Tolerance is for other people
Tolerance is what we demand from our adversaries, but extend only to the like-minded. This was the thought that crossed my mind a few years ago after watching the ACLU attack yet another public Christmas display. Never do we get through December without this organization or some other “tolerant” interest group suing or stomping out some recognition of the true meaning of Christmas.
It is interesting to me to listen to people demand tolerance of homosexuals, Muslims, and various other subcultures because these same people show up later demanding that Christian symbols be removed from public buildings or in some cases commercial buildings. For me religious freedom means we have the right to practice and express our religion. Government tolerance should mean the government is friendly toward all religions and hostile toward none.
The Supreme Court is adorned with religious symbols representing, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to practice our religion and to freely express it. In case you have forgotten, have a false memory of, or have never seen the first amendment as it is written here is the exact text of it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It is truly amazing that 69% of American believe that the first amendment establishes a “separation of church and state.” In fact such a statement never appears in Constitutional law, it is an invention designed to limit religious expression. Simply put it is the establishment of intolerance. Rather, the first amendment guarantees religion protection from repressive governments. Can religion be repressive? Absolutely but that thought has nothing to do with government tolerating and recognizing religious holidays. As long as no religious symbol are prohibited on public property there should be no constitutional issue.
The problem arises because a new religion has risen in the United States. A religion that masquerades as the absence of religion. Atheism is as much a religion as any other. Atheism is founded on the core belief that here is no god, no spiritual entities, and all that exists or has ever existed can be observed in this present existence. Like any religion, it requires faith in the absence of supporting evidence. Holes or flaws in creation theories are dismissed as forthcoming. The similarities do not end in creation myths, rather continuing the parallel, we see an organized structure has formed around this ideological foundation. This structure is better known to us as scientific academia. When a member of this elite religious order allows a theist to speak or worse, entertains the possibility of the divine, that individual is disciplined and excommunicated. Like any religion, atheism is threatened by competing belief systems and is active in attempting to suppress them. Thus we see active attacks on religious holidays and ideas.
You might think I lifted this thought from Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, however this has been on my mind since I was a freshman in college. I will never forget turning in a humanities paper and getting marked down because all my dates were in the form “BC/AD”. I was informed this was a recognition of the validity of Christian influence in society and that the correct form was “BCE/CE”. My scholarly professor peered down her nose and explained, “This form recognizes time in a ‘common‘ understanding rather than as a recognition of a particular religion.” When Mr. Stein’s movie came out I was delighted to see such a well documented exposé regarding what I was certain was going on.
Like any good religion, no challenge can go unchallenged. We can see how anyone who stoops low enough to listen to an argument for the existence of God is quickly labelled an idiot. Open minds are for the ignorant not for the superior demigods of academia and science. Another example of intolerance that received a high degree of publicity, (nearly always misrepresented and editorialized,) was the textbook labels in Cobb County Georgia.
Creationists in Georgia were not demanding a chapter or even a class discussion on creationism. No they simply wanted high school students to understand that evolution is a theory and not a fact. Read the actual text of the sticker rather than the parodies that have swamped American perception.
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.
Cobb County Board of Education
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Apparently, it is unconstitutional to even admit that it is not the “fact of evolution” but rather the “theory of evolution”. The school system and especially the university system has not so subtly suggested that the theory of evolution is an established fact. The fact is, it is a theory only and a theory that is in crisis as a result of break-throughs in microbiology. Suppression of contrary evidence only lends credence in my mind that evolution is a core theology for atheism as a religion. Many people think that admitting evolution is a theory somehow is tantamount to adopting a religion or teaching creationism in the classroom. This position is logical when you consider their religion is being challenged.
I could go on and on with this topic but it leads away from my point. Christmas has become a favorite target for attack because it represents a popular religious theology that is viewed as a threat by its challenger religion, atheism. It is popular for liberals and proponents of evolution to accuse Christians of being stupid and close-minded. They exhort the religious to be “open-minded” or better yet, tolerant of their unbelief. Yet in their actions they demonstrate completely closed minds and extreme intolerance toward Christians. If one expects tolerance, it helps to show some as well. In America today, tolerance is demanded from our adversaries, but extended only to those who are like-minded.