A Summer Rant

Flamingby Deana Chadwell    7/8/14
I have a confession to make: I’ve had it with tolerance. There. I said it. It should be noted that I’m confessing to the 21st century definition of the word, not the original meaning. In 1412 the word tolerance came into English from the Old French. Then it meant endurance or fortitude, strength. It took almost 200 years for the word to take on the sense of permissiveness. Today Merriam Webster defines tolerance as a willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own or the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant.

“To accept… something harmful…”?  Really? I can see enduring something harmful. I can see allowing “feelings, habits or beliefs that are different from [my] own.” But to accept means to receive something to one’s self – to accept a compliment, or to accept a gift. Much that is happening in this world is nothing a sane person should accept.

How can anyone tolerate the horrors that occur daily in the Middle East? Do I really have to be tolerant of the group that crucified nine young Christian men in Syria last week? Do I have to think of Muslim female mutilation as acceptable? Must I look on the abduction of hundreds of Nigerian Christian girls and just shrug my shoulders? After all, most Muslims are nice people. I’m not sure why we think that, other than the fact that most people of any stripe tend to behave themselves most of the time. I once had an English class that unanimously thought we shouldn’t judge the 9/11 hijackers because we had to be tolerant of their beliefs. Really? Should we be tolerant or accepting of ideas that are dangerous, of ideas that threaten our wellbeing?[pullquote]We can’t just lean back in our recliners and buy the silliness about life in the 21st century and accepting change.[/pullquote]

I have close relationships with people whose theology differs from my own; that’s not a problem. I believe in confessing to God directly; my Catholic friends prefer to confess to a priest. Fine. It doesn’t hurt them if I have the audacity to connect to God directly and it doesn’t cramp my style if they prefer the confessional. I have friends who believe that the Rapture won’t happen until the end of the Tribulation, but I’m pre-Trib. One day, history will determine which one of us is right. In the meantime we agree to disagree and all is well.

But some worldviews are treacherous, and I refuse to accept those attitudes as being the moral equivalent of biblical thought. Our freedom, our physical safety, the very function of our society is threatened, either subtly or overtly, by two specific belief systems. One – orthodox Islam – threatens death for unbelievers, while the other – Progressivism — touts “tolerance” as its most important value. In fact, it seems that progressives win extra gold stars when their tolerance includes truly perverse behaviors – like those of radical Islam. For instance I don’t hear progressives denouncing the treatment of Muslim women – they scream, “War on Women!” if their birth control isn’t paid for by everyone else, but they don’t bat an eye over Islamic honor killings. I find that confusing and infuriating. Nothing seems to break the leftist façade of tolerance other than conservative, Christian thinking.

Actually, I can be quite tolerant when I see no threat, when no one is in my face. Like most conservatives, I don’t care which adults other adults hop into bed with. Nor do I care what they do there. I don’t even want to know; it’s really none of my business. I find it untenable that the LGTB community wants me to not only live and let live, but to give my whole hearted, marching-down-the-street-in-drag approval. I can’t; I take Romans 1 seriously, as is my right. It’s offensive, I know, but I believe that God knows what He’s doing.

I can understand that there are those whose hormonal balances create physical, emotional and social confusion. My heart goes out to those folks, but I have no tolerance for the perversity of gay “pride” parades and can’t begin to understand why gays would want to pretend to be “married.” Most same-sex “marriages” are not sexually monogamous.  (See: Are Same-Sex Couples Just Like You?)

So, why bother? And don’t tell me that you have a constitutional right to marry whoever you want. You have a right to marry a member of the opposite sex – the word “marry” has no application beyond that. And don’t tell me that gays are born gay – genome studies of thousands of identical twins prove otherwise. (See: Identical Twin Studies Prove Homosexuality is Not Genetic)

Basically I have no tolerance for untruth. I’ve had it with Muslims claiming their religion is peaceful and then beheading people who disagree. I’ve had it with the left whose followers have the impudence to think they know better than God how to organize a society, and yet when their ideas fail to produce the expected results, who do they blame? Conservatives. Christians. God.

I’ve had it with the left’s insistence that people of color are unable to register to vote, incapable of earning a living, unlikely to make decent parents – and then they want to call me a racist. I’m intolerant of the left’s inability to argue their points intelligently, resorting ASAP to name-calling and verbal abuse. There is no need for that, just tell me where and when socialism has produced prosperity, and before you say “Sweden” go read some Swedish history and then find out what effect Swedish inclusivity has had on the incidence of rape there. There is no need to rant on and on about how terrible America is – go elsewhere; the borders are open both ways – go live somewhere you can be proud of and stop messing with the only socio-economic system that has ever worked to everyone’s benefit.

But, but, but aren’t you a Christian? That’s not a very Christian thing to say. Yes, I’m a Christian, but that doesn’t translate as “pushover.” Jesus Christ stormed into the Temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers – He had no intention of tolerating evil. We do, as Christians, have to be very stern with ourselves and judge only the sin and not the sinner. After all, we’re all sinners and we are all tempted, but when wicked ideas, ideas that could spell the end of our society saturate the culture, those of us who care have to stamp our feet and call foul. We can’t just lean back in our recliners and buy the silliness about life in the 21st century and accepting change.

Human nature didn’t just instantly reform itself 14 years ago; true, astounding technological advances amaze us on a daily basis, but evil is robustly alive and I will not be tolerant. Tolerance, as defined today, isn’t much of a virtue anyway – all it requires is general numbness, ignorance and moral disinterest. All it means today is the championing of evil. That is intolerable.


Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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10 Responses to A Summer Rant

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Jesus, I almost fell out of my seat when I saw that picture.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Me too. I had fun with that one. Deana has it featured on her own website. I then messed with the contrast and sharpness and — last but not least — bumped up the saturation a bit and, bingo, instant queer.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Very nice rant; I think I would agree that “tolerance” shouldn’t necessarily mean approval, but the word has been distorted by libertinists who demand not merely toleration (legal acceptance) but approval of their perversions. Of course, this has led to interesting results, such as students who can’t bring themselves to condemn the Holocaust — after all, the Nazis may have a reason for killing the Jews. (And if you read Julius Streicher’s comments to Dr. Gilbert in Nuremberg Diarty, they did — and Streicher was quite the student of Judaica.) Similarly, students have tended to favor the Francoites in the Spanish Civil War — after all, they were the ones rebelling against authority, weren’t they?

  3. Anniel says:

    May we all go on such a rant. Thanks for the “words mean things” reminder.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I wish I were as eloquent as Deana. She can do a smack-down without a hint of foam. That’s a skill!

  5. Maesy says:

    I use the word ‘tolerate’ quite often, it is my usual response to being told to ‘respect’.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    When I was younger the way we would say it is “to put up with” something. To me, that clearly meant the object of tolerance was something or someone which/whom I did not agree with. But I certainly didn’t have to like, respect or encourage it/him.

    Sort of like I tolerate Libertarians.

  7. Kathy says:

    My favorite pastor after my own outlines tolerance this way: social tolerance – live and let live, people can do what they choose. Legal tolerance – legal privileges for all equally, regardless of things like gender, race, etc. Where we all part ways is intellectual tolerance – we’re expected to treat all ideas, lifestyles, religions as morally and intellectually equal. And that’s simply not possible.

    There is such a thing as objective truth, and while we ought to be socially and legally tolerant, intellectually we have to assert what we believe (and can prove in many cases) to be true.

    Nice rant! (Probably should have started with this.)

  8. Glenn Fairman says:

    Toleration of the intolerant is no virtue, but the pathway to suicide. Toleration of the perverse is not laudable, since it assists in the degradation of man’s estate.

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