Tolerating intolerance

As a liberal person living in very chaotic times, I am often expected to have an open mind about other religions and groups in order to gain more of an understanding of their culture. I sometimes find myself in a quandary about this.

Why should I be tolerant of a religion or culture that is inherently intolerant? It makes no sense to me. What respect do they deserve, if I am getting none in return?

Most major faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism) believe that homosexuality is wrong, but do not currently practice violence towards them. There is one glaring exception: Islam.

Several countries that have Koran-based governments not only despise homosexuals, but actively prosecute and murder them because of their lifestyles. There are many examples of this taking place on a regular basis around the world, with little or no coverage by the mainstream media.

So, again, why should I have tolerance for intolerance?

If I am going to respect another person’s right to practice the religion or lifestyle of their choice, then they should respect mine as well.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

5 thoughts on “Tolerating intolerance”

  1. Brian, you asked, “why should I have tolerance for intolerance?” Thus, I give you Christ’s words, “Give not evil for evil. Give good for evil.”

    I propose that to be intolerant puts you on the same level as those who are intolerant, such as Koran-based beliefs. Jesus instructs us to be better than that, because God is the Judge and the avenger. In the end, their intolerance will result in their utter destruction.

    Christ also reminded us to “Love thy neighbor, love thine enemy, pray for thine enemy.” As Christians, we are to rise above the hate and intolerance of this world; it’s that or we become the world and will perish right along with it.

    Thank you for posting your thoughts, for I am sure there are many Christians who feel as you do at this moment. I pray that all receive the “mind of Christ” and will rise above giving evil for evil.

    Much love in Christ,
    Truth Seekers and Speakers, link on blog page

  2. Brian,

    You said, “Why should I be tolerant of a religion or culture that is inherently intolerant?”

    Unfortunately in today’s society, when people ask for tolerance, they are actually asking for validation. As a Christian, I can tolerate and respect anyone because they are human beings. Not doing so would un-Christian. But that doesn’t mean I validate everything everyone does. In other words, I think that a lot of what people do in the world is wrong (sin) – and I’m included in that!

    You need to understand that when a Christian says they believe homosexuality is a sin, that doesn’t mean they are intolerant of you. If Christianity is intolerant of anything, it is sin period. That’s why Jesus came – to save us from sin, and get us back to God.

    I don’t know, maybe this didn’t help. I guess I just wanted you to be careful of the word “intolerant.”

  3. I’ve always hated the word “tolerance”. Root word: tolerate. Imagine if someone came up to you and said, “I tolerate you”. Tolerance does not mean a whole lot. As for violence against homosexuals – most of my homosexual friends would rather get beat up or even killed than having Christians with signs saying “God hates fags” blared in their face. Not to mention, hate crime against homosexuals has actually increased in the United States over the past twenty years – many perpetrators are redneck Christians. Let us not forget that many states still have “Sodomy laws”.

  4. @ Brad,
    There are alot of people in my part of the country that do little more than “tolerate” me. They may not use those words, but they are thinking it.
    I agree that alot of Christians are perpetrators of crime against gays, but personally, I would much rather my lifestyle sparked a protest than an execution.
    Having said that, Bush has encouraged violence against homosexuals in this country, by using discrimination against them to get more votes.

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