Sunday Sermon: Mere tolerance

Coke Talk has a pointed, arguably “strident,” reply to a Christian who objects to being lumped in with Christians who are closed-minded, just because they happen to share the same fundamental belief system:

“You’re not doing me any favors by not condemning me. That sentiment isn’t an expression of open-mindedness. It’s an expression of tolerance, and you know what? Fuck your tolerance. I don’t need it.”

That’s an interesting point, and it works both ways. Perhaps we should make it clearer to Christians that that’s our attitude toward them — mere tolerance.  Tolerance doesn’t mean “I accept you,” it merely means “I accept the fact that I have to put up with you.”

It’s a Menckenian “respect” that conveys respect for the person with the belief, rather than respect for the belief itself. It’s a respect for the right to be wrong — one of America’s most cherished rights, and one of its most often exercised ones.

It’s kind of a minimal requirement of civilized behavior, perhaps offered only grudgingly. Do I have a right to be offended by mere tolerance? Sure. Do I have a right to demand anything more? Probably not.

(pic via His Scrivener)

One response to this post.

  1. Very well put.


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