Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The good Father Dwight Longnecker has posted the following:

To paraphrase G.K.Chesterton, "Tolerance is a nice word for indifference and indifference is an elegant word for ignorance." The reason for having an open mind (like the reason to have an open mouth) is eventually to close it--because it has been filled with something good.

Tolerance, on its own, is a weak virtue that eventually turns on itself with a suicidal bent. This is because the one thing tolerance cannot tolerate is intolerance, and the more tolerant a person becomes the more every little bit of intolerance becomes intolerable. So the person who puts tolerance as the highest and only virtue, finally is incapable of tolerating anyone or anything or any law that limits or defines anything because to limit or define any behavior or any sort of person is perceived as a form of intolerance.

Relativism becomes the only rule. The only dogma is that there can be no dogma. The only discipline is that there must be no discipline. The only ultimate authority is that there must be no authority. The one thing that has meaning is that no thing has meaning. As a result the only virtue left if tolerance.

As a result the 'tolerant' person will endorse the most draconian restrictions on those he perceives as being intolerant, and because the intolerant will be with us always, those laws against intolerance have to become increasingly restrictive, and the tolerant society turns into the most intolerant of societies…

I don’t know how often I have had conversations shut down in the name of tolerance, usually with the claim that any description of what I believe and the rationale behind why I believe it is equivalent to “forcing my opinions” on someone. In a tolerant society, about the only thing left to talk about is the weather. Everyone may be able to hold his own opinion, but only if he holds it within himself and refrains from making it public. The end result is a herd of smiling, shiny, shallow people whose primary focus is inward.