Defining Tolerance

Here we are with our new year, barely two weeks old. But what a whirlwind of activity we have already swirling around us. Much of it is Political, both national and international, and having just visited Israel on pilgrimage, much of that international “swirl” is quite relevant. But a great deal of the controversy is Spiritual as well. I take my vocation to be a spiritual one that is focused on the “Salvation of Souls”; not merely my own, but the souls of all with whom I associate or interface with, and with whom I have any influence. However, that does include making sacrifices (in accord with the instruction from Our Lady at Fatima to all of us) for the conversion of all “poor sinners” world-wide, whether they are known to me or not.

Looking at the immediacy of the many  inherent,  faith-related  “calls-to-action” that we are all called to, this  week, locally we are called to do as much as we can, …  to draw  attention  to, and double  our individual  efforts to … bring an end to the evil of the Roe v. Wade decision allowing for the indiscriminant killing of inconvenient pre-born children. I won’t dwell on the incredulous horror that “decision” has infused into the American ethic, but yet good-intentioned, disagreeing, American citizens have failed to unite and overturn this evil during the 40 years that have ensued…allowing for well in excess of 85 million innocent and helpless pre-born babies to be exterminated. Proud to be an American? Do we cite the fact that “We are merely being tolerant, as we all should be”? We hear a lot of this call for “tolerance” as of late.

A recent Pew Research survey, revealed that a staggering 88 percent of “consistently liberal” Americans list “Tolerance” as their most important value in teaching their children. While this data is significant, it’s also limited. It depends first and foremost on how one defines “Tolerance,” and especially how liberals…professing tolerance…define tolerance. It seems quite clear that liberals are not actually tolerant. Liberals tolerate only what they want to tolerate.  They tolerate things they agree with…which, of course, is not tolerance at all. Tolerance is about accepting the often­ difficult differences between you and someone you strongly disagree with, and respecting that person’s right to an opposing point of view. Obviously, that’s not liberalism. This could be demonstrated multiple ways, but consider two salient examples pervasive in daily headlines: liberal’s behavior regarding same-sex marriage and   abortion.

Liberals have been relentless in denouncing, demonizing, boycotting, attacking, picketing, prosecuting, suing, fining, and even threatening to jail… people who disagree with them on so-called same-sex marriage.  If your family owns a barn in New York (or elsewhere) and declines to rent it to a gay couple for a wedding ceremony, because such an arrangement violates your religious beliefs and freedom, liberals will fine you $13,000. So liberals…actually…refuse to tolerate those who refuse to redefine marriage. Regarding Abortion, liberals not only refuse to respect your opposition; they insist you pay for their abortions. From Hobby Lobby to the Little Sisters of the Poor, to the University of Notre Dame, they’re making you pay. If you don’t, you will be labeled “intolerant” and be fined mightily.

Our Country…currently…is not guilty of being “intolerant”. Rather, on the other hand, we are guilty…of tolerating things that we should not. The liberal media has been pounding home for decades now, our need to accept (and even celebrate as being heroic) immoral behaviors such as abortion, so-called same-sex marriage, euthanasia (so­ called mercy-killing), the non-scientific mythical lie and confusion of “trans-genderism” and the ill-conceived presidential, fund-threatening “bathroom edicts” that have resulted from it.

The dictionary defines “Tolerance”, first as: “capacity to endure pain or hardship”; second as: “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.”   There is no way however, that anyone   is ever called, or compelled, to accept any harmful, sinful, evil behavior or activity. You are never expected (or morally, even allowed) to accept or tolerate an evil act. So let us be clear on what our Church teaches. Abortion is evil. So-called same-sex marriage is evil. Homosexual “expression” (which is the code word for the act of sodomy) is evil and therefore, the renewed effort by some Jacksonville politicians to add that language to an existing comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance (HRO), should be rejected. We are not to tolerate the sins, or the ‘promotion of the sin’ as a ‘good’, a ‘right’ or ‘privilege’. Yet we are called to tolerate, love, and care for…those who have been caught-up in these evil deceptions.

So let us, in this month focusing on ending the now-44 year old Roe v. Wade edict, with “Marches for Life”, and in this 100th anniversary year of Our Lady’s message at Fatima, renew our commitments to pray, act and do all we can to bring an end to the prolific immoral evils of our time, and fervently pray and make sacrifices for the relativistic tolerance of these evils in our times.

0 Mary, Refuge of Sinners, pray for us.fr denis