Tolerance, Political Correctness, and the End Result
- 1.the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
I invite everyone to read and re-read that definition a few times.
First I'd like to point out the beginning of the definition. "The ability or willingness to tolerate something..." so obviously tolerance is a choice. Next lets finish the definition; "...in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with."To me this is the part that people seem to either not understand, or just choose to ignore. By its very definition, tolerance is to essentially "put up with" a behavior or opinion with which you don't agree. So lets look at the "Tolerance Movement" that is taking place today.There are so many examples that I could use, and I may touch on quite a few of them, but I definitely want to start with the one that is ALWAYS the focus when it comes to tolerance, and that is homosexuality.
I have an abundance of feelings and thoughts on this issue. Especially when it comes to the "Tolerance Movement" and how its being promoted and portrayed. The struggle presented to me now is, how do I relay my passion without coming across as hateful? I'm sure that word will be used to describe me enough for even covering this subject. Let me start by saying, I do not hate people for any particular classification. In fact, I can honestly say that there isn't anyone that I genuinely hate, even though there are people I choose to avoid over specific traits or behaviors with which I choose not to surround myself. This may shock you, but homosexuality is NOT one of those behaviors. I have several friends and acquaintances that have expressed same sex attraction and I am not any less their friend today, than when they were living life "in the closet". I understand the great gift of agency that we have been given by God and by our country. We are free to choose and that is a wonderful blessing. People can choose their own behavior and beliefs, as can I. So what is the "Tolerance Movement" telling me? It tells me that if I don't support homosexuality I am not tolerant. It tells me if I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, it must be, that I hate gay people. I want to stress the truth. Supporting something that is contrary to my beliefs is not me loving ANYONE. If I believe that the ONLY way to truly be happy in this life is to be a part of a loving relationship and to use the sacred love that exists between a married man and woman, who have committed themselves to each other completely, to make children and to build a family, then how can I support something that would deny my friends that opportunity? (Of course I believe that couples that are denied the opportunity to have children, or people denied the opportunity to find someone, can still find happiness and purpose. But that's another article for another time.) How would me supporting something I believe to not be fulfilling, and/or the right way to find true happiness, be me showing love to my fellow man? Loving someone, does not mean supporting everything they do. Let me lay out a few parallels using a not as touchy subject.
First a personal experience. In fact it's my life right now. I was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which for those familiar with the religion, it's a lifestyle, and a very committed one. While I still agree with, and believe a lot of their doctrine, I first began to question when I was around 14. It wasn't due to lack of answers, my parents taught me well, and I knew the answers. I just struggled with that feeling. I haven't had that moment where you just know. So my parents can't help, it is something I must do alone. So after a particularly difficult life event in January of 2014 I started to just do what I wanted when it came to everything. I decided that the only opinions that matter are mine, and God's. I decided to try living based off of what I believe is right and wrong, not what my parents or their Church tells me is right or wrong. Without going into details, let me just tell you, my parents definitely don't support or like the changes. Let me ask you this; Would my parents be showing me love by not encouraging me back to the church? My parents believe that in order for us to be a family for eternity, I have to live up to a certain standard and repent for where I fall short. So if they really love me, wouldn't they do everything in their power, to bring me to where they are in faith? I would hope that they wouldn't want to lose me in the eternities, so I don't get offended when my mom, after listening to me complain about a difficult day, right away suggests praying, and studying scripture. Every time she does I know she is loving me even though I don't necessarily want to listen to her preach. How can I be offended at my mom's desires and willingness to fight for me? My mom tolerates my life right now, but does not support it, and she continues to counsel and encourage me. True love, and caring for someone does NOT include supporting every action or behavior.
To show it in another angle that shouldn't offend anyone, let's look at the weather. We have NO control over the weather so even if I want it to be sunny, if it rains what am I going to do? I have to tolerate it because I have no other option. That does not meant that I have to start wanting it to rain all the time, or that I am going to become a fan of rain. People can choose how they feel about the rain, and nobody should feel the need to make them feel a different way.
Now on the subject of equal rights etc I want to state why I feel that marriage should be protected between a man and a woman. For me to explain this I want to reiterate that tolerance is different from support. I tolerate homosexuality, and do not hold it against individuals, however I do NOT support homosexuality. I believe that marriage has purposes. A lot of sacred and meaningful promises and commitments are made in marriage. I believe that a marriage is deeper than just love. I think the main purpose of marriage is family. The family unit is the foundation of so much. The family structure is divine. Everything about how families are started and grow shows godly attributes. No science, machine, or man made anything, can replicate the creation of a baby within a woman. Our bodies are amazing. It takes a man and a woman to make a baby. No matter how you slice it, it takes the sperm of a MAN and the egg of a WOMAN. This shows that we were created to be paired as male and female. I think that the importance of a male presence and a female presence is equally as important when looking at a family unit. When a child is growing up, they need the soft tenderness of a mother, and the strength and courage of a father. It is the individuals responsibility to be a good role model and to parent well, but I don't think there are any positives to the absence of one of those roles. People still choose to live that way, and I tolerate it, and I wish them the best and pray for their success as a family. Now onto why I would "deny" them the right to get married.
People live together before marriage most of the time now days ( one study stated, "Two-thirds of couples married in 2012 shared a home together for more than two years before they ever waltzed down an aisle." (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/the-science-of-cohabitation-a-step-toward-marriage-not-a-rebellion/284512/) A lot even start families before marriage. Again this isn't something I support but it happens and I tolerate. I feel that we cannot dictate your personal lifestyle, we cannot tell you what to do in your home. However when we change the definition of marriage in the world, the effects are detrimental. We have crossed from tolerance to support, and even promotion. I believe that people that truly struggle with homosexuality, believe that they were born that way. I think that some people really cannot help but to be attracted to the same gender. I feel for them, and empathize as I cannot speak to the turmoil of living a conflicted life and having to make that choice. But I believe, that if you really feel that way, and really believe that is the way you were made, why do you need me to tell you it's okay? By forcing America, or anywhere to make homosexuality equal to heterosexuality we are literally hurting ourselves. Now we are making homosexuality a choice. Now in schools it won't be taught husband, wife, man and woman. It will be partner. By teaching this as mainstream and for lack of a better word "normal" we are basically teaching our children to not gender specify and to be "sexually fluid" I think is the term. Why is this bad? We are men and we are women. We are different. We are made differently, and we have different strengths and different abilities. I'll probably be attacked by feminists also for saying that, but we are different. Its purely a fact. Boys should be raised as a boy and girls should be raised as girls. They should be shown examples of how things naturally work and happen. Naturally a man and a woman are paired and create babies. If they choose to do things differently that is a personal choice and should be based off of what they feel in their heart. By starting a child out by not being gender specific, and not promoting natural mating between a man and a woman we are going to increase homosexual behavior. It discounts people who were "born that way" and allows for a whole bunch of people to choose the lifestyle like its a clothing style. Instead of being a prep, they'll be bi-sexual, instead of a goth, they'll be gay. It's going to become just a phase of peoples lives like binge drinking or clubbing. We teach our kids not to drink alcohol. Why? Even if we drink it, most people would agree that the behavior shouldn't be promoted. We wouldn't start teaching children about how drinking is a part of adulthood and that it's fun, normal, or exciting. So why would we promote the behavior of homosexuality? Why would we start teaching our kids at a young age that there are no rules when it comes to attraction and family units. Not only will this change the future generations but it will change the world. It really has a lot bigger of an effect than people realize. To me, it was never about denying anyone anything, but about stopping a behavior that is not beneficial or productive to society or mankind from being promoted and normalized. Just like we wouldn't actively support and promote a lifestyle of someone not working toward any type of goal, to be productive in life, and instead wasting life away in limbo, I don't think we should support and promote a lifestyle that does not allow for the growth of families naturally. (Notice I am saying support and promote, not any kind of hate is behind this, there just isn't going to be support either.)
I want to end this part of my article by saying that I am truly not trying to start a huge debate, or spread any kind of hate towards anyone. I know that there are people, Christians included, that do spread hate, and even persecute people that choose to live a homosexual life. All I can say to that is, they had a choice to make, and they chose the low road. Hate does not yield any kind of positive reaction or progression. They are NOT being Christlike, and they are NOT right. I believe our job as children of God is to love his children like He does. Perfectly. He loves us no matter what we do. However we see many times in the bible that He does not agree with a behavior, or action and He does reprimand, and He does counsel, and He still loves. I deeply love my friends, including ones that are homosexual. I listen to them when they talk to me, and I respect their feelings and their decisions even if I do not support. I am upfront with my friends and openly tell them how I feel as well.
Basically, I want the world to understand that we can get along and completely disagree on subjects and have different opinions. We can tolerate and not support. The key is respect and respect of the difference in opinion. I believe support would be forced anyway. I don't expect people who feel marriage should be for all to actively support or fight for my view of marriage. I know that me yelling, or shoving scripture in their face every discussion isn't going to change their heart. I simply love them, tell them my beliefs and reasons for supporting my view. I try to not tear down their point of view but to simply build mine. If I have enough good to say about my opinion, I shouldn't need to attack theirs. Can we try to be a more tolerant people? All of us? Both sides pledging to respect and tolerate the opinions of others. Can you just imagine?
Since this turned into a novel, I am not going to cover my other examples of the problems of the "Tolerance Movement" at this time.
This leads me to Political Correctness.
Let me just start by getting something out there. I HATE political correctness. I think that it goes against our first Amendment right to free speech. I think it was born out of good will and has gone WAY too far, and is now damaging to the population. I think it breeds a level of sensitivity that is insanely high, teaches kids and adults to be easily offended and frankly live in a fairy-tale, restricts the individual from forming their own opinions and feelings, and limits honesty. I think it even promotes such things as racism and conformity which neither are healthy.
Political correctness breeds hyper sensitivity. It is insane all the terms that are now considered offensive. It is literally a task to try and keep up with which terms are considered "politically correct" anymore. Soon all adjectives will be considered offensive and we will be left being a bland and uniform culture that doesn't allow anyone to shine as an individual. On the radio I was listening to a news report about how Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in trouble for "racial profiling" and asking Mexicans to show citizenship papers. To me this was absurd. If we are trying to catch illegal immigrants from Mexico, wouldn't it make sense to ask Mexicans to show that they are here legally? If we are trying to get a picture of a panda, point the camera at a panda. I think if he was pulling Hispanic people over specifically to ask for citizenship papers that is racial profiling. If however, a Hispanic person is pulled over for a valid traffic reason, it would make sense to also verify the status of their citizenship given the opportunity to do so. We have taken political correctness so far that even if there is a valid reason behind something, it is not okay to be said.
This leads to conditioning kids and adults to be easily offended. We are raising a generation of wimpy kids that feel that they should be protected from every insult, even constructive criticism. I read recently that the use of red pens to grade papers has been banned in some schools due to the fact that it is "too harsh on the psyche of the children." I think it is SO important to be honest, even with children. If they got an answer wrong, I am going to point out that they are wrong, and help them figure out how to answer correctly. I don't think we are doing them a service by beating around the bush instead of being upfront and honest. We are not prepping them for reality. If all through school they've been coddled even when making mistakes, how are they going to be able to handle a boss yelling at them for a mistake? We need to introduce reality to our children early and make sure they are adequately prepared for the future.
Political correctness restricts free thought and opinion. People have certain opinions that can easily be misinterpreted into some kind of discrimination. For example just like some people prefer skinny blonde women and others prefer a curvy woman, some people prefer specific skin tones. It does NOT mean they are racist, it is just an attraction thing. I think if someone said, "I wouldn't date an African-American." The initial thought reaction now days is "Racist!" I know plenty of African-American's that don't date white people. I am in no way offended by their choice. They are not disrespecting my race by not being attracted to "my type". Another example is my opinion of our President. I am not a fan. In any way. Even though it has absolutely NOTHING to do with his skin tone, that is the first accusation out of every person when I say I don't support Obama. It is so frustrating to be accused of something so despicable when I know I am way better than to be thought of that way. I believe that the people that see racism in cases like this, are the racists. You are saying that it has something to do with Obama's skin tone, not me. You are pointing out that he is black. You are the one making race a part of the subject at all. I am proud of America for being cool enough to vote in an African-American president. I am just disappointed in him as a person. I think that its unfortunate that he was the first example of an mixed race president, and in my opinion hasn't been very successful. I am excited at the possibility of having someone like Dr Ben Carson in office because he will both show that America is less racist than most believe, and that a lot of people who didn't vote for Obama, are not against voting for an African-American.
Political correctness limits honesty. How many times has the truth been watered down due to fear of being considered politically incorrect? How many people have just agreed with a common opinion as to not offend others? This is a problem! People need to be free to speak their mind. I try to be honest with others because I truly believe that is in their best interest. I also would want them to do the same with me. I am not doing someone a favor by lying to them, or sugar coating the truth. I do it in a loving way, but I will not lie to you even if the truth is difficult.
I recently had a talk with my sister who was struggling with a drastic change in attitude. She is at that age of becoming a woman and becoming independent etc so it's not a huge surprise that she's in that "selfish" stage of teenage life. I felt like she was going from literally the sweetest and most giving person in the world, to someone who focused on herself first. To me this would be a tragedy. I don't know of a better person than my sister Esther. She is such an angel. Always willing to help even before being asked, will sacrifice to see others be happy, so loving, passionate, and good. So when I saw her arguing constantly with my brother, and complaining constantly about helping I was disappointed. When I had a moment, I talked to her one on one and told her that I noticed she was changing. I told her I know how easy it is to focus on ourselves and to put ourselves first, it's only natural! But I also reminded her of how amazing she is, and how much joy she gets out of putting others first. It isn't easy to tell someone a harsh truth, and it isn't easy hearing one. But both parties are better off in the end. Esther immediately said, "You're right." And she has gone back to being someone who isn't arguing, and who is happy and helpful. Like I said, she is amazing and appreciated my honesty and did something about the constructive criticism. But like I said, I did it lovingly and in a way that she knew I was not trying to just tear her down, but to actually build her up. I know there are cases where someones opinion is just purely a hateful opinion and those cases are very different. I just feel that we need to be able to speak our mind when it comes to things like politics, religion, social issues, etc without the fear of automatically being labeled as something terrible like a racist, or racial pro-filer, etc.
In another example that I'm sure I'll be torn apart for touching on is racism in crime. I know that there are going to be cases where the police officer may be racist, but that does not meant that every time there is an African-American or Hispanic involved with a white officer, that it is racial. White people break the law and get arrested, black people break the law and get arrested, and all races that break the law will get arrested. If we call every arrest or shooting of a minority "racist" we discount the times it really is racist.
I'm going to draw a parallel to another touchy subject. Rape. The credibility of rape victims is hurt every single time that someone claims rape, and it wasn't. I feel its surprisingly similar to racism in the way that it works. If we see it everywhere, it stops being taken care of correctly. We can't be productive in stopping the problem if we are focusing on "fake" cases. If focus is on a case that has been trumped up to be racial when it wasn't, that is focus and energy that is taken away from a case that is racial.
Now as far as promoting racism, I feel that I touched on it slightly in the above paragraphs. The world see's more "racism" today than it ever has. We should be progressing away from that, and I think we have but some people are fighting so hard to be politically correct that we cannot speak the truth, or our opinion without being considered racist. Like the story of the cop that was severely beaten by an African-American thug and refused to use his gun for fear of losing his job and receiving death threats since he, the officer, is white and his attacker, black. This is the world we are creating. A world where the truth is distorted and tainted by taking political correctness to an insane level. Just like I cannot say that I disagree with Obama without being called racist, the world is afraid to speak their opinion and or the truth if it can in ANY way be taken offensively. Like I said, this hurts the fight against the real deal. If you really want to stop racism, stop seeing it in every encounter including a minority or interracial individuals. Save your fight for the real battles.
Lastly, political correctness promotes conformity. The world will NOT be better if everyone conforms. Individuality is a beautiful thing. Personality and self realized opinions are so important, and its healthy to have diversity. Political correctness tells me that I have to have a certain attitude towards things, or feel a specific way about issues and that is not okay. It's considered not politically correct to be against abortion when I lost a baby at 12 weeks and went through severe depression and feel so strongly about that soul that was supposed to be my baby. It's considered politically incorrect to support someone right to have a specific flag displayed, or to support the right of Christian tv stars to state their opinion on gay marriage. I remember when the story came out and everyone was expected to automatically hate the tv star. Just like the fast food chain owner that was asked how he felt about marriage. If you ask a devout Christian, that is outspoken about his/her religion about their beliefs on marriage, why are you going to be surprised when they are not supportive of homosexuality. I don't think conformity is healthy and political correctness is trying to promote conformity to it's ideals.
In closing I want to again say, I know that real cases of racism and hate exist. I know its a problem. I want to help stop that problem. The first step to solving a problem is to identify it, and I think more importantly, to identify it CORRECTLY. I also know that both tolerance and political correctness were born out of good will and good intent. I think that it has gotten out of control and we are progressing at a rapid rate. We are getting further and further away from the actual mission and goal that political correctness and tolerance set out to fix. I really feel that the solution is to train our eyes and our hearts to see things clearly, as they are meant, so that we can see and know the real cases. These issues ARE real and we are not solving it by inflating the numbers. We hurt the cause by flooding it with false cases and or forced conformity. We need to promote accurate control of racial issues and promote individual thoughts and opinions. We were all given a brain that is capable of amazing things, so its up to each of us to educate ourselves in issues and to come to a conclusion of our own personal feelings free of the persuasion of others. Find your voice and use it!
How do you feel?
How do you feel about these movements?
Cons of Tolerance and Political Correctness
- Breeds an entitled attitude where people expect everything to be peachy keen and easy with no resistance and criticism.
- Teaches individuals to be easily offended.
- Promotes Conformity.
- Supresses individual thought and opinion.
- Promotes racism by flooding the media with "fake" cases therefore diluting the ability to fight actual cases of racism.
- Promotes dishonesty and sugar coating the truth to "preserve feelings". (Which is a double con since not being honest does nothing to solve a problem.)
- Does not prepare children for reality. (Criticism is part of getting better and will happen to everyone at some point. Shielding children from it, does not do them any good.)
- Restricts First Amendment right to free speech.
- Discourages confidence in ones beliefs.
- Discourages free thinking.
- Creates a generation of people who won't be able to handle the truth.