“Tolerance is not, in itself, a virtue. On the contrary, tolerating what is vicious and wicked can be a sign of moral amnesia brought on by making a god of tolerance” – R.R. Reno, First Things.
Tolerance is necessary for a people to live at peace in a pluralistic society. But tolerance must be defined by limitations. Enforced tolerance doesn’t reveal the true heart. It simply reveals the heart of those powerful enough to force others to accept it. The deception is the belief that society is a better place due to the ‘virtuous’ tolerance legislated by the “Gods of the Marketplace” (Rudyard Kipling). It’s like telling your child to take his cough medicine, he may take it, even without complaint, but you know he hasn’t given his heart to it.
Tom Trinko tells of an old woman of the Baltic States who had lived under the horrible oppression of both the Nazi and Communists governments. When asked which was worse, Nazism or communism, she stated that communism was worse. “If you did what the Nazis wanted, they left you alone, but the Communists demanded that you think what they thought. Essentially the Nazis merely wished to enslave or possibly kill you, but the Communists wanted to steal your soul.” (American Thinker, Tom Trinko)
Men lose their minds when overtaken by the lust for power. The greed for power can cause men to participate in outrageous acts of insanity. “Power corrupts the few, but weakness corrupts the many.” (Macbeth, Shakespeare) There are only a few, drunk on their own power, who will try to determine how the many are to think their thoughts. In the name of the virtue of the times, tolerance, we are being told what we are permitted to think about abortion, pornography, sex, homosexuality and a variety of other issues that have polarized conservatives and liberals. True Christians will not get direction on these issues from society, but from the Word of the Living God.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.” Our courts have struggled over the years to define just what is and is not free speech. The recent fuss over Rush Limbaugh saying derogatory things about a left-leaning law student and liberal activist, Sandra Fluke, is a perfect example of how difficult it is to draw parameters around what can or cannot be said. Limbaugh apologized but his apology was rejected because it was not sincere enough. I know, you are having thoughts of small children throwing sand at each other in a sand box.
Just when you think things are beginning to calm down, another character rushes on stage. Gloria Allred, a celebrity ambulance chaser if there ever was one, spouts her doctrine of politically correct speech by uttering her shrill cry that Rush Limbaugh ought to be arrested. I know, you are now looking for some men with white coats to enter the stage of this comedy. Gloria Allred is insane in her desire to be a part of the discussion. She knows that her best team of lawyers would lose to a rank amateur law student fresh out of law school on these outrageous charges. The government couldn’t prosecute Rush or anyone else for practicing their freedom to speak.
The irony of it is that those who insist that conservatives Christians bow to society’s golden idols of homosexuality and abortion will whip them with the cords of intolerance if they do not bow. In so doing they expose their own hypocrisy by violating their own doctrine. Instead of recognizing and respecting the opinion of their opponents, they call for them to be cast into the fiery furnace.
Americans are getting a much clearer understanding of what it might be like to live under Sharia Law where people are severely punished, perhaps killed if they don’t become a Muslim. Ms. Fluke and Ms. Allred represent a cadre of liberals determined to impose penalties on those who refuse to bow to their gods of liberalism. This is selective tolerance. While flailing Rush Limbaugh for his name calling, these same accusers declare the young woman who wants to dedicate her life to being a great mother and a loving wife to be a Neanderthal idiot. Gentlemanly males who have been taught to treat women with respect by opening doors for them and using their greater physical strength, not to harm them, but to protect them are targeted as chauvinist pigs. Those who refuse to enthusiastically embrace homosexuality are declared homophobes. Christians have been run out of the adoption business if they refuse to accept homosexual adoption.
The agenda of the liberal left has nothing to do with tolerance. It has everything to do with a lust for power. It is an unbridled desire to control others. “When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control the whole animal.” (James 3:3) Saul Alinsky would be proud of the progress of the liberal faction in our society. The progressives, just like the communists, are attempting to control the masses by determining what they can and cannot say.
Jesus said, “The things that come out of the mouth come out of the heart.” (Matt. 15:18) The attempt of the thought police to decide what we can or cannot think reveals an outrageous attempt to supplant God. They have decided they are their own source of morality. They get to choose what is the right or wrong thing to say or think. They have written their own set of commandments. They are vigilant and totally devoted to their cause because they truly believe they are creating heaven on earth (utopia).
Christians must not “defile themselves with a portion of the king’s meat” (Daniel 1:8) by blindly accepting a tolerance and political correctness that is defined by those who discard the Word of God and replace it with their own moral compass. Christians declare themselves children of the Almighty and they cannot be stolen away by those who would choose thoughts for them.
As Christians, we resent others telling us what to think and say. We look to Christ to guide us and correct us in that area of our lives. “With our tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing, my brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10) Our speech and thoughts must be governed by the truth found in God’s word and the very words of Christ himself. True Christians have a great desire to say the right things and speak the right words although we often fail. We don’t take this lightly because “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart.” (Matthew 15:18)
To those who would like to govern our thoughts and speech, thanks, but no thanks, we already have a God.
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.