Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Tolerance leads to violence


I'm sure you've all heard the incessant modern mantra of "tolerance, tolerance." Perhaps you've heard its other formulation: "In diversity is our strength." This is taught to our children, is preached on the radio, and forms the plot of at least 90% of the shows on television: old-fashioned Archie Bunker type starts the show intolerant of pierced tongues, meets decent guy/girl with pierced tongue, and finally at the end of the show either pierces his tongue, or has best friends who do. He grows up and learns more tolerance.


This is done with the best of intentions, I am sure. After all, the century just past was the most horrible, violent, and deadly age the world has ever known, far worse than any of the bad old dark ages. Tolerance, it is presumed, will keep us from killing each other. The theory is that war and violence arise out of dislike of those that are not like us, and there is something to that. If we are taught to like those who are different, perhaps we won't kill them, and they won't kill us. In diversity is our strength!


But think about this for a minute. Why should I tolerate those who are different from me? The insanity of the modern age is that it teaches tolerance for no good reason. In fact, hand-in-hand with tolerance, it teaches atheism, or at least functional atheism. We are to tolerate others, especially other religions, because one religion is just as good as another. There is no truth, really, so we shouldn't fight over different versions of the truth (which doesn't really exist).


Problem: if there is no God, or if God doesn't matter, why shouldn't I do anything? What if I really don't like Jews? Why don't I just kill them? It won't matter in the end since there is no God, but I would be a lot happier in the meantime. Consider these two arguments to an intelligent bully called Bob:

Argument 1
"Hey Bob, you shouldn't beat up little Timmy."
"Why not?"
"Because you should tolerate those who are different from you!"
"Why?"
"Because in the end, there is no truth, and nothing worth fighting for. Timmy could be as right as you are."
"But, teacher, if there is no truth, then how can it be true that it is wrong for me to beat up little Timmy?"
"Ummm. You are using logic, which is a patriarchal system to perpetuate power, and has no ability to reach truth. Just don't hit Timmy, ok?"
"Ok," says Bob, lying cheerfully (since there is no truth) while he resumes pounding the snot out of Timmy.

Argument 2
"Hey Bob, you shouldn't beat up little Timmy."
"Why not?"
"Because you should tolerate those who are different from you!"
"Why?"
"Because he is a child of God, and is worthy of salvation every bit as much as you. In fact, your own status, eschatologically speaking, is bound up with his."
"What's 'es-cha-tol--whatever' mean?"
"It means that if you treat Timmy like crap, you will be treated like crap in eternal life."
"Oh," says Bob, thoughtfully--he doesn't want to go to Hell, and even though Timmy is a little turd, he's not worth damnation.

See, the only possible ground for the Doctrine of Tolerance is the teaching of Christianity, that all men (and women) are created in the image and likeness of God, and are destined for eternal life with Him. It must be founded on Truth, or it will crumble.

No comments: