Intolerant, by Definition

Intolerance, it's not just for conservatives anymore.

Originally posted at page13news.blogspot.com

Tolerance is defined by dictionary.com (#3) as, "a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint". Dogma is, of course, a system of principles or tenets.

Since conservatives, especially religious folks, believe in a dogma as the root of a strong society then yes, they will tend to be intolerant of behavior which in their opinion undermines that foundation.

In a strong society rules are needed; anything goes is not an option. Chaos and anarchy is not a direction we want our society to take.

We all have our own beliefs regarding which rules we should live by and we engage in political debate daily about where the lines are drawn. After all, liberals and progressives have their own dogma (sexual freedom, environmental policy, war and peace), I simply disagree with it, and I'm entitled to that opinion.

However, when disagreement on a social issue is raised, it seems to me the best argument the left can muster is to accuse the right of being intolerant. Well, yeah, we are. It's not an insult, it's a simple definition.

However, where my friends on the left go wrong is to assume I hate those individuals whose behavior I will not tolerate. I will, and have, treat them the same as I would anyone else I encounter. My intolerance does not keep me from befriending or loving anyone, ever.

Where I draw the line is when the left wants to silence anyone who dares to have a set of principles or who, by definition, is intolerant. I also object to tolerance being "taught" in our schools for it is, almost by definition, subjective; you can't teach it without a personal agenda attached.

Conservatives have often been accused of wanting to censor opposition and, I agree with the left, censorship is not a healthy practice in a free society. Censorship is the type of action a Communist system (i.e. China and the former Soviet Union) utilizes, not the free republic we enjoy.

What humors me however, is the assumed innocence the left wraps itself in by accusing the right of intolerance. They have themselves expressed intolerance and/or dismissive attitudes towards opposing points of views, as if those views shouldn't be allowed or taken seriously; simply put, censored (see Glenn Beck's removal from local radio).

Definition #3 also says, "interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own".

So let me ask a question to my friends on the left...

Exactly how tolerant are you, of conservative ideals?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Theresa Keenan-Flite June 09, 2011 at 02:45 AM
I must disagree with you- you stated "However, where my friends on the left go wrong is to assume I hate those individuals whose behavior I will not tolerate. I will, and have, treat them the same as I would anyone else I encounter. My intolerance does not keep me from befriending or loving anyone, ever." With all do respect how can you love someone or respect and call them a friend if you don't accept them, all of them. Tolerence is not what everyone is seeking it is acceptance and equlity. No one can "tell" you to change your personal viewpoint, just to understand that it is your personal opinion and the laws must be written for everyone not some- if that was the case you wouldn't have the freedom to religion, or free speech. Sexual Orientation is not something you need to agree with, no one is asking you to be gay, bisexual, etc, just to accept that those who are deserve the same rights who enjoy.
Bill Sword June 09, 2011 at 12:13 PM
Theresa seems to be making a common mistake which is assume that intolerance of a person’s actions, beliefs and/or opinions is equal to intolerance of the person. There is a tried and true expression that is often used to remind others that the sum of a person is often larger than just one particular action or opinion, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” An example would be: Without Separation: I hate my son because he does drugs. With Separation: I love my son but I hate that he does drugs. The point which I believe is trying to be made is that civility is quite often removed from discourse when one side fails to argue their point well enough to appear to be correct. This often ends with one of the parties being called sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist or bigoted. These are often lobed at personal attacks on the opposing individual because folks are incapable or unwilling to acknowledge that there is often a difference between the person and a person’s beliefs or opinions. I feel that I am fortunate because I have friends who are tolerant of my often opposing view point. Since I am also tolerant of theirs we were able to engage in civil, albeit spirited, discussions of who is right and at the end of the night we shake hands and walk away happy. By the same token I have had friendships completely and utterly destroyed because people stoop to name calling, which I am highly intolerant of.
Robin Beall June 09, 2011 at 12:36 PM
I whole heartily agree with Theresa, but I'd also like to add, in my own defense, that I don't wrap myself in innocence of tolerance. I work hard at it every day on a personal level...because it is important to be all accepting. However, when you feel it's the "right" thing to do to be prejudiced against someone who doesn't think or live exactly the same way you do, and want to limit their rights as a citizen because of that, THAT is the right-side doing their best to censor others. Giving equal rights to all is not an attempt to silence the opposition. The equalities we seek have no effect on anyone's Freedom of Speech rights. If anyone's dogma effects opposition, it's the right-side, not the left. How exactly does allowing a gay couple to marry, or requiring fair housing and employment to the handicapped or a single mother/father, effect anyone else's freedoms in any way?? How do those things "silence" the right?


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