exists in you.' Are you tolerant? You say, 'No! Tolerance never goes that far.' In other words, you are very intolerant about your life.
Liberty: Is there a limit to tolerance, say, of freedom of speech? Yes, there is a limit to freedom of speech. It is reached when we use freedom of speech to destroy freedom of speech. Anyone in the world may use freedom of speech, as long as he allows anyone else to enjoy that freedom of speech. But there are those who would use this freedom of speech. But there are those who would use this freedom of speech to deny that right to others. Toward that latter group we ought to be intolerant [editor's note: such as pro-aborts who deny the rights to the unborn] To such enemies of freedom there must be a reminder that they may enjoy freedom of speech on condition that if they were in power, they would extend it to others. As Chief Justice Holmes said, 'Freedom of speech does not mean the right to shout 'fire' in a theater.'
Should we be tolerant of persecution of the Chinese, five million of whom have already been liquidated by the Communists? Should we be tolerant and falsely 'broadminded' of the persecution of the Jews and others in Russia? All these people are persons and have the sovereign worth of which we have spoken. The democratic world must rise up in defense of the right kind of tolerance and say, 'These people are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, free speech, and to a government of their own choosing, and as God-fearing people we will help them preserve these rights.'
Tolerance refers to evil. Love refers to persons. A teacher is intolerant about Washington being the capital of the United States, and not Moscow, but the pupil is not beaten for her error. If you go into a a grocery store and the grocer adds $24 and $7 and makes it $43, you are very tolerant about the truth, which is $31; but you do not cut off the grocer's head. If he said, 'But Einstein said everything is relative,' you would answer, 'Not so relative that we have four toes on one foot counted one way and six toes on the other foot counted the other way.' Life is intolerant of death. Truth is intolerant of error; Love is intolerant of hate. But the sick, the erring, and the Communists are to be loved."