But radical activists have hijacked tolerance and used it as a tool of power to coerce society to conform to their moral agenda.
We need a nationwide effort to expose the way tolerance has been used to take away the freedoms of Americans.
Let’s start a campaign titled, Restore Tolerance to America.
I feel deep gratitude for the freedom we’ve experienced in our country and the costly sacrifices many made to protect those freedoms.
The sectarian and segregationist thinking that hurt our country must be replaced with a shared commitment to respect and civility.
Tolerance is a necessary virtue in a society of ethnic, religious, ideological and lifestyle differences. Tolerance is not just “putting up with differences” but truly respecting others despite differences.
Tolerance shines most when people who deeply disagree treat each other with respect.
Society suffers when people do not respect each other on lawfully permitted differences.
The problem is that true tolerance was strategically replaced with a counterfeit operating under the same name. The new version of tolerance comes from people who demand agreement, not respect.
They set the required boundaries for tolerance and use the judiciary to force people to see things their way. They try to give people the impression that most Americans agree with them. This is deceptive and it is taking our freedoms away from us to disagree respectfully.
Tolerance now feels more like a strategy of power being used to control people.
On a growing number of issues the public feels like we’re given a choice between agreeing with politically approved opinions or being labeled intolerant or even hateful bigots.
This is the tone that now dominates so much of political debate.
I am not suggesting that it’s easy to protect civility in a diverse country. But I know that we can’t promote civility by forcing everyone to see things one way and threading them with labels or ostracizing them for disagreeing.
Most people have had enough of this distortion of tolerance. It’s backfiring on the radicals.
- Are you tired of being told what to think and say on certain issues?
- Do you feel forced to pretend you agree on too many sensitivity issues?
- Does tolerance feel more like a strategy to silence you than a virtue to free you?
- Do you feel like sensitivity police are trying to control our country?
This strange form to zero tolerance has resulted in a long list of absurd punishments — even on children in our schools.
Hate laws are being used to enlist thought police to read motives where they don’t exist. People are being sued for following their long-held religious and moral convictions.
I am grateful to live in a country that has largely moved past the sad days of racial and gender sectarianism. We should protect always people from discrimination based on matters of nature beyond their ability to control or change. I am not suggesting that we are completely victorious in these areas.
Like most people, however, I am tired of those who refuse to celebrate our advances out of a desire to be seen as victims to whom society is indebted.
We need a wake-up call to what’s happening in our country. Forced agreement on debatable issues threatens true tolerance and violates freedom. The virtue of tolerance functions where there is disagreement with respect. Intolerance forces people to pretend they have no differences.
If we care about freedom, we need to promote respect, honor and neighbor love — true tolerance. But we must equally reject coercion and manipulation.
We’re in for a lot of trouble if we fail to restore true tolerance in our country.