Such a conclusion is in direct contradiction to what has become the supreme virtue with far too many in our culture: “tolerance.” As the United Nations’ Declaration of Principles on Tolerance instructs, “Tolerance … involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism.” Of course, such a declaration reveals how the definition of tolerance has changed. Today “tolerance” no longer simply means “to recognize and respect others’ beliefs and practices without sharing them.” Today’s “tolerance” is little more than a self-refuting system of thought that attempts to impose liberal values onto any culture unable or unwilling to recognize the fallacy.
The United Nations description of “tolerance” above illustrates well such fallacy, as “Tolerance … involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism” is itself a dogmatic and absolute statement. Today’s liberalism is full of such nonsense.
On “tolerance,” G.K. Chesterton, who greatly influenced the life and writings of C.S. Lewis, noted that “Tolerance is a virtue of a man without convictions.” What better describes a modern liberal than a “man without convictions?” When a person lacks convictions it becomes very easy to align himself with whatever worldview provides the most benefits in this world—or at least allows you to have the most “fun.”
A case in point is the debauchery on display at
. According to Linda Chavez, a few weeks ago, student protestors gathered at the office
of the Dartmouth College
president “and demanded more ‘womyn or people of color’ faculty, coverage of
sex-change operations on the student health plan, and ‘gender-neutral
bathrooms,’ among other things.” Dartmouth
Sounding like Dean Vernon Wormer,
president, Philip Hanlon, harshly addressed the student body culture that, in
the 1970’s was the inspiration for the film Animal House. Hanlon declared, “ Dartmouth ’s promise is
being hijacked by extreme behavior, masked by its perpetrators as acceptable
fun.” He addressed sexual assaults, dangerous drinking, partying, hazing, and
“a general disregard for human dignity.” Dartmouth
Hanlon also noted “a grave disconnect between our culture in the classroom and the behaviors outside of it — behaviors which too often seek not to elevate the human spirit, but debase it.” Hanlon, evidently, has not been visiting
classrooms very often, because the debasing behaviors occurring outside the
classrooms directly reflect the culture of “tolerance” that exists inside them.
In other words,
is only reaping what it has sown. Hanlon and his cohorts should not be
surprised that young people who have been taught that it is okay to kill their
unborn children, that they can have sex with whomever they wish without any
consequences, and that they can “marry” whomever they desire, will also eagerly
embrace “sexual assaults, dangerous drinking, partying, hazing” and the like. Dartmouth
To what “social norms” is Hanlon referring? It sounds like he is appealing to some “absolute” moral standard. How “intolerant” of him! For decades now, our colleges and universities have led the way in preaching “tolerance,” in place of moral absolutes, as the supreme virtue in our culture. Impressionable young minds have taken this message to heart and today the
contains tens-of-millions of
Americans who have abandoned any notion of sound (biblical) morality. They have
eagerly adopted the pagan
philosophy of “Do as Thou Wilt.” U.S.
More tragically, the scourge of “tolerance” has also invaded our churches. My own church’s association, Vineyard USA, like many other American churches, has recently experienced dissension on the issue of homosexuality and marriage. Ken Wilson, senior pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, has recently made headlines over his decision to “come out” in support of homosexuality.
According to USA Today, “Experts say it might be the first time the pastor of a large evangelical Christian congregation in
Michigan, and maybe
has come out so openly in favor of gay people and same-sex marriage.” U.S.
“Agree to disagree” is simply another way of framing today’s “tolerance.” Of course,
position would ignore the
suffering that results from homosexual behavior. As is typical with so many
who preach “tolerance,” his argument is rooted in multiple straw
men (evangelicals generally are “judgmental” and “excluding” when it comes
to homosexuals) that make his position seem more “loving.” Wilson
What we are really dealing with here is competing views of truth. Those peddling “tolerance” generally reject the notion of absolute truth. As noted apologist William Lane Craig puts it when writing about the Christian perspective on homosexuality, “Today so many people think of right and wrong, not as matters of fact, but as matters of taste.” And if taste determines truth, then we’re all at the mercy of whoever’s in charge, because, ultimately we’re all intolerant. It’s simply a matter of who’s right.