June 3, 2011

Intolerant, by Definition

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), 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, 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?

No comments: