Being called holier than thou is an insult in our society. What is now considered virtuous is being more tolerant than thou. Tolerance is the watchword of moral relativism which declares that I have no right to tell anyone what is right or wrong.
How many times have I heard fellow Americans say that they think abortion is wrong, but that they have no right to tell anyone that it’s wrong to have an abortion? They think suicide is wrong, but they do not have the right to tell another person that he is wrong to end his own life. They believe that rape and murder and genocide are abhorrent, but that our country’s government has no right to tell leaders in other nations that what they are perpetrating or allowing to happen to their citizens is completely unacceptable.
What happened to “I am my brother’s keeper?” What happened to there being a code for what is just plain wrong and what is right? And where is it written that none of us has a right to speak up when someone else is clearly behaving badly?
I think it comes down to responsibility. If I admonish my fellow man, I have to take some form of responsibility for his actions. If I don’t want to be responsible for anyone other than myself, I have to keep my mouth shut, or so our modern world tells us. It also tells us that we are responsible for our planet, for the animals that live upon it and for people who are unable to take care of themselves, but only as far as we do not commit the sin of telling anyone that they are wrong.
This attitude is garbage. It doesn’t pass the sniff test. And it’s taking us down the path of destruction. Once we took the step down that slippery slope of tolerance for bad behavior we began the quick descent into a world where everything is deemed okay and that self-esteem is the most important characteristic to cultivate in our children. How can we raise children to feel good about themselves if they are expected to feel remorse when they do the wrong thing? Society’s answer to that is to tell us that there is no sin, that whatever you want to do is fine, and that your right to live the way you choose is more important than anyone else’s opinion.
No wonder our world is such a mess. I don’t see it getting any better.


4 comments on “tolerance…

  1. But who gets to decide what “behaving badly” is? Those whose religion tells them what’s right and wrong? I don’t follow a religion. And yet, I have no problem discerning behavior which is hurtful to others and speaking out about it if necessary. Mostly, though, I’m just trying to do the right thing for my family and friends, treating others with respect. I don’t like the feeling of judging. It can be so black and white. “This is wrong,” “this is right.” I’d rather take the time to try and understand the behavior. Life is too short to spend my time being intolerant. “The sniff test?” Ah, but whose nose knows? I am far too imperfect a being to judge others on things I may not understand at all. Who was it who said, “Judge not, yet ye be judged”? Or “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.”

    • Ah, but you are judging. You’re judging that anything’s okay as long as there is an explanation for it. God gets to decide what is right and wrong. I did not say that I never sin; what I did say that when I do I should be held accountable and that I should seek forgiveness for my transgressions.

  2. Actually Linda, that is neither what you said nor what I said. You know darn well that I would never say that anything is okay as long as there’s an explanation for it. And you were speaking about being able to speak up when you see wrong behavior. You did not mention once mention being held accountable for your own personal transgressions or seeking forgiveness of them. Although of course, that is implied by your religion. You spoke of calling out others on their (by your definition) bad behavior.

    • Mary, I don’t want to have a fight with you. I am so fed up with all the horror happening in our world and I see so little response. Edwin Burke said something to the effect that The only thing necessary for the proliferation of evil is for men of conscience to remain silent
      In Iraq ISIS is killing people simply because of their faith. The Palestinians, or at least Hammas under the name of Palestine, and Israel are bombing the hell out of each other. Children are being stolen across the globe from their parents. Other parents are in such desperate straits that they are voluntarily sending their children on a perilous and too often deadly journey on the chance that they may have a better life in United States, where they arrive only to spend years in a detention center or are deported back to the terrible conditions from which they escaped. The death toll in Chicago is like that of a third world country.
      I could go on and on and on. How can we tolerate all this violence? We tolerate it because we’ve become so accustomed to tolerating all sorts of things that not so long ago were understood by decent people to be just plain wrong.
      This is what happens when we turn a blind eye. We are racing down that slippery slope, and I, for one, just had to say something.

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