Monday, June 30, 2014

So, I Was Told I Sounded "Intolerant" the Other Day...

Hearing that is not a pleasant feeling, that's for sure.

What caused someone to accuse me of sounding intolerant?  The short version of the story is that a high school classmate asked his Facebook friends how he could discuss evolution and Creationism with a six-year-old.  I suggested talking about evolution as an attempt to explain the "how" of Creation while Genesis speaks to who created all things.  I also observed that an agreement to this understanding would remove much of the heat from the conversation.

Others who brought forth their own ideas, however, would not accept this suggestion.  Their suggestion was to compare Christianity to the popular idea of Santa Claus: something that kids eventually grow out of.  My suggestion clashed with their suggestion, so my suggestion needed to be discredited.  One of the participants who fell into this category suggested that my comments "sounded intolerant" and that she would never be forced to agree to these terms.

I could have responded to the three people opposing me and entered into a full-blown argument.  However, my friend's intention for the original post was to discover ways to communicate his own thoughts to a six-year-old, not start a religious argument.  With my friend not responding to the conversation, I decided to not participate in the conversation because it had already left my friend's original concern.

One of today's Supreme Court announcements has many people up in arms.  Some people are ecstatic while others are screaming mad.  Many have claimed or will claim that others are being "intolerant" of either their religious beliefs or their contraceptive choices.  (This will be the end of my comments on that topic.  Perhaps another blog post.)

"Tolerance" sounds like a good standard.  We do not have to agree, but we do not need to disassociate from others who do not share our opinions, correct?

But "tolerance" is not a good standard.  We can hate someone even as we "tolerate" their presence in the room.  We can wish all sorts of evil on someone even as we "tolerate" their opinions on Facebook and Twitter.  We can attack others and destroy reputations even as we "tolerate" what they say.

Rather than "tolerate" each other, how about we express our love for each other, including (perhaps especially) for those who do not share our opinions?

1 comment:

  1. I think a view that Christianity is somehow something you just grow out of (like Santa Claus) is a far more intolerant comment. I have always found it odd that some people who claim to have respect for all peoples can be so "intolerant" of Christianity as a belief system. I have respect for the views of atheists because I can understand how they got there, and I am often dismayed by their lack of respect for people of belief.