Do I need to tolerate the intolerant?

By Martha Woodroof Is it OK to Intolerate Newt? I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to put up … Continued

By Martha Woodroof

Is it OK to Intolerate Newt?

I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to put up with it anymore! Or at least, not for the next few paragraphs. After that, if you say I must, I’ll do my best to calm down.

How, I want to know, does Newt Gingrich think he can get away it? How dare he claim to know that America operates under an “unprecedented set of rights granted by God”? Does he expect us to believe he gets information directly from the Almighty; God’s lips to Newt’s ear? Did God speak English, I wonder? Or did Newt speak God? Did Newt find his information written on scrolls in some Georgia cave?

And I just dare Newt to start talking about the Bible as his source of information! There’s not one word in that book about America.

Obviously, it makes me beyond furious when politicians start spewing such drek in God’s name, disrespecting and diminishing the Almighty, co-opting the great Whatever as an American cheerleader! It’s inexcusable at any time, and it just might be wicked during times when Americans are generally worried about almost everything and leaning heavily on the God of their understanding for something more useful than jingoistic nonsense.

But, on the other hand, I do try to be tolerant and broad-minded, and rule #1 of the tolerant and broad-minded is: Thou shalt not get hot and bothered about other people’s religious beliefs.

What I want to know from you is does that rule apply to Newt in this instance?

It seems to me it comes down to what it means to be tolerant and broadminded. For me, tolerance is being fearlessly curious and non-judgmental about whatever I come up against; broadmindedness, changing my mind when I’m presented with compelling evidence that what I’ve been thinking is either wrong or based on incomplete information.

As a person of faith who is not religious, (i.e. I live in partnership with God, the great Whatever), I see my ability to be tolerant and broad-minded as part and parcel of my faith. It comes, in other words, along with that partnership. Being tolerant and broadminded is my relationship with God in action.

But I just cannot bring myself to think that means I’m not allowed to shout liar, liar pants on fire! when Newt (or any other politician) starts spewing nonsense about God. And this goes back to my personal belief in not just God, but also in the devil.

Now please understand that when I talk about “God,” it’s not some partisan deity who uses politicians as spokespeople, but whatever is in me (and in you) that gives us the guts and the desire to face the world as it actually is, and do our best to help sort out its very real problems.

When I talk about the devil, it’s not an entity who lives somewhere hot, but whatever force weakens my grasp on reality, in favor of what I’d be more comfortable with. Or whatever advances my own personal agenda. I think it’s the devil’s lips that whisper to us it’s okay to lie, cheat, or steal as long as we give God credit for our actions.

God’s lips to Newt’s ear? Hmmmm. . . I wonder.

Help me out here. Please. What’s a tolerant and broad-minded person to do about Newt? Or more generally, what’s a tolerant and broadminded person to do about anyone who hustles for political power and personal gain in God’s name?

Martha note: This is round eight of Faith Unboxed, an ongoing, civil, respectful conversation about faith I invite you to participate by sharing your own ideas and experiences (either here or on the website), rather than by denigrating the ideas and experiences of others.

  • mostberg

    Yes Martha, I think you need to tolerate the intolerant if, as it appears, the definition of intolerant is anyone with whom you strongly disagree. That, my dear lady, is the ultimate meaning of tolerance. Otherwise how can you love your enemies or – like Jesus – hang out at times with all kinds of nefarous types. Have noted that some people have interesting forms of tolerance and love of enemies – such as for what are often considered supporters or sympathizers with Muslim terrorists. On the other hand the same people cannot bring themselves to converse with a “conservative” if they happen to be a “liberal” or vice versa.Meanwhile Martha I am willing to tolerate what you said in this blog even though I may not embrace it (or you). The hardest time to be tolereant is when it is the hardest. But that may be the most important time – the test of, the real test, of your tolerance. For one thing – surprise – you could be wrong. Best to go slow in concluding the other person is way wrong – including Newt. You sorta violated you own note at the end, Martha, but I forgive you.

  • AKafir

    Martha,The link you give has Newt saying: “American Exceptionalism refers directly to the grant of rights asserted in the Declaration of Independence.” which he clarifies to mean “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What do you think the founding fathers meant by the “Creator” in that Declaration. Newt states: “Second we are endowed by our Creator. This is the heart of our argument with the secular socialists. We believe there is a Creator. We believe that Creator granted us rights.” It should be obvious to you that his God is very different than your God. And you show neither tolerance nor broadmindedness when you imply that Newt is being inspired by your devil, or that his God is your devil. You would have been better off reminding Jefforson’s words:”Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802and “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814and “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814Newt gets it wrong, but unfortunately so do you. Newt at least stands for freedom but at the cost of empowering the priests and endagering the republic. You seem to lack an understanding of freedom.

  • halozcel2

    **Do I need to tolerate the intolerant?**You dont need to tolerate any Stone Age Practices.

  • areyousaying

    being intolerant of the intolerant – my personal hell

  • Secular

    I think there is wide misconception between tolerance & embrace in the colloquial use of the words in this country. Somewhere along the day, they have become synonymous. There in lies the problem. As I was taught embrace implies subscribing to a view point or tradition, or concept wholeheartedly and co-opt it as if it were ones own. Where as tolerance is a concept that implies one is not necessarily sold on the concept however, one is willing to both emotionally & intellectually to put up with it. It is not to say that one has to promote it or nurture it far from it. Yet tolerance does not mean one is forced to accept or put up with it.All that said tolerating does not imply that we need to have our hands tied behind our backs in confronting the concepts we abhor. All it means is that the we must not suppress the concepts we abhor by a fiat or violently. This is not to say that one has to acquiesce. In fact when we believe in the rightness of the cause we need to confront the other side. I am an atheist, but I do not advocate that demolition of religion. I was also in the heyday of communism opposed to communism too, even though it was an anti-religious system of government, because it wanted to abolish religion by fiat. I rather see the so called theists be persuaded by the over abundance of evidence against their position. My tolerance of religious does not preclude me from ridiculing their superstition. Most certainly my tolerance for religion does not obligate me to respect any of their beliefs or respect their priests or mullah by and large. I call them for what they are the most any priest class is a club of bigotry, prejudice and palming of ignorance as some kind of wisdom.Coming to Newt, he is nothing less than a charlatan. Whenever, he speaks of his new found Catholicism, and homophobic positions, we need to throw his debauchery off marital sex and its incongruence with their Catholicism.

  • bobsnodgrass

    Depends on what tolerate means. I dislike Newt, along with Erskine Bowles, Bill Clinton, both Bushes, John McCain and Barack Obama. I would not call them names if I ran into them and I certainly would not be violent. I would refuse to shake their hand; I would not call them stupid or cowardly, as many Americans feel they must do if they disagree with policy-makers. I believe that these intelligent men have used their intelligence and position to promote themselves at the expense of the American people, and worst of all, have deliberately concealed the truth about our country’s many problems. I have no special sanctions for those who use religion as a justification for their acts. Power corrupts, whether it’s wealth, political power, religious stature, charisma or just physical attractiveness. I believe that everyone has a religion or philosophy of life; it’s not always an organized religion.Newt, Erskine & Clinton were working on a deal to partially privatize social security and somehow disguise the details to mollify the “base” of Newt and Bill. This deceitful plan fell apart when the Lewinsky scandal broke. Maybe they thought that this was the right thing to do, but they were dishonest from the get go. That’s the theme of American politics today.Many great civilizations preceded us. They perished, but not all that was good about them was lost. I can learn from them and from other religions. I will discuss politics with ordinary people until I learn that they can’t accept other points of view. I have a few religious friends that I stop when they start trying to convert me. I like you, but I won’t change my religion. I see no point in trying to discuss politics or values with any of the politicians that I mention. They feel that they are on a different plane than I and 99% of the country is. They won’t hear me except as a vote to be manipulated. They don’t follow the Golden Rule.Be kind to others, follow the Golden Rule, be true to yourself, and be willing to discuss values, politics and religion with reasonable people. Turn off the radio or TV if one of these poachers comes on. I have no problem with your ideas, although mine differ.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Tolerance, as a religious and legal doctrine, means acknowledging the rights of various religions to live in freedom. There are some religions, and some Christian groups, that believe tolerance and toleration are bad, to be opposed, undermined, and supressed. One of the weapons and one of the mind games that such people use is to say that tolerant people who speak out against them are, themselves, intolerant.That trick does not work on me. I feel no obligation to resepect a religion that disrespects me. One thing about tolerance: it is a two way street; it does not work, if one guy is tolerant, and the other guy rubs your nose in the dirt.Is that so difficult to understand?The reason why people like Newt can get away with it is because he taps in on the kind of religion that many people believe in. And if you challenge him on principle, then he accuses you of being against religion, and against God.A better way to attack people like Newt is to boldly and openly accuse him of spreading false doctrines in the name of Jesus, to acquire votes and to gain power.If he asks you to be more specific, don’t. It is up to him to explain his religion, and that will be a real can of worms, that people like him don’t really want to get into.

  • haveaheart

    “But, on the other hand, I do try to be tolerant and broad-minded, and rule #1 of the tolerant and broad-minded is: Thou shalt not get hot and bothered about other people’s religious beliefs….What I want to know from you is does that rule apply to Newt in this instance?”If another person’s religious beliefs do not, cannot, have an impact on your life, then certainly the rule — let’s call it a guideline — applies. Live and let live.However, that’s not what this issue is really about. Newt is not simply sitting around believing his beliefs; he’s trying to make the rest of us believe them, as well. And he’s hoping to start doing it from a national political pulpit — the White House, in this case — as soon as he can manage it.That is not belief or behavior to be tolerant of. As soon as a person determines that his value system is the one every other person should follow, he sacrifices his right to be tolerated.So, Martha, you are absolutely within the bounds of reasonableness to refuse to tolerate Newt and his squirming, squealing diatribes on how Americans should think, feel, and behave. Taking up your pen against his unholy rhetoric is not just your right; it’s your responsibility.

  • zakaria_belal

    Bulk of 1.5 Billion Muslims live in own countries and in around the globe.Almost all of them have to tolerate the intolerants.A Satan is intolerant.Infrastructure lay out by G7 have put squeeze.This has forced Muslim living bunched together.This is intolerance of other kind.They draw each others resources for safety.There is also blackmail by US and allied Soldiers and Israel who are constantly stealing and squeezing.ThenThey have Organized crime of intolerance on immigrants .They are accusing them to be Muslim Terrorists after pushing them out of own country.They have forced them to immigrate to West.Intolerance has forced them to live together.They have less fund . In the absence of fund they have squeezing instead .There is no need for immigration and there is no need to dwell in Iraq and Afghanistan or elsewhere pretending to be superior nation of Trillion dollar Debt.These are purely based on superiority complex and intolerance.Some like India with indians in Western Bank have $460billion.Bulk of 200 Million Muslims have been pushed to live together.This is based on intolerance towards Muslim by Ruling Hindus and by theft.By not investing on 200 million is worst kind of intolerance.Above all they have Organized crime by so called Tolerant society of G7 .The Govt have worst kind of intolerance based on incompetence or superiority complex.Nothing is worse than imaginning themselves as higher than God and advocating stealing or even dropping Nuke or invading.For this intolerance without WMD both Iraq and Afghanistan invaded saddam hanged.In fact it has been claimed That Iran is getting hurt for sanction for presumed WMD(Nuke).Would you believe I have ended up in Worst kind of intolerance of G7 for tens of years.Moreover, Soldiers or Govt Officials public or just citizen or Ombudsman or Human rights commission are so fake.They are laden with intolerances with fake reports (tens of years).If I was Govt Boss I would disclose my plight and save these spending not only at home but around the globe. The method of stealing squeezing have been Globalized.This is the Truth.Are these not intolerances .By Teaching foreign govt how money can be made by intolerances swindling it has been globalized.Insurances swindling workman compensation swindling Judges swindling are all due to intolerances .Also US and Allied soldiers Israelis and Organized religion group indirectly supervising intolerances.US Allied are spending hundreds of billion dollar in Afghanistan fighting Taliban or for Greed .Not in USA alone but in their own country and calling Taliban(30m Afghan) intolerant of so called US Allied soldiers tolerances.In short they are saying they would not let us kill them for their intolerance in their own country.

  • Secular

    zakaria_belal, you are a piece of work. It is always the same from your ilk, it is never your fault it is the banality of the others. Your countries are impoverished, because you allow the ignorant semi-literate mullahs, imams to tell you how you should live. From what to eat, how to treat youe womanfolk, how to treat the other religionists in your midst. Your countries are backwards because you choose to remain backwards. Rest of the world is not to be blamed. It is your own making. Coming to India, you are an ignorant bigot. Indian muslims have more freedoms than the Pakistanis. In the last five years how many mosques have been fire-bombed in Pakistan and compare that with number of mosques vandalized in India. I would venture to say for every one mosque that was vandalized in India there must have been at least 10 to 20 times have been firebombed in Pakistan.

  • globalone

    Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.

  • thebump

    Maybe here’s the clue you’re seeking: You’re not a tolerant and broad-minded person.In fact, based solely on the above evidence, I’d have to say you’re just another dimwitted semi-literate gasbag.P.S. Being “a person of faith who is not religious” is indistinguishable from masturbation. Or, it’s like saying you love music so much that you spend all your time alone in a cold dark silent soundproof closet. It’s about as stupid a statement as one can imagine.

  • StevenTAbell

    Tolerate? I suggest that you do, in the interests of continuing a discussion with people who disagree with you. Unless, of course, they’re trying to kill you. Short of that, nobody learns much if nobody is talking, or if everybody is shouting. The person who learns might even be you.I’ll tell you that I agree with a lot of Gingrich’s politics, if not with the specifics of his justifications. The trouble I have with Gingrich is his insistence on making a package of the two. In his eyes, apparently, you can’t have the one without the other. If he, or anyone else, cares to say that human beings simply come equipped with certain rights that cannot be challenged lightly, I’ll happily agree. If he, or anyone else, cares to say that those rights came specifically from his favorite god-of-Abraham, I’ll tell him that he’s out of line if he even daydreams about making such thinking a matter of public policy. But it’s better if such a disagreement happens in an environment where people are still talking and, hopefully, listening, too. You may not change Newt’s mind, but you may gain allies among the bystanders. Give up toleration, and there won’t be any bystanders that matter.And while we’re on the topic, you might be careful about making such packages of your own. They’re easy to spot. Listen to yourself or some other pitchman: if you hear some great undeniable truth spoken slowly and carefully and then conjoined with some other complicated claim, but spoken with lightning speed as if the two were necessarily concomitant, you’ve just found the place where you have started to dishonor those who are listening to you.Steven T Abell

  • Yankeesfan1

    “An ongoing, civil, respectful conversation about faith” — and you’ve demonstrated that where? Certainly not in this column. Your definition and practice of “broadminded” would be better labeled as “emptyheaded.”

  • Al-Majnoon

    The issue is not one of an intolerant Newt. With due respect, He has done good things for America, and some not so good.The real issue to explore is – Did Jesus Christ, (whose beliefs, teaching and preaching form the basis of Christianity), have any knowledge of word “God”?Before we go further it is important to note that the word God has Indo-Germanic origin from the word “Hu”.It’s queer to know that reasonable, sensible and for most part highly intellectual being such as Newt, miss a fundamental point that, Jesus Christ, the source of Christianity, had no knowledge of the word “God”. It is also amusing to note that Newt and extreme right wing leaders (including our Glenn Beck) are perpetuating their theology on a word that Jesus Christ had not even heard about during his entire lifetime.American must not concern themselves with notions such as “Tolerating the intolerant”, because those are lovers words.Americans must educate and propagate beliefs that help us unite and live in harmony. Life begins and sustains itself with harmony. Preserving and strengthening life is the true purpose of being.To conclude, it may not be correct to label Newt, Glenn Beck and extreme right wing leaders as intolerant. Newt, Glenn Beck and extreme right wing leaders are ignorant (and ignorant about beliefs of Jesus Christ) is more like it.

  • MPatalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkI have to forgive Martha Woodruff for getting riled up about Newt Gingrich using this “God” of the Bible the way he is doing now.She obviously needs to be reminded that Newt Gingrich is a politician, a “has been” politician, yes, but nevertheless still a politician who is driven or obsessed by an uncontrollable ambition, which is to make a comeback and try to reach this time for the very pinnacle of political power in America, which is the Presidency.You can’t blame him for harboring such a lofty ambition. And you can’t blame him either for using this “God” of the Bible to help him get what he wants. After all, cynically perhaps, Newt believes that there are millions of Americans, particularly in the South where he comes from, who are “God-fearing” and will rally around a politician who appeals to the same “God” for help.Mariano Patalinjug

  • andrew23boyle

    Tolerate? Yes, this is America and we have to tolerate EVERYONE provided they break no laws and express themselves peacefully.Toleration is not the same thing, however, as acceptance or respect. We need NOT accept or even respect those opinion with which we disagree.We need to tolerate speech we don’t like. We must EVEN defend the rights of those who spew it to do so because it is in defending the rights and liberties of others that we nest secure our own. This does not mean, however, that we have to like it or that we can’t or shouldn’t speak up ourselves against the intolerant and bigoted, the superstitious and benighted. A religion is a just a philosophy and is every bit as liable to criticism as ANY other philosophy. There is nothing “bigoted” about criticizing a religion provided that such criticism is predicated upon facts and reason. It is no more “bigoted” to criticize Islam or Christianity than it is to criticize Stoicism or liberalism and we really need to do away with this canard that a philosophy or ethos is somehow put above criticism simply because one attaches to it the idea of a ‘god’ or ‘gods’ and calls it “faith”. There is much to criticize in EVERY religion and religion NEEDS more than ever to be criticized in an age when the “faithful” seem intent on securing the power of the state or even engaging in terrorism to bend others to their will. We must take care not to conflate rational criticism of a religion as an ethos or a philosophy with simple bigotry and religious chauvinism.

  • solsticebelle

    I don’t tolerate people who try to shove their hypocritical self-serving “religion” down my throat.That includes Newt, who cheated on and divorced his first wife when she was being treated for cancer, and cheated on the second wife. Yet he peddles “family values.”Why does ANYBODY tolerate this hypocrite?Furthermore, Jesus said to worship your heavenly father in PRIVATE, yet so few “religious” people bother to pay any attention to what their precious Jesus is actually quoted as saying in the Bible.Tolerate this? You’ve got to be kidding.Take your self-righteous hypocrisy and shove it!

  • WESHS49

    You shouldn’t tolerate hipocrites especially those in the political arena.

  • GabrielRockman

    “How dare he claim to know that America operates under an “unprecedented set of rights granted by God”? “Maybe because he read the declaration of independence? And because he knows history well enough to know that the US’s founding philosophy of God granting people rights and then people giving up rights to create the government was unprecedented.”But I just cannot bring myself to think that means I’m not allowed to shout liar, liar pants on fire! when Newt (or any other politician) starts spewing nonsense about God.”You are allowed to, its just childish and immature … and intolerant.But the Washington Post loves the intolerant. Their writers specialize in intolerance. Their message boards are filled with unchecked hate speech which is in flagrant violation of their posting rules.Maturely engaging someone in debate and exposing their hypocrisy is tolerant. Childishly insulting someone and refusing to engage in intelligent debate is intolerant.You walked a thin line in your opinion piece here. You were dangerously close to being overly emotional and thus deviating from reason and rationality. But you never went over that line, and you were aware of the hypocrisy of what you were being tempted to do, and you valiantly resisted that urge. And I applaud you for that, and I wish that more of the Washington Post writers would follow your example.

  • haveaheart

    “P.S. Being ‘a person of faith who is not religious’ is indistinguishable from masturbation. Or, it’s like saying you love music so much that you spend all your time alone in a cold dark silent soundproof closet. It’s about as stupid a statement as one can imagine.Oh, BUMPtious One,If you want to know anything about the real Martha Woodroof — or the very real people who live lives of quiet faith quite apart from any religious affiliation — you’d go over to her website (faithunboxed.org) and read the months’ worth of posts from like-minded people of faith who are carrying on civil and respectful conversations about their beliefs.You have no idea how many of us there are out here…and how seriously we take our spiritual lives.

  • backspace1

    I don’t know

  • rexreddy

    Martha WoodroofThe reason the founding fathers said that certain rights come from God, is so that no one but God can take those rights away. So Martha: The founding fathers knew even back then that “would be” Kings and little sniveling Commies like you would try to enslave the masses into serfdom if they could.When Newt or any of us talk about rights bestowed by “God”; We just want you to know that life liberty and the pursuit of happiness is something you can’t mess with. (unless you are God) Just take it in it’s proper context and quit your whining.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    RCofieldI am sorry that all you have to contribute is snarky sarcasm directed at me. Jesus does not seem to be doing you much good.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    globalone”Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”You are very wrong. You obviously do not get what tolerance is.Intolerance, which I suppose you think is good, is just another wasy of saying “bigotry.”

  • amelia45

    Actually, I think you should be as tolerant as you can for as long as you can. And then, let it fly.After you do, go back to being tolerant, because it does matter that tolerant behavior and attitude are modeled by someone. And we sure don’t see it in politicians anymore. Good job on the rant. I appreciate it.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Does Newt think that a lifestyle of overeating and glutony is an abomination?Just wondering.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    ThebumpYes … serious and humorless … … stuck-up, intolerant snob …

  • Counterww

    Global one- you have it right. Everyone wants so called tolerance to the degree that we have to compromise truth. If you have convictions then some things become important to reject, and not be tolerant of. Things like what God calls sin. DILD has no conception of God’s plan so I would not expect him to understand the precepts of what are stated in God’s word. If we become tolerant of things God discourages, we don’t have convictions.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CounterwwYou, also, are clueless about what tolerance means. It does not mean there is moral relativism; it does not mean that you must give up your own beliefs; it does not mean that you others are as right as you are.It means that others have rights to live and be in the world the same as you, and that nothing that you think or believe trumps the rights of other people to think and believe as they will.I believe that you and Globalone have a childish kindergarten concept of God. Worst of all, is that both of you presume to speak, repeatedly in God’s voice, to tell others what God thinks, wants, and believes. And you seek a political imposition of your primitive beliefs on everyone, even on people whose beliefs are better and superior to your own.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Martha Woodroof,I clicked on your link to Prof. Newt only to find that he begins his exceptionalist spiel with a quote from Camus. I must ask if this is altogether appropriate. What, I wonder would Camus, the unflinching atheist, the great existentialist say of his finding his words in such company?You write:”Help me out here. Please. What’s a tolerant and broad-minded person to do about Newt? Or more generally, what’s a tolerant and broadminded person to do about anyone who hustles for political power and personal gain in God’s name?”As a Lefty (dyed in the wool and cotton), I’d suggest courage. Said courage would begin with our President. I would pen an article on the Faith Fests he ran during his campaign. I would question his Operation Dial and Pray for those who couldn’t make it to the Fests.I would roundly criticize his Faithy Council, and praise him for ending it. I would support is decision not to join a church and keep religion in the family.I would praise Patrick Kennedy for scolding the prelates, demanding they get off his back.I would take on the STupaks, the Ben Nelsons, et al, of this world.I would publicly denounce all well-known Religionistos and their lobbyists, whose names we know.That’s what I’d do. Newt is a newt. Who cares, really.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Couterww and GlobaloneNewt Gingritch is a fat, middle aged man, who is an adulterer and a fornicator, yet he pushes the right buttons and you bark after him like Pavlov’s dogs.What religion. What piety. How convincing your arguments are.

  • amelia45

    Danielinthelionsden,Well done all around. The ATTACK! ATTACK! mentality of a few who post here doesn’t really invite discussion, it invites a counter-attack, sarcasm, put-downs, name-calling, and, worst of all, pontificating. But toleration is called for. It is actually valuable because I learn how not to be what they reveal themselves to be.

  • garoth

    Thank you, Martha, and Danielinthelionsden. I had a woman in my last church who got me to go with her to a supposedly Christian rally, where the speaker told out-and-out lies about people who were on the other side of the issue. I finally got up and walked out. Afterward, she accuused me of being “intolerant of the intolerant,” and of not believing what I said I believed, since I preached “tolerance.” After my mind stopped whirling and my head spinning around, I (as a Christian) went back to the example of Jesus, who, likewise, was not “intolerant of the intolerant” – in his case, the Pharisees.It seems to me that tolerance does not mean saying, “you can say any kind of idiotic nonsense you want, tell any lie you want, and I will respect you and treat what you say as the truth.” Being tolerant means listening to what the other says, and allowing them their say; it means not demonizing them as well. But it does allow you to point out the fallacy of their beliefs, their inconsistencies and, in the case of Newt, his hypocracy and lies. Tolerance does not mean the relativization of truth, but the willingness to consider other viewpoints. When the other viewpoint “has no clothes,” it is certainly o.k. to point out that fact.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Garoth writes:After my mind stopped whirling and my head spinning around, I (as a Christian) went back to the example of Jesus, who, likewise, was not “intolerant of the intolerant” – in his case, the Pharisees.”The “Pharisees” of blessed memory wrote the Talmud. They had no knowledge whatsoever of Jesus (no offense) as we gather from the simple fact that they named several other Sons of God, prophets of doom, et al, who were milling about during that horrific Roman infested period.It had been determined that these unfortunate souls were deeply troubled by the debased world in which they lived and that since they were attracting only a few weak-minded followers they must be left unmolested. The Age of Prophecy, it was declared, had come to an end.See Talmud, etc.As for the stick figure “Pharisees” of the “NT,” I would remind you of the numerous textual studies that have demonstrated beyond doubt, that they form part of a Greek, not Judaic literary tradition.

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Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

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Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

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“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

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Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

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From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

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Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

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God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

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The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.