Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Tolerance and judgement

We have a messed up view of tolerance.

I thought about this over the holiday break after a few conversations. It's amazing what people will say. I think most people just talk without ever really thinking about things. Of course, I think most people don't even know the first thing about themselves. That would require work. Work. That's another post.

We have this idea that tolerance is a good thing. We should just tolerate everything everyone wants to do. Usually this is in the context of misguided religion. You hear the person rambling on about how we shouldn't judge others, we shouldn't impose our values or standards on them, blah, blah, blah. You know what I'm writing, you've had these conversations.

But have we really thought this thing through? It could eventually look something like this.

We are a tolerant community. Your house got robbed? So sorry, but we need to be tolerant of other people's values. Some people just don't believe that you should keep all your stuff for yourself. Oh, your beloved family pet was tortured to death? So sorry, we're tolerant. Some people feel it's OK to abuse animals. Someone raped your child? So sorry, we're tolerant. Other people believe it's no big deal to have sex with a child.

Do we really want to be tolerant? Where ever you chose to draw a line and say X is not OK or legal is where the argument for tolerance begins.

I think it's a little scary to live in a society that values tolerance as much as we do. I think it's risky.

Now, don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that we should all run around judging each other. That's God's job, not mine. If you're doing something that isn't OK under God's law, that's between you and Him. My job is to love you. To encourage and instruct in love, not in judgment. I'm as much a sinner as you are, even if we have different sins. They all count the same.

I think we all miss the mark on this one, Christian and not. We all fall into the trap of confusion when it comes to the difference between tolerate and judge. We are all at fault when it comes to the tolerance thing. We've waited almost too long to think it through. Well, it's time to start thinking.

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