Tolerance is frequently urged by many groups of well-meaning promoters of the concept of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc., in line with the guarantees of the Constitution.
Tolerance, as Dictionary.com defines it,
1.A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinion, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
2. A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.
3. Interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal un-dogmatic viewpoint.
4. The act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.
As used by many these days to request that everyone’s right to exist and believe as they will, tolerance as defined in the first, second, and third might apply. I think these definitions are those used by most educated and knowledgeable people, while the fourth definition is not. The fourth, in my judgment, is the definition used by the bigots, the racists, the homophobes who do not accept people as they are, do not really think certain people have a right to existence, but merely tolerate them while they are powerless to eliminate them.
Fundamentalist religious belief does not equivocate on the question of moral values, beliefs, practices, nationality that differ from their own. They do not tolerate them, they do not condone them, and would eradicate them if the law was not standing in the way. Their world is one of stark black and whites, with no moral shades of gray; no excuse for non-adherence. For example: No abortion for any reason, whatsoever. This leaves no room for possible deleterious health effects for the mom, including possible death. In fact many fundamentalists consider death in childbirth noble and a will of God. No room for debate on rape, the rapists child must be born. If the child can be seen in-womb with horrible deformities… it still must suffer birth and life, no matter how fruitless, no matter how much suffering. And there are many other examples of this compliance to rigid concepts, some from an ignorant era, others concocted by their own narrow life’s view.
The question that needs to be answered, begs for an answer, is this: Should even the most fair minded individual be asked to tolerate someone who exercises no tolerance?
Personally I have tried to reason with these close-minded and intolerant people. People thinking they know everything, instead having no knowledge at all. Self-righteous, arrogant, they consider their “tolerating” tolerance, justified, and only because to exercise what they truly believe would get them in trouble with the law, they restrain themselves. But wait, they are working to change that.
They are infiltrating government, the courts, and the schools. This for the purposes of being in charge of running the government, making the laws, and stealing the next generation of children for their purposes. Being in government puts them in a position to propose new programs with religious intent. Being the judges sitting on the benches allows new laws, or interpretations, so that any opposition to new programs can be easily thwarted. Infiltrating the schools, proselytizing, and instilling their warped world view into the minds of the next generation will lessen any further opposition to desired programs as well as ensure implementation of religious doctrine.
Perhaps the application of the term Tolerance should be for those who tolerate, and by that, I mean definitions 1,2,3, not 4. How can toleration for someone’s philosophy, a philosophy which is engaged in actively trying to eliminate your freedoms, and seize your government, be moral?