Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tolerance: A Stupid Concept

Yeah, I said it. Tolerance is stupid concept. I used to be like you and preached tolerance, everyone should be tolerant of one another. Then I had a conversation with a friend of mine in which he said "I don't want to be tolerated." That made me think. I don't want to be tolerated either.

People tolerate the weather. People tolerate waiting for packages they ordered through the mail. They tolerate long lines, stomache aches, and computer viruses. They tolerate loud noises, ineffective government, stubbed toes and that one copy machine at the office that just can't ever work quite right. People tolerate things, it doesn't mean they like it.

I don't want to be tolerated. If you walk into a room with people in it, how comfortable are you going to be if people just tolerate you. The sighing, the rolled eyes, the siding away from you. That's what tolerance is. Think about the hotest, muggiest day you've ever had to spend without an air-conditioner. You're sweaty, annoyed and uncomfortable. You tolerated it because you had to in order to stay alive. I don't want people to feel that way around me.

What people should be asking for is acceptance. If you are white and you live in the south, I don't want you to tolerate black people. I want you to accpet them. If you're in college and are an extremely liberal person, I want you to accept conservative opinions instead of shouting them down. If you're an evangelical christian anywhere in the US I want you to accept gays, couples living out of wedlock, abortion doctors, people who swear, people who don't believe in God and any one with a differing opinion to your view of salvation.

I have a horrible feeling that tolerance is requested because that's the best anyone can expect from human beings. Call me an idealist, but in America we have to do better. If you have a strong opinion about something, great, you should have that opinion. You should share that opinion. But when some one has a different opinion, debate it, don't just pass it off as being wrong.

Try this. Why shouldn't gays have the right to civil unions in the US? Or marry in their church and have the rights that other people have when they marry in their church? Why is that so unacceptable? Is it because 2000 years ago someone thought they heard God say so? Great, God says its bad. Fine. But shouldn't people have the right to exorcise their free will in regards to sex and love? Shouldn't the US facilitate that, to "sin" or not "sin" in this social context. Go out and talk about your opinions of sex but don't stop people's liberty in the US.

Most social issues stem from this tolerance problem. Bob Jones University forbade bi-racial couples because in their opinion the mixing of the races was a crime against nature and God. They eventually removed the rule, but that was because of public pressure, not enlightenment. So much for tolerance.

In the end tolerance without acceptance is like freedom without justice and liberity... completely useless. So if you hear someone asking people to be tolerant kick them in the balls and then punch them in the face. I mean... have an ice cream.


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