The kind of tolerance we know today -- in this age of diversity and multiculturalism -- is a myth. It's one of those feel-good words that few people feel comfortable arguing against -- even when they know the whole thing is bogus. Tolerance is "a utopic, post-Enlightenment fallacy that we have eaten up by the forkliftful for centuries," write authors S.E. Cupp and Brett Joshpe. In their book, Why You're Wrong about the Right, Cupp and Joshpe go on to explain that religion, by its very nature, "requires intolerance."
If you believe in something, if you're a principled person -- which I suspect most people are -- you have to be intolerant. You have to be. The mere fact that you believe in something means you can't believe in its opposite.
What's happened over the past 40 years is that tolerance has come to mean the acceptance of every belief, action, and behavior even if it differs from yours. This is a far-left philosophy that has taken over America to the degree that it has become its own religion. It is so popular that those who do no not subscribe to the religion of tolerance are marginalized.
There are many topics for which tolerance takes over: abortion, gay marriage, global warming, war, etc. In fact there isn't a topic in which the idea of tolerance wouldn't apply. My personal favorite -- so much so that I wrote a book about it -- is the issue of working mothers and day care.
I believe children are entitled to be raised in their own homes by their own parents. I'm pretty much a stickler on this: nannies (unless you find one who sticks around for the long haul -- and even this brings its own set of issues for children) and day care are bad news all the way around. So if I'm going to take that position, I can't at the same time say "But whatever works for you is fine."
Now that doesn't mean there aren't extenuating circumstances; there are. But, generally speaking, if we're talking about a mass movement of mothers out of the home -- which is exactly what modern feminism has created -- then I can't be in favor of this. It doesn't mean I think ill of any mother I come across who works outside the home because I have no idea what that person's situation is. Maybe her husband stays home. Maybe her kids are older and in school. Maybe she and her husband have very little money and Grandma helps them make ends meet.
That this may be the case doesn't change my position that, universally speaking, absentee parenting is a bad thing. For this I am labeled intolerant. Yet according to Public Agenda, my beliefs are shared by 70% of the American population. The only thing that separates me from the pack is that I admit my beliefs. Indeed, it's not that my position is atypical, it's that most people become frozen when controversial issues like this come up. They want people to believe they're tolerant, that in the end it's all about choice.
Choice is overrated. While I sympathize with parents who struggle financially and must use various resources (friends/family members) to help care for their children, these folks are not the norm. We know this because the prevailing orthodoxy in America is moral relativity: whatever the parents want is morally right. If a parent doesn't want to stay home, he's entitled to make that choice. I say No, he's not. Parents brought children into the world, and it's their responsibility -- not the government's, via universal day care or tax credits for working parents -- to care for them.
Now this just happens to be my particular issue; for you it may be something else. Whether your beliefs about something stem from common sense, experience, or religion doesn't matter. What matters is that they're your beliefs -- and not being tolerant of someone's else beliefs does not make you a bad person. It makes you normal. "To require a group of people who believe inveterately and without wavering in something so vital to their very existence -- whether it's that abortion is a sin or that dancing brings the rain, to "accept" beliefs that oppose their own, is an unfair, misguided, and in fact impossible request. And it misses the whole point of belief."
Yet that's precisely what the religion of tolerance asks Americans to do. True tolerance doesn't mean accepting other people's viewpoints as valid; it means respecting that there's a difference of opinion there and allowing the person to have it without censure or derision.
Those are two different things completely, and it's what ultimately separates the right from the left. The right lets people have their opinions --whatever they may be -- and the left wants people to accept their beliefs unequivocally.
TOMORROW: Global Warming Hype
Dated: 4:00 AM