What is intolerance? Perhaps it’s best defined by looking at the definition of “tolerance.”
Christopher Stefanick, founder and President of Real Life Catholic, claims that we’ve redefined tolerance to mean, never disagreeing (who remembers the book I’m Okay, You’re Okay?). The dictionary defines tolerance this way: “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.”
Mr. Stefanick, in his YouTube video says that tolerance is really
“first disagreeing and then putting up with the people you disagree with. You have to disagree in order to start being tolerant. You don’t tolerate the beautiful sunny day, you tolerate the rain…ironically some of the most intolerant people in history have been relativists. People who don’t believe in truth. ‘There is no such thing as truth,’ Adolfo Hitler said that… You know what makes you truly tolerant? Believing in absolute moral and spiritual truth and being convinced that violence against those you disagree with is wrong.”
Josh Garrett, Associate Pastor at North Macon Presbyterian Church, in a recent sermon remarked that “tolerance is a weak virtue. Are we called to be tolerant of others, or to love them?” That’s the point that Stefanick makes at the end of his video (go to his website and look for the video on tolerance), saying that Jesus didn’t agree with the sinners of His day, but He loved them. He also cites Mother Teresa, an opponent of the homosexual lifestyle who started the first HIV clinic in NYC; who also was vocal about the error of Hinduism, yet dedicated her life to serving Hindus.
In 2 Samuel 9:1–13, we read about Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. David, the new king of Israel, did a very unusual thing. He did not kill Mephibosheth. You see, in that day, it was customary, when one became king, to kill off the entire family of your predecessor, and thus eliminate any claims to your throne. David, however showed kindness to Mephibosheth. The Hebrew used here for “kindness” is checed, meaning love, based on remembrance of what God had done for Israel. David set up Mephibosheth for life—giving him land and people to work the land. Mephibosheth would never be in want.
Is there anyone left in the house of Saul, that I may show him kinds for Jonathan’s sake? (King David) –2 Samuel 9.1
David loved Mephibosheth because he was loved by God. Garrett says that “we can’t love like David, until you’ve been loved like Mephibosheth.” God loved David and David in turn loved Mephibosheth.
Jesus is like that. Jesus’ atonement for us is like God saying “Is there anyone whom I can show favor, kindness for the sake of my son Jesus?”
To me, that’s tolerance—showing favor, kindness towards anyone because I have been shown that favor and kindness through Jesus. I believe that’s what Stefanick means when he says, that tolerance is “first disagreeing and then putting up with the people you disagree with.” I believe that this definition, this putting up, is much more powerful than the politically correct definition of tolerance, because, it’s love.
Tolerance in our society is weak, thin and conditional. Take these two examples:
- Kirsten Dunst, “The “Spider-Man” actress, 31, graces the cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK for its May issue and offered her take on traditional gender roles during an interview with the mag. “I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,” she said, according to Us Weekly. “We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking — it’s a valuable thing my mom created.” Dunst added that sometimes “you need your knight in shining armor…I’m sorry,” Dunst continued. “You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work.”
Pro-feminist thought blogs and websites quickly fired back at Dunst’s comments. “Kirsten Dunst is not paid to write gender theory so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that she’s kind of dumb about it,” Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel wrote. Ryan’s response is titled “Kirsten Dunst Thinks Ladies In Relationships Should Wife the F–k Out.” And Stacey Ritzen at Uproxx — who admitted she’s “hated” Dunst since the 1990s — also slammed the “Elizabethtown” actress for apparently suggesting “women should know their place is in the home.”1
- “Brandeis University has prostrated itself before radical Islam and the idol of political correctness, withdrawing an honorary degree that was to have been granted to feminist and Muslim critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali next month. The university’s excuse was that Ali had said nasty things about Islam in the past: ‘we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values,’ it said in a statement.2 Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a women’s rights and atheist activist, writer and politician who is known for her views critical of female genital mutilation and Islam. So, those views are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values?
It seems as the “tolerant crowd” is tolerant only of those who “toe the party line” and don’t disagree with them—and isn’t that what Stefanick says we’ve turned tolerance into?—meaning “never disagree.”
And, so, “yes,” the tolerance preached in the marketplace of today’s world is a weak virtue. Love is strong.
1Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/kirsten-dunst-angers-gender-role-comments-knight-shining-armor-article-1.1749651#ixzz2yUZscxbs