Tolerance is the ability to live with people whose opinions and behaviors are not the same as yours. Whatever differences we have, tolerating others’ opinions is a prerequisite to a functioning and free society.
America was built upon the foundation of tolerance. The Declaration of Independence guarantees us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But there is an implicit contract there, to have your life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you have to be tolerant of somebody else’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
This contract in America seems to be breaking down. If you listen to the mainstream media, only one side is living up to this deal -- the left. The right, according to the media, is intolerant of everyone, except those white heterosexual Christian males. There is only one problem -- it is just not true.
The left is not tolerant of the very people they say they are tolerant of. If you are gay, black or immigrant and you don’t agree with the left’s position, you are harshly criticized. If you believe that we should judge people on the content of their character and not on the color of their skin, the left calls you racist.
If you believe that America is a nation of immigrants and we should protect our borders, you are called a Xenophobe. If you believe that men and women are equal but are fundamentally different, the left calls you sexist. Those who only tolerate people that they agree with or like aren’t actually tolerant.
Who is tolerant? Is it the organizers of the women’s march who had to apologize for hurt and confusion they caused when they invited a leftist man, Burnie Sanders, to speak at their convention. Is it the Antifa thugs who caused UC Berkley to spend $600,000 on security when mainstream, conservative Ben Shapiro came to give a talk. Is it Congresswoman Maxine Waters who scolded Kanya West for talking out of turn that Blacks should think for themselves.
Who is tolerant? Is it actually those right wingers that the mainstream media demonize every day? The left, in our society, has become utterly intolerant of anyone with whom they disagree. Why? Because they believe that they know how you should live and how you should think. Any deviation or non-conformity is dangerous to their goals. The right welcomes diversity of thought. The right believes in the notion of “live and let live,” and that is the true meaning of tolerance.
The crucial question in evaluating our own attitude of tolerance is this: Is the issue under consideration a matter of mere custom, tradition, habit, taste, culture, or a direct command of God? Is it a matter involving some moral or ethical principle which is taught by God? If it is merely a custom or tradition, we should be tolerant. But if it is a matter involving a principle of God, the decision to be tolerant and go along with it must depend upon if it violates what God has said.
For example: homosexuality is condemned in the Bible, and Christians must resist the temptation to go along with the pressure to conform by accepting it. Jesus was intolerant toward the money changers in the temple (John 2:13-16). Why? Because of their sinful acts. If we start whittling ourselves to fit what others on the left think and accept sin, we will very soon be whittled away (Rom. 12:1-2).
The bottom line is, you will never change what you tolerate; and what we tolerate, our children will embrace tomorrow.