Real Tolerance

You might not be tolerant if you…

…Express a view that is contrary to the “tolerant” ones.

I usually do not to write these types of posts.  Mainly because I am not perfect, and I try not to judge others for what they do.  But lately, I have been so discouraged and feel almost like the world is turning upside down. People who are celebrated for their “tolerance” seem to be in favor of silencing or demonizing, even hating anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  And people who ask tough questions and want to open up the dialogue, you know… like those “Question Authority” bumper stickers from the 60’s… are seen as hateful and intolerant.  Those talking about the individual’s power to succeed and the beauty of faith, the content of one’s character, are maligned and lied about. And it seems the freedom to dissent is only celebrated when that dissent is of a particular ideology.

I had a conversation on Twitter a few days ago that blew my mind.  A well-known social media personality, who is celebrated for being inspirational, bringing people together, linked to an article that she said made her feel better.  I clicked over, curious to see what it was, and read the most hateful words directed at a popular media figure.  Not disagreeing with his positions or sharing quotes and refuting them factually.  I welcome that from anyone.  But smearing them personally in a vile way.

I asked if she had actually listened to the speech/event that was being maligned, and she said, “No, we don’t watch much TV.”  OK, so have you ever watched his TV Show? No.  She had seen a few clips of video, and read extensively about how vile this person was. Didn’t need to know more. (By the way, if I believed the lies that were written about this person, and sound bytes taken out of context, I might hate him too.) Then she proceeded to tell me how she hated this person ( and by default those who agree with him) with a “white hot passion” (in private messages, of course).

And I was stunned.

I think about the person that I disagree with the most, even one that I believe is mean, vindictive, or undermining our society.  I don’t hate them.  But if I did hate them, it would have to come from an intimate knowledge of their words, actions, and soul.  I would have to really know who they were first, before I MIGHT be able to claim the right to hate them.  Even still, my faith tells me I don’t have the right to hate another human being, especially while preaching tolerance and inspiration.

I am routinely stunned by the contemptuous view that the “tolerant” ones hold toward those who don’t agree with them on issues.  And I am tired of being called intolerant, closed-minded, ignorant, idiotic, hateful (not directly, but in association with my beliefs) because I chose to question authority and champion the beauty of the individual and his/her relationship with God.

Despite my personal and religious beliefs, I celebrate my dreamstime_12261139relationships with those who are different.  I have friends who are Christians, atheists, Jews, black, white, Asian, male, female, straight, gay, conservative, liberal, home schoolers, public schoolers, poor, rich, and every other description you can think of.  I like it that way.  They don;t all have to live the way I think I should live. And I like it when people share the way they believe, even challenging my beliefs in a respectful way.   I celebrate it when others make me question my belief system, and some have had a profound affect on the way I see the world.

I believe my views are the truth, otherwise why would I believe them? But I also LOVE those who don’t ascribe to these views, and recognize their right to believe what they wish. I might try to convince them, yes, but I love them dearly all the while.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “”Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

You might not be tolerant if you…

  • Hate those who view the world differently than you.  It’s OK to disagree vehemently, but not to hate.
  • Object to something being said, just because of the color of the skin of the person saying it.
  • Think that a particular interest group should have special access to “justice.” (or other people’s money)
  • View someone who disagrees with you as beneath your intellect, stupid, dumb. (wrong, maybe, but not stupid)
  • Think society would be better off if someone in particular were not allowed to speak.  Less speech is not better for society.  Allow open debate and let the ideas be hashed out.  The ones that don’t work will be defeated.
  • Preach tolerance while demonizing those who disagree, even to the point of wishing sickness or violence on them.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matt 5:43-45

About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. This is why I like you. Check one more for the Asian category.

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    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    Woot, woot!

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  2. Research before you attack your target…basic combat strategy, I shudder to think of the idea of this ‘social media guru’ leading troops to war.

    Great article.

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  3. Really, really great post. Definitely needs to be said. The word “tolerant” is thrown around in the most ridiculous fashion these days. Preach it sista!!

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  4. Bravo… This is spot on.. I have seen some of this just this evening with the tax vote.. some pretty pointed generalized statements being put out there on the web..

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  5. Sarah, what a great little rant. It is a shame when those that SAY they are tolerant are anything but. I’m sure I fall into 4 or 5 of the previously mentioned categories. But i’m always willing to learn from and share with those that believe differently. LOL It’s that diversity that makes this world keep turning.

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  6. Oh I love it! Hate is such a terrible word. I try to think to myself “if you don’t have something nice to say dont say it at all” As a Christian it is our duty to love ALL

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  7. Excellent post, Sarah. Well-thought-out and well-written – two things that a lot of “we need to be tolerant” posts lack. Great job!

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  8. I agree. Having an open mind and allowing people to share their beliefs with me has deepened my own faith. God has taught me a lot through people of various faiths and non faiths. It’s rare to find others of other faiths who are as open minded and willing as I am. but when we connect, we both end up learning a lot and are able to find the common ground. Mutual love and respect, even if we disagree.

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  9. For those that have forgotten the meaning of tolerance (from Merriam Webster):

    –> sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own

    I’m so tired of people putting “conditions” on tolerance. (And that goes for all people and all parties).

    Bravo for having the courage to write about this, Sarah. I saw that exchange, I followed the links and I was equally disgusted (but not surprised). It’s one thing to disagree with a person, or an organization, it’s quite another to rally like-minded troops and call for the destruction of said person or organization.

    “Allow open debate and let the ideas be hashed out. The ones that don’t work will be defeated.”

    I really think that says it all.

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  10. I followed this twitter exchange, at least the part that wasn’t private, and I was STUNNED. Living in Los Angeles, I wasn’t surprised by her viewpoint but how incongruent it was with her reputation.

    I’m glad you posted this. I’m frequently seen as the intolerant one by “tolerant” friends who are anything but.

    [Reply]

    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    Laura, I am surprised at how many people actually saw this on Twitter. Totally not what I was expecting when I clicked through, especially after the inspirational quotes from the day before.

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  11. Well written! I applaud you for your open mindedness and tolerance.

    We can all learn a little somethin’ from the country girl who lives in the mountains. Who knew? 😉

    (you know I am totally making a joke, right!?)

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    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    Well, seeing your last blog post under your comment, I need to bring you some countrified grammar lessons! Just kidding… I’m going to read it now!

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  12. Wow, Sarah, I just recently had a conversation very similar with an acquaintance of mine. She spoke of tolerance in one sentence, then in the next she lumped all people who call themselves a Christian into one group and said she did not like any of them. I was floored. She wanted me to be tolerant of her beliefs, yet she could not be tolerant of me, a Christian. Not because I had said or done anything, just because I believe in God, the Bible and Jesus.

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  13. Sarah~
    What a great written post! I nice way to remind us all that we although we have our opinions and thoughts, we don’t have to totally tear apart someone to prove our point.

    I pray for the leaders of our country, although I don’t agree with them, I try not to speak ill of them in a malicious way.. praying for our enemies does a lot more because it puts God at work and he’s a lot more powerful than me. LOL

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  14. All I can say is….WOW! I believe you just wrote everything I’ve been thinking, feeling, and wanting to say myself! Sis and I were just having this same discussion and we’re so tired of it too! It is ridiculous that lately I’ve found that those (people I know) who proclaim to be “tolerant” and push for more “tolerance” are those that NEED to be MORE tolerant! I seriously don’t understand what is going on in America these days. I can hardly watch the news as it seems to be nothing but bashing-and-name-calling. And another thing that gets me is this…..how can some people say that “America was founded on Religious-Freedom” and be the same people that are bashing Christians…I just don’t get it. Praying for America! Thanks for posting this!

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  15. After sitting in multiple inservice events for back to school that supposedly teach tolerance, acceptance, and cultural diversity, however I believe completely hit the mark, it was refreshing to hear your take. Tolerance doesn’t mean changing your beliefs to fit others, but instead welcoming that others may have different beliefs than yours. Way to go for keeping it real once again!!!

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  16. Stephanie
    Twitter: stephsday
    says:

    Agreed. True tolerance encompasses respect, kindness, and courtesy.

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  17. Awesome post! Thank you for giving me the link via Twitter. Interesting that while I was reading it I was finishing up my dinner and got to my fortune cookie – today’s fortune “Appreciate the caring people who surround you”

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  18. I like ya #justsayin

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  19. Thanks for sharing this timely view on tolerance, Sarah! Politics and other issues have moved into an arena that is way out of proportion in many ways, but the most disturbing is how the discourse has evolved. It was only a few short years ago that any dissent was considered unpatriotic and now vigorous dissent is the norm, how times change!

    Tolerance of difference, whether opinion, life style, religion, whatever… is a learned skill that should be taught and practiced regularly. I look forward to continuing civil conversations with those who choose that path ;~D

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  20. ilinap
    Twitter: IlinaP
    says:

    Wow, Sarah, that Twitter conversation sounds scary. It’s that kind of hate that is getting us nowhere but closer to rock bottom. We can disagree and debate, but there’s no room for hate. It’s simply unproductive and represents a pretty lousy value system. What’s killing me most is all the HYPOCRISY from all sides. In my simple view, I live my life based on caring more about the collective “we” than the individual “me.” Regardless how you vote, worship, teach, or love, there’s no room for hate and intolerance. Thanks for articulating this sentiment so well.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] they are in the form of respected media outlets, and sometimes they are the Tolerant Ones, who love to sit on their pedestal and point out the intolerance of those who don’t agree […]

  2. […] the pointy fingers belong to respected media outlets, and sometimes they are the Tolerant Ones, who love to sit on their pedestal and point out the intolerance of those who don’t agree […]

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