Everyone Worships Something: 7 Steps Down the Aisle of Toleration’s Church

 

“Tolerance” is a doctrine. In theology or education or everyday life, “doctrine” is ever present. Everyone has doctrine since everyone has beliefs. We subscribe to a teaching, dogma, or creed to explain what we believe. Our commitment to that set of teachings limits our acceptance of contrary or adversarial claims. It does not matter if you are a feminist, committed to LGBTQ+, a Baptist preacher, or a conservative talk show host; you have doctrine. Everyone everywhere has doctrine. But in our current cultural moment, identity, ethnic, sexual, and gender politics demand our belief in the doctrine of tolerance.

I will use the metaphors of religious ideas and icons to communicate the cultural doctrine of “tolerance.” First, toleration demands “understanding,” then “acceptance,” then “allegiance,” then “obeisance,” then “conformity,” and ultimately “evangelism.” The ordered steps down the cathedral aisle do not matter as much as the baptismal outcome. Hollywood’s hymnal sings both obvious and subtle references to accepted and rejected points of view. Celebrities must bow before the altar of imposed speech codes. News outlets preach from their pulpits against the latest outrage. The plight of those suffering worldwide is reported only if their deaths reinforce the common book of party prayer. Catechismal teaching reinforces the moment-by-moment commitment to membership in the church of toleration. Excommunication is swift for any who would sin against accepted authority. Reputational ruin comes to anyone daring to cross the received cultural commandments. Toleration’s heaven accepts the culturally righteous who are the tolerant saints wearing white robes of social purity. Toleration’s hell awaits anyone who has rejected salvation offered by the cultural gods of the day.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am tolerant, kind, generous, respectful, and gracious to people, no matter who they are or what they believe. But I will always speak out against ideas — the doctrine of tolerance included — that stand against the doctrines of God’s word.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 12 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    This new church of evil also is impossible to stay in if the mob turns on you. Being OK today does not mean you will be OK with them tomorrow. 

    • #1
  2. Mark Eckel Coolidge
    Mark Eckel
    @MarkEckel

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This new church of evil also is impossible to stay in if the mob turns on you. Being OK today does not mean you will be OK with them tomorrow.

    Exactly. Forgiveness is impossible in “the church” because there is no sacrifice that can eradicate sin. Something I produced in video this past summer: https://youtu.be/S_GbJeFZQr0

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Mark Eckel (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    This new church of evil also is impossible to stay in if the mob turns on you. Being OK today does not mean you will be OK with them tomorrow.

    Exactly. Forgiveness is impossible in “the church” because there is no sacrifice that can eradicate sin. Something I produced in video this past summer: https://youtu.be/S_GbJeFZQr0

    It is all about will to power. 

    • #3
  4. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Mark Eckel: Let me be perfectly clear. I am tolerant, kind, generous, respectful and gracious to people, no matter who they are or what they believe.

    Even Luciferians?

    • #4
  5. Mark Eckel Coolidge
    Mark Eckel
    @MarkEckel

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Mark Eckel: Let me be perfectly clear. I am tolerant, kind, generous, respectful and gracious to people, no matter who they are or what they believe.

    Even Luciferians?

    Sure. Even them. 2 Timothy 2:24-26

    • #5
  6. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    I think you might be able to add one more step as those who preach tolerance usually end up embodying intolerance.  

    • #6
  7. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    toleration demands “understanding,” then “acceptance,” then “allegiance,” then “obeisance,” then “conformity,” and ultimately “evangelism.”

    And then you become David French. 

    • #7
  8. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Lawst N. Thawt (View Comment):

    I think you might be able to add one more step as those who preach tolerance usually end up embodying intolerance.

    Yep. They are tolerant as long as you believe in the same thing they are promulgating.

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Excommunication is not just a punishment, it is also carried out to give the sinner a chance to save their soul, tough love in other words. A road back is being offered to an individual.

    There is a danger to those that believe a sinner is beyond redemption. Believing a sinner is beyond redemption implies that there are some sins that are greater than the Holy Spirit, which is really a form of blasphemy.

    • #9
  10. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    The best quote on tolerance that I have ever heard comes from Archbishop Charles Chaput:

    Tolerance is a working principle that enables us to live in peace with other people and their ideas. Most of the time, it’s a very good thing. But it is not an end in itself, and tolerating or excusing grave evil in a society is itself a grave evil. The roots of this word are revealing. Tolerance comes from the Latin tolerare, “to bear or sustain,” and tollere, which means, “to lift up.” It implies bearing other persons and their beliefs the way we carry a burden or endure a headache. It’s actually a negative idea. And it is not a Christian virtue.

    Catholics have the duty not to “tolerate” other people but to love them, which is a much more demanding task. Justice, charity, mercy, courage, wisdom – these are Christian virtues; but not tolerance. Real Christian virtues flow from an understanding of truth, unchanging and rooted in God, that exists and obligates us whether we like it or not. The pragmatic social truce we call “tolerance” has no such grounding.

    • #10
  11. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Maybe the key question is this:  Can we tolerate the intolerant?

    • #11
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Maybe the key question is this: Can we tolerate the intolerant?

    I don’t think so.  I think that it is a big mistake to head down this path.  This turns out to be a mechanism for suppression of those who disagree with you, by the simple expedient of classifying them as “intolerant.”

    This was Herbert Marcuse’s argument in Repressive Tolerance, an important — I would say infamous — essay from 1965.  For those unfamiliar with him, Marcuse was a neo-Marxist and probably the most influential member of the Frankfurt School.

    James Lindsay has a fine series of four videos discussing and criticizing Repressive Tolerance.  The first is here, if anyone is interested.

    • #12