From time to time in previous issues we have discussed
two important human behavior traits -- Civility and Humility.
This week we focus on another one, considerably broader
in its scope and effects: Tolerance. Just as "the whole is
equal to the sum of its parts," so tolerance becomes a
national behavior trait when the nation's individuals join
inmaking it a rule of their life.
In today's vocabulary, "Tolerance" joins with "Political
Correctness" and "Accommodation" as words expressing
essentially the same thing -- a denial of the basic
principles upon which this nation was founded, a denial
based on the faulty and illogical assumption that the actions
which represent these terms are evidence of "progress."
Consider an example of "Tolerance" at work. There are
perhaps as many as 2 million Muslims in the United States.
They thus represent perhaps 0.5% (that's one half of one
percent) of our population of 300 million.
They would be equivalent to one of our smaller religious
cults. Yet in a spirit of "Tolerance" in some cities the call
for them to worship "Allah" is repeatedly broadcast over
powerful PA systems to the discomfort and annoyance of
the overwhelming majority of the population. Valuable
court time is expended to hear arguments why a Muslim
woman should be allowed to have her face on her driver's
license picture totally obscured by the veil their religion
requires. In certain public facilities, American tax payer
dollars are being spent to provide foot washing equipment
for them to prepare for their daily worship of "Allah." And
our public schools must recognize the frequent holy days
which their children attend.
But there is decreasing tolerance for expression of the
Christian faith in a nation which was founded upon Judeo-
Christian principles. The Bible which was once officially
approved and recommended for use in schools by the
U.S. Congress, is banned, as is prayer or any mention
of God. Traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter
must be referred to by secular names. Expressed most
simply: there is at the present time more tolerance for
Islam, the religion of Muslims, than there is for the
Christianity, the professed faith of more than 75% of
American adults, in the United States today.
In a spirit of tolerance we are urged to accept Islam as
a religion of peace, and understand that the "9/11" attacks
on America, and the beheading of Muslim captives are
acts of extremists. And if we go so far in our expression
of tolerance as to agree that not all Muslims are terrorists,
we are also faced with the fact that to date all terrorists
have been Muslims. We are accused of not understanding
Muslims. But should we be required to do so?
Tolerance and accommodation: a spirit of Tolerance was not very
evident in Turkey last week when three Christians were murdered
by five Muslims who attacked them in the offices of a Christian
publishing house. As a result of the murders, a crowd estimated at
a million thronged the streets protesting the election of a Muslim as
the country's president.The nation's highest court took action to
invalidate the election.
Nor was a feeling of tolerance evident here in America when federal
law enforcement officials captured six Muslim Jihad terrorists plotting
an attack to kill American military at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Muslims are not the only reason behind "tolerance" in
our society today. There is a very evident increasing effort
to have Americans adopt an attitude of tolerance and
acceptance with respect to homosexuality. And this effort
is making its way into our public school system. In Cali -
fornia, for example, a bill currently before the State
Legislature requires textbooks to be rewritten so that
they do not reflect adversely on homosexuality.
The moving force behind the legislation is an organ -
ization called"Equality California" which seems to have
a one-sided definition of tolerance -- that Christians,
beginning with children in the public schools, must
accept and embrace homosexuality as an accepted
life style. This new proposal comes on top of the
U.S.Supreme Court's ruling barring Bible reading for
religious and moral instruction in 1963.
Against this emphasis, some states have under consideration
laws which will permit Bible classes as part of the schools'
curricula. And in some school districts such programs are
already under way. This is a clear example of "tolerance"
becoming a two-way street. For example, consider the
public school system in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where
under the sponsorship of the organization, Bible in the
Schools, there are five different courses taught by 16
certified teachers in the system's middle schools and
high schools. It is reported that this year nearly 5,000
students have elected to take one or more of these for-
credit courses, through which they study the Biblical
accounts of early civilization, the teachings of Jesus
Christ, and the historical development of the early
Christian church. [The Chattanooga program may
be considered a model for this important application
of tolerance -- FYI, check on it atwww.BibleintheSchools.com
Tolerance has many shades of meaning.
Included in its definitions are these: "sympathy or
indulgence for beliefs or practices differing or
conflicting with one's own' ... "being tolerant of
other's beliefs, views, practices" ..."the practice
of recognizing or respecting the beliefs or practices
of others." It is clearly a "two way street" and equally
applicable to both sides of the belief or practice involved.
In current practice, however, it all-too-often becomes
a one-sided position, where the traditional, accepted
beliefs or practices are expected to conform to the so-
called "progressive" views of the Liberals.
This is no minor matter. It is extremely serious, for this
warped view of what tolerance means is directly opposite
to the principle established by our nation's founding fathers
in the Declaration of Independence that our "unalienable
rights" are given by God -- "endowed by their Creator"
are the Declaration's words. We seem to be, as a nation,
at the point of yielding to political pressure to adopt an
attitude of tolerance and accommodation to theories and
beliefs which are contrary to everything that America has
ever stood for. Ignoring and turning away from Christian
principles and the tacit encouragement of Islam . . . ignoring
of God's moral standards and the encouragement of homo -
sexuality and the destruction of the family are but two of the
ways this one-sided tolerance is attacking the foundations on
which our nation was established. The often repeated call for
a national revival or spiritual awakening seems more appro -
priate as each day goes by.
Thought for today, and every day:"History fails to record
a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have
not passed into political and economic decline. There has been
either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or
a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national
disaster." - General Douglas MacArthur
Afterthoughts . . .
The homegoing of Jerry Falwell: there will be opportunity
in the next issue to consider in some depth the importance
and significance of Dr. Falwell in the Evangelical cause in
America. Stated most briefly, the cause of Christ here in
America has lost a valiant warrior, an untiring servant of
his Lord, in the sudden call for him to join fellow Christians
in the presence of his Master.
New recognition of a sort for Al Gore's film: to receive
a degreefrom Roger Williams University in Rhode Island
(yes - it's named in honor of the founder of the Baptist
church in America) the course"Core 101: Science, Technology
and Society" requires students to watch Gore's Academy
Award winning film in class. The controversy has produced
this statement: "We should stop calling these schools
bastions of knowledge,' since they're really bastions
of leftist thought."
A 230 year old statement on family morality:"The foundation
of national morality must be laid in private families ...
How is it possible that children can have any just sense
of the sacred obligations of morality or religion if, from
their earliest infancy,they learn their mothers live in
habitual infidelity to their fathers,and their fathers in
as constant infidelity to their mothers?" -- from John
Adam's diary, June 2, 1778.
An unusual basis for an argument for polygamy: a proponent
of polygamy, Mark Henkel, founder of an organization promoting
non-Mormon "Christian polygamy," argues that proponents of gun
control and proponents of traditional marriage use the same reason
that society is imperiled without such control. Both sides, he claims,
appear to favor big government control over the will of the people.
Events like this remind us that same-sex marriage is not the only
ongoing attack against traditional Christian marriage.
The immigration issue takes on a religious aspect. While
Congressand the White House continue to talk about fixing
the nation's broken immigration system, there was activity
this past week on other fronts.
A nation-wide sanctuary operation was put into action with
churchesin several cities offering certain elements of
"sanctuary" to illegal("undocumented") immigrants ...
a coalition of religious groups under the title "Christians
for Comprehensive Immigration Reform" began a series
of newspaper ads in several states seeking a compassionate
approach to the immigration problem ... and in the Dallas
suburb of Farmers Branch, the city council faced problems
with their newly enacted law prohibiting property rental
to illegal immigrants. While this would seem to be an ideal
election year issue, it is doubtful that the country can wait
that long for a solution.
Once again the TV talking heads are wearing out a topic; this
time it is concerning another member of the show biz glitterati,
Paris Hilton, who finds it terribly unfair that she must endure
some punishment for repeated violations of laws. Without entering
into any debate, or even a discussion, of the matter, this quote
from James Wilson on "The Study of the Law in the United States"
seems remarkably appropriate, even though it was written in 1790:
"To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal
jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary
forthe accomplishment of this noble end and aim."