This subject relates to something the press, media, and our educational system have been promoting for decades. “Tolerance” implies a go-along-to-get-along atmosphere, no matter what others around us believe or practice. Is this a good thing for us both personally and as a nation? I would like to discuss this topic from several perspectives to help all of us come to a godly perspective. We must ask ourselves about acceptance and toleration, “Does it ensure an intolerable future for us if it is misguided?” Continual tolerance of something leads us to an acceptance of it in our culture, and it eventually dictates our daily lives.
Thomas Jefferson penned this thought 200 years ago: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” In essence, he was saying, “I don’t care what adults do in their private lives. But listen, just don’t shove it in my face.” James Froude, English historian and novelist, gave a different twist: “Toleration is a good thing in its place, but you cannot tolerate what will not tolerate you and is trying to cut your throat.”
Questions We Must Address
Novelist Mary Ann Evans spoke of the responsibility of tolerance lying with those who have a wider vision. She is right. Most today who espouse a blanket tolerance have no view of the future, but look at our culture only from the perspective of a narrow ideology. Caballero stated that “Error tolerates and truth condemns.” How does this filter today’s debate on this subject?
G.K. Chesterton once said, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” Think about that in light of the debates raging in America and the world on homosexuality, adultery and fornication (including no marriage), pornography, cheating in business, drug and alcohol use, immigration, the federal contraception mandate on Christians, demands that everyone sign up for healthcare or else they receive a fine from the IRS, and so many more areas that are touching every life today. Chesterton was so right on.
I have found in my work that those who have a blanket acceptance of anything often live life as a doormat, being so codependent a person they can seldom say no or feel free to express their opinion. It then seems weakness at best and masochism at worst. Now, you may not tolerate peas on your dinner plate. That is not the kind of lack of acceptance we are speaking of here! I like peas, but I simply do not “tolerate” sauerkraut, unless it is prepared by a German! That’s okay. You may tolerate something you have no control over, such as weather or sickness. But these things are not helping change history, folks! Those things mentioned in the above paragraph are.
In the realm of the homosexual debate, for example, many take the “I don’t care…just don’t shove it down my throat” line. “Just keep it behind closed doors.” However, if you give gay activists an inch with that attitude, they are never satisfied with an inch–they want a mile. Eventually, they want hundreds of miles and due to a lack of fortitude of those who believe differently, or sometimes outright cowardice due to the fear of man, it becomes something that impacts that person on a regular basis. And as the Romans eventually asked, “How did this downfall happen before our eyes?” Well, they probably had people demanding political and religious correctness and the frog known as Rome slowly boiled itself to death. But just what sets “correctness” in place?
Desensitization of the Truth
The truth is that immoral behaviors and those things spoken of clearly in the Bible are desensitized through a constant flood of advertising and mis-information by the liberal elite and the press they control. Most of it has been planned and propagated by our common enemy and those he controls on this prodigal earth. Moral relativism is taught in the schools and is one reason our nation’s crime rate is growing rapidly and near the top of all nations on earth.
A lack of tolerance and/or acceptance does not represent bigotry. Bigotry involves hate, but intolerance needs not inhabit hatred at all. A comment by Philip Brooks is interesting to consider at this stage. He stated, “We anticipate a time when the love of truth shall have come up to our love of liberty and men shall be cordially tolerant and earnest believers of both at once.” When liberty takes a back seat as a result of great advertising for something we do not believe in or share as godly values, it breaks down our freedoms. Hate laws are now being used to promote the dissolution of Christianity and destruction of a culture our forefathers died to uphold. Activists do not want the Christian population to have a voice in anything today. They have become the most intolerant and hateful of all interest groups.
An example of this is Islam and sharia law. If a U.S. citizen would spend just a few hours investigating the plans and purposes of Muslims in America, they would know that this very patient people are here for the purpose of destruction of everything the average American today delights in, including behaviors which are violations of the Word of God. Muslims have used this patient pattern to take over one nation after another over the centuries. Just look at what is happening in Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, and other nations where there are both Muslims and Christians share the same land. Who is burning whose churches to the ground and practicing genocide? The Christians are not the ones burning mosques—only other flavors of Islam are. In America, they cry out for tolerance because they are a minority, but in nations where it is close to 50/50, death and control becomes the new norm.
The Sin of Doing Nothing
The truth is, as Chesterton has stated, “All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone, you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone, you leave it to a torrent of change.” He has hit the nail on the head. If we do not control the culture, the culture ends up controlling us and the activist ends up the one in the lead on every issue, even when they are a very small minority of the population. Look at the examples of legalization of marijuana; who in their right mind twenty years ago would have believed that a state would legalize it? Citizens of those states will boldly tell me that it is already not controlled by the state, but has instead become wide open in its distribution.
If we do not uphold and restore our theological and philosophical foundation in America, we are doomed to lose it completely. Jesus Christ Himself was not tolerant of sin, but instead sought to forgive that sin, heal the sick, and save people’s souls. He did not look the other direction when man sought to go his own way instead of God’s. He set boundaries and seeks to get all men to do the same. At the same time, He exemplified love in its fullness. “Love never fails,” we are told in the Bible. It was that love coupled with His compassion and care for men that drew them to Christ and to make the decision to choose eternal life. We should use Christ as our own example. John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” George Washington in his 1796 farewell address stated, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” He knew better. Washington and Adams supported Judeo-Christian theism. When there is no Rock on which to stand, we end up with situation ethics—anything goes, or as Nike advertises, “Just do it.” That philosophy has destroyed more cultures and nations than one wishes to count.
Morality as our Foundation
Our nation must seek to promote and hold on to the very basis of the foundation given by our forefathers. When people believe in God and His will—that moral truth exists—they tend to take morality seriously. His law and truth leads man to believe that morality is real, existing apart from and being above man. When a man believes it is just a “social construct,” he is more likely to see morality as occupying the realm of unreality and ignore it, forcing his will upon others. Man becomes morality instead. Man says, “Well, that is your truth– someone else’s may be different.” Or, “Everything is a matter of perspective.” It is then clear it is atheism, which absolutely has the corollary that there is no morality. The point is that if divine will is not real, no one can be “moral” because you cannot conform to a non-existent standard. Aleister Crowley, the occultist and founder of modern witchcraft, said, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” That is why the Word of God is so extremely important to our nation as the only standard upon which it stands.
With no morality, suddenly law disappears, government takes over where the law left, and freedom and liberty are just a realm of remembrance. When we are not diligent in keeping our freedoms and place tolerance in its stead, life as we have known it does not exist any longer. Consider this fact: law is nothing but morality enacted! And our Constitution has been based upon that Word. We cannot afford to breathe the air of political correctness any longer. It has become the sum total of the judgments of the nonjudgmental, the morality of the moral skeptics, and the limitations of the lovers of license. Political and spiritual correctness today comprises the social “laws” of the Left. The Left knows that to win the political war, it must first win the cultural war. Its main tack has been to convince Christians to accept as normal un-Christian behavior and it has done a darned good job of it. We seldom see a married couple in bed together on a television program or in a movie; how long did it take for that to change? Why do we have a 42% out-of-wedlock birthrate today?
Let me close this with this. America is a nation adrift because we have thrown the moral compass overboard and traded Truth for a twisted tolerance. We have forgotten that nature abhors a vacuum—and that where God’s virtues are purged, the devil’s values are sure to slither their way in. I pray that you are diligent and willing to stand up for both what and Who you know is right!