- Religion and Philosophy
Tolerance Is a One-Way Street
I sit here and I think "Where do I even begin?" Tolerance is a two-edged sword that is normally wielded carelessly. Every issue has two sides but it is funny how some issues scream of one-sidedness.
Lets start with events taking place in the tiny town of Buhler Kansas. A town founded over 100 years ago by immigrants seeking refuge from religious persecution in a country that was founded on the belief that you are free to believe in whatever for of deity you choose. The town seal features a cross and they are now being heavy-handed into removing it from their seal because a national group, not a local group, is threatening to sue if it is not removed. Tell me, who was hurt by this to warrant spending taxpayer money to remove, redesign and reconstruct the seal? Who stayed awake at night because of this horrible symbol was nagging at them like a sore tooth? Not a soul. But we have fellow countrymen with nothing better to do that hunt down and persecute that which they do not understand.
The real problem is that this is indeed a one-way street. What if the seal had the Islamic symbol of a crescent moon and star on it? Would the same group have complained? Hmm.
Then we have the case of a World War II memorial that is of Jesus that is near a Montana ski resort that has the go ahead of a U.S. District Judge to hear the case. This all because ONE man, an atheist, who happens to live nearby and skis at the resort says he finds the statue of Christ offensive every time he skis by it. Really? Again, how is this statue hurting this man? Is it blocking his skiing path? Is the statue judging him? No one else has complained - except this one person and that warrants tearing a part of that towns history down?
Tolerance is indeed a one-way street. This man, William Cox, an atheist, sure is worried quite a bit about a symbol of God, something he doesn't even believe exists. Should this even be heard in court? One man is offended and now the rest of the community must bow to his insecurity? What this screams is that we should tear down, abolish or hide away anything that even one person finds offensive. We might as well go back to the Dark Ages. Every single person has something that offends them that isn't offensive to hundreds of others.
Let's see... those idiots who walk around with their trousers down to their knees with their underpants exposed... that offends me... So, I should sue the city to make it illegal for them to walk around in public like that and send their loser butts to jail.
How about cars with bumper stickers expressing support for evolution, homosexuality or that whole idiotic "coexist" nonsense? I find those offensive. I think the driver should be pulled over by the police and issued a ticket and fine or remove them from their cars.
The point is, if it relates to anything other than a Christian belief people tend to tolerate that things existence. But as soon as it gets labeled Christian it now becomes offensive. That is so ironic.
I think the cross should remain on the seal in Buhler KS, removing it to me would be offensive. I think the statue in Montana should stay. Taking it down to me would be offensive. Why is my feeling any different that the one person complaining? If we are going to allow one person or group to dictate the rules, who is to say who is right and who is wrong?
The problem is something Jesus pointed out 2,000 years ago:
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you."
The world hates Jesus. It hated Him and therefore it hates those who strive to be like Him. It hates the ideals that He represents. They either cry "coexist" really meaning keep your Christianity to yourself, or they unknowingly feel convicted when something that represents God and His Truth presents itself to them.
The atheist in Montana lives 15 miles from the ski resort. The only thing that statue is doing to him is making that Jesus shaped hole in his soul feel something he doesn't quite understand or like. And his first response is to tear it down. If it isn't there I am not reminded of my iniquities.
If people truly believed in their idea of tolerance, coexistence, whatever, they would see the hypocrisy of what they believe. They would see that the thing they are complaining, while they may not agree, isn't really hurting anyone and probably brings comfort to another person. We need to get past ourselves.