Tolerance Redefined

For most of my life I have believed that tolerance meant basically “Live and let live”  “You do your thing and I”ll do mine” or something along those lines.  The primary idea being that we are each allowed to make our choices within the boundaries of the law, without fear of punishment by those who disapprove of our choices, especially in the field of religious expression.

There has been some movement towards a redefining of tolerance in recent years.  There are some who say that it is intolerant to attempt to try to persuade people to change their views, their lifestyles or their religious beliefs.  In fact, some would say that we need to recognize, accept, and celebrate our different views.

Certainly we recognize that differences exist.  For those activities that are not illegal, we should allow them to be practiced without fear of reprisal.  However, we do not have to accept as proper, nor do we have to celebrate, things that are contrary to our personal religious convictions.     

We are, and should be, free to argue for,  and attempt to advance our particular religious concepts of right and wrong.  What we should not be allowed to do, is to use force to coerce others to accept our positions.  It is possible to have passionate, spirited, debate without lapsing into hatred or bloodshed.  Tolerance is not accepting all views as right, but rather allowing those who disagree with us, to live at peace among us. 


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