“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Monday, July 09, 2012


I am an advocate for people with disabilities.  I will do my best to convince you of my position on a variety of issues, hopefully with logical argument.  However, I am not what might be called a "tolerantist."  To me, that is not a kind label for someone.  I will not force you to be tolerant.

Tolerantism in itself might feel nice.  Tolerantists want to ensure that we all get along, all respect one another and so forth.  I hope for that as well.  However, there is a difference between wanting people to get along, trying to convince them of your position, whatever it might be via solid argument and forcing them to be tolerant.  In order to force people to be tolerant, you must have no values of your own other than the goal of no values.  For to even force you to be tolerant, implies that I am imposing my values on you, my values of tolerance.  The value relativism that is enforced falls in on itself.  How can I be both tolerant and force you to be value relative?  How can I say values are relative and force you to be tolerant?  It sounds nice, but the end result is no values.  So in reality tolerantism in the name of harmony forces people to have no positions, no values, no morality.

In spite of what you might think, our government is not in favor of tolerantism because it does not believe in value relativity.  I was just in Seattle.  I promise you that I feel that I have a right to park where I want, and the government should not force me to not park where they want (I hold this value pretty much). But if I don't follow the signs that are everywhere, I will get a ticket and will have to pay it.  They do not believe in value relativism.  Most times I will surrender to their lack of tolerance of my parking values.  But there are also times when I will not surrender to their lack of tolerance.  I would say there are also times when I will surrender to their forced tolerantism and there are times when I will not surrender to their forced tolerantism.  The myriad issues to which this applies, political and social, surround us in this present time.  Increasingly because of the lack of values in our government and social institutions, I am being forced to engage in what Foucault calls "acts of insubordination" because I do not believe in tolerantism and what it attempts to do to me and other people who have values.

Right now in our society there are a variety of issues that are currently on the table.  As a Christian, my views are immediately suspect, are a lightning rod for attack because I have taken solid positions, I stand for a particular morality, I believe there is such a thing as right and wrong.  Those of us who have taken moral positions are criticized by those who may not have, as being intolerant.  Interestingly, their intolerance of both me and my positions are sanctioned whereas my intolerance of their position(s) is not sanctioned because values whatever they may be result in intolerance. 

Have Christians been intolerant or continue to be intolerant.  Of course they have an are.  However, interestingly the Judeo-Christian ethic, that was the basis of much of what America is, allows for dissent.  To borrow a quote from the Matrix,
"Damn it Morpheus, not everyone believes what you believe"
"My beliefs do not require them to" (interchange between jason Lock and Morpheus)
A critical aspect of the Christian position is choice.  People are able to choose God or not choose Him.  The lack of choice is not a Christian principle at the most basic level. 

So for people to impose their position on others, even if, or especially if it is a position of tolerance is not a Christian principle.

Now clearly I will advocate for laws that support my position.  In these and other areas I will engage in dialogue to try to convince others of my position.  I will win and I will loose.  I will choose to follow what is imposed upon me and at times I won't.  It is interesting in our time that our own federal government will choose which laws it will follow and which it will not.  I don't entirely like that, but they have on some level opened the door for people of principle to do the same.