Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Intolerant of Intolerance

Seems that by preaching against intolerance, I have been accused of being intolerant myself. That may be a catch 22 situation that I'll just have to admit. It is a bit unnerving. A recent commenter (whom I respect highly), hinted that I am intolerant toward White Supremecy cults and should just let them have their freedom of speech.

Of course, the commenter is mistaken about one tiny little thing. I have no intention of taking peoples freedom of speech away. I want the looneys to spout their hate. That way we know exactly who to criticize. The commenter seems to be equating criticism with the denial of free speech. However, by being told that I can not criticize a hate group, my right to free speech is coming into question.

Well, I admit that in some cases I am intolerant. I am intolerant of intolerance. I am intolerant of hate directed at people of different skin colors or bloodlines. I am intolerant of hate speech directed at those whose personal lifestyle doesn't agree with a dusty old holy book. I am intolerant of hate speech and purposeful ignorance about those who believe differently. I am intolerant of policies designed to force others to abide by someone elses religious ideals. I am intolerant of violence and things that hurt others. That's what I am intolerant of. I guess, not all intolerance is bad.

3 comments:

Bruce said...

We are "all" intolerant at some point, to some degree. Tis the human condition.

Take hate. I was taught hate is wrong. I have come to see that it is not. I hate TV preachers. (most of them) I see them as con-artists doing things that would be illegal if they weren't hiding behind religion.

So I am intolerant of TV preachers.

That said, the religious-right has turned intolerance (closed-mindedness) into a fine art that many of them practice as a full-time calling. Look at all the "discernment" ministries on the internet, intolerant of anyone but themselves.

When I read a blog like yours I try and see what the overall tenor of the writing is.

If I find constant intolerance I don't read any further. If I find occasional intolerance I am likely to keep reading. By reading I might find out "why" the writer is intolerant on that one particular issue. (past experience, etc)

That said, tolerance should not be a hiding place for our unwillingness to confront evil.

White supremacy is evil. While I certainly believe they should be allowed to say what they will I loathe everything they stand for.

But then I am intolerant. :)

Bruce

PersonalFailure said...

First of all, freedom of speech does not come with freedom from the consequences of speech. One of those consequences is possible criticism.

And yes, I am intolerant of other's intolerance. And?

Robert Madewell said...

"That said, tolerance should not be a hiding place for our unwillingness to confront evil."

Well said, Bruce. Fits my point nicely.

The commenter I spoke of is family, so it's a delicate thing to respond to him. He seems to tolerate the christian-like hate groups because they say some of the same things that his church does. He defended the Psalms 108:9 sign because it was a bible verse, not even considering that the man that put it up is (I suspect) a member of The Christian Identity Movement (which I informed him).

"First of all, freedom of speech does not come with freedom from the consequences of speech. One of those consequences is possible criticism."

I agree! Seems that some people have to idea that freedom of speech entitles one to say whatever they want without anybody criticizing them. Not at all. I like it that we have freedom of speech. It lets us know who the a-holes are.