When does tolerance become intolerant?

Re-thinking tolerance

I've always believed that tolerance meant allowing other people to believe whatever they wished as long as it did not cause harm to others. You can be a Christian, Muslim, Athiest, Agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu or whatever else you wish. Politics should be the same way, along with any thing else for that matter. As long as you don't use your beliefs as a platform to attack others in some way, then it shouldn't be a problem, right. That's not what the modern interpretation seems to be. Currently, the idea seems to be that everyone should refrain from expressing what they believe in any way to avoid offending someone. Here's my theory. If you're offended by someone simply expressing their beliefs, then you're not very tolerant.

Holidays

Currently, we're told to say "Happy Holidays" to avoid offending someone who believes differently than we do. How about this instead, the next time someone wishes you a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or Merry Martian Laundry Day (clean clothes are a BIG deal on Mars), be thankful for the fact that someone wished you happiness, regardless of the way it was expressed. In today's society, we have so many people wishing us something other than happiness that we should be grateful for these gestures, regardless of the customs that spawned them.

Race

I wish I had a nickel for each time I've heard "that person is being rascist", or "That's rascist", when what the person said could be interpreted 6 different ways. Why do we automatically jump to the worst possible thing a person could have meant, and then damn them based on what we think they said? By the way, this counts for religion, politics and anything else too, race just seems to be the most prevalent.

Instead of assuming, why don't we take a moment to find out what they really meant, or even better, just assume the best about them instead of the worst. That would be the tolerant attitude.

Politics

Democrats are liberal, bleeding-heart, tofu-eating, abortion-loving fascists...If you're a Republican. Republicans are conservative, hard-hearted, red-meat eating, people-hating dictators...If you're a Democrat. Don't even get me started on the wishy-washy Independents out there.

This is intolerant nonsense. Just because someone sees a different path for this country does not make them evil or stupid, or anything else. It just makes them a person with a different opinion. True tolerance means accepting that this other person who believes differently than you do, has value and loves His country just as much as you do. He just sees things differently.

Until we can truly tolerate those who believe differently than we do, and that means showing them a loving and welcoming attitude, then our country will never progress past where we are right now.

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Slave2No1 profile image

Slave2No1 5 years ago from Oneida, NY

It's sad that so few on this Earth (or in history, for that matter), are as tolerant as you. How much better and peaceful this entire planet would be if all people had your attitude, regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, location, religion, education level/status, job/income/wealth, health or politics. Even though we've come a long way technology-wise, we have a long way yet to go to leave the 'cave' behind and put down the club.


kirsteno profile image

kirsteno 5 years ago

It's so easy to decide that you could be the only person in the world who is right. Or only people who think like you are right. You are absolutely correct in saying that we're all intolerant.

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