Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Tolerance Trick

Greg Koukl's January/February 2006 newsletter issue of "Solid Ground" is an eye-opening discussion of the term "tolerance." Greg starts out the discussion by stating what our divided culture is currently experiencing. The incorrect use of the meaning of the word tolerance has led to the misrepresentation of the character, goals and especially the motives of those who disapprove of homosexual behavior.

Christine

*******

Here is Greg's article:


Probably no concept has more currency in our politically-correct culture than the notion of tolerance. Unfortunately, one of America’s noblest virtues has been so distorted it’s become a vice.

Dear Friend,
There is one word that can stop a follower of Christ in his tracks as he seeks to “give an account for the hope” that is in him. That word is “tolerance.” Tolerant people are impartial, non-judgmental, and neutral. Each person is permitted to decide for himself. No “forcing” personal views.

This idea is especially popular with postmoderns, that breed of radical skeptics whose ideas command unwarranted respect in the university today. Their creed, “There is no truth,” is often followed by a demand for tolerance.

In spite of all the confident bluster, the appeal self-destructs because it actually asserts two truths, one rational and one moral: the “truth” that there is no truth – a clear conflict – and the truth that one ought to tolerate other’s viewpoints. Their confusion serves as a warning that the
postmodern notion of tolerance is seriously misguided.

This neutrality – one of the most entrenched assumptions of a society committed to relativism – is a myth. Worse, it’s a ruse, a swindle, and a hoax, a passive-aggressive tolerance trick.

THE TOLERANCE TRICK

By the relativists’ definition of tolerance, true tolerance is impossible.
Let me give you a real-life example.

A few years back I spoke to a class of seniors at a Christian high school in Des Moines. I wanted to alert them to this “tolerance trick,” but I also wanted to learn how much they had already been taken in by it. I began by writing two sentences on the board. The first expressed the current understanding of tolerance:

All views are equally valid; no view is better than another. All heads nodded in agreement. Nothing controversial here. Then I wrote the second sentence:

Jesus is the Messiah; Jews are wrong for rejecting Him.

Immediately hands flew up. “You can’t say that,” a coed challenged, clearly annoyed. “That’s disrespectful. How would you like it if someone said you were wrong?”

“Like you’re doing right now?” I pointed out. “It happens to me all the time and doesn’t bother me at all. Why should it?”

“But your view is intolerant,” she said, noting that the second statement violated the first. What she didn’t see was that the first statement also violated itself.


I pointed to the first statement and asked, “Is this a view, the idea that all views are equally valid?” They all agreed. Then I pointed to the second statement – the “intolerant” one – and asked the same question: “Is this a view?”

They studied the sentence for a moment. Slowly my point began to dawn on them.

If all views are equally valid, then the view that Jews are wrong for rejecting Jesus is just as true as the view that Jews are right for rejecting Jesus. But this is hopelessly contradictory: “All views are equally valid, including the view that all views are not equally valid,” or “All views are equally valid and not equally valid at the same time.”

They’d been taken in by the tolerance trick. If this is what tolerance amounts to, then no one can be tolerant because “tolerance” turns out to be contradictory gibberish.

ESCAPING THE TRAP

“Would you like to know how to get out of the trap?” I asked. They nodded. “Reject this distortion of tolerance and return to the classical view.” Then I wrote these two principles on the board:

Be egalitarian regarding persons.

Be elitist regarding ideas.

“Egalitarian” was a new word for them. Think “equal,” I said. Treat others as having equal standing in value or worth. This first principle, loosely equated with the word “respect,” is at the heart of the classical view of tolerance. Treat people with equal respect and deference.


They knew what an elitist was, though. An elitist was a snob, someone who thought he was better than others. “Right,” I said. “When you are elitist regarding ideas, you acknowledge that some ideas are better than others. And they are. Some are good; some are bad. Some are true; some are false. Some are brilliant, others are foolish, and many are dangerous.”

“Here’s the key,” I summed up. “True tolerance applies to how we treat people, not how we treat ideas. In other words, all people are equally valid, not all ideas.”

We respect people who hold different beliefs from ours by treating them with courtesy, allowing them a place in the public conversation. Though we may strongly disagree with their ideas, tolerance requires us to be civil towards them in spite of our differences.

TOPSY-TURVY

The postmodern practice of tolerance turns the classical formula on its head.

Be egalitarian regarding ideas (all ideas are equally valid).

Be elitist regarding persons (all people are not worthy of equal respect).

Since all ideas are equal, if you reject another’s ideas you are automatically accused of disrespecting the person (as the student did with me). On this new view no idea or behavior can be opposed, even if done graciously, without inviting the charge of incivility.

Ironically, this results in the very elitism regarding persons relativist are trying to avoid. The “intolerant” one can be publicly humiliated, labeled as bigoted, ignorant, indecent and – ironically – intolerant. Sometimes you can even be sued, punished by law, or forced to attend reeducation programs.

Tolerance has thus gone topsy-turvy: Tolerate most beliefs, but don’t tolerate (show respect for) those who take exception with those beliefs. Contrary opinions – especially politically incorrect ones – are labeled as “imposing your view on others” and quickly silenced.

THREE ELEMENTS OF TOLERANCE

This classical view, though largely absent from the public square, can still be found in dictionaries. According to Webster’s, the word “tolerate” means to allow or permit, to recognize and respect others’ beliefs and practices without sharing them, to bear or put up with someone or something not necessarily liked.

Tolerance, then, involves three elements:
(1) permitting or allowing
(2) a conduct or point of view one disagrees
with or doesn’t like
(3) while respecting the person in the process.

Notice that we cannot truly tolerate someone unless we disagree with her in some way. This is critical. We don’t tolerate people who share our views. They’re on our side. There’s nothing to “put up” with. True tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong, yet still choose to treat decently.

This essential element of classical tolerance – disagreement (elitism regarding ideas) – has been completely lost in the postmodern distortion of the concept. Nowadays if you think someone wrong on culturally protected matters (e.g., sexual conduct, religious views, abortion), you are called intolerant no matter how you treat her.

This presents a curious problem. One must first think another is wrong in order to exercise true tolerance, yet expressing that conviction brings the accusation of intolerance. It’s a “Catch-22.” According to this approach, true tolerance becomes impossible.

The myth of tolerance forces everyone into an inevitable conflict. Each person in any debate has a point of view he thinks correct. Each person thinks those who differ are therefore wrong. As such, no one ever satisfies the demands of postmodern tolerance. That is why the “neutrality” of tolerance is a myth.

THREE FACES OF TOLERANCE

Adding to the confusion is the fact that tolerance could apply to different things – persons, behaviors, or ideas – and the rules differ for each.

Tolerance of persons – what might be called “civility” or “respect” – is at the heart of the classical view of tolerance: the freedom to express one’s ideas without fear of reprisal.

We respect those who hold different beliefs than our own by treating them courteously and allowing their views a place in the public discourse. We may strongly disagree and vigorously contend against them, but we still show respect for the individual in spite of the differences.

Tolerance of behavior – the liberty to act – is an entirely different issue. In free societies, a person may believe as she likes – and usually has the liberty to express those beliefs – but she may not behave as she likes. Some behavior is a threat to the common good. Rather than being tolerated (allowed, though disagreed with), it is restricted by law.

Historically, our culture has emphasized tolerance (respect) of all persons, but never tolerance of all behavior. In Lincoln’s words, there is no right to do wrong.

Finally, there is tolerance of ideas. Tolerance of persons requires that each view gets a courteous hearing, not that all views have equal worth, merit, or truth. The view that no person’s ideas are any better or truer than another’s is absurd. Reason and intellectual integrity require we treat some ideas as better than others. Any other approach is dangerous because ideas have consequences. To argue that some views are false, immoral, or just plain silly does not violate any meaningful standard of tolerance.

As a simple rule of thumb, think of the word “acceptance” as a synonym for “tolerance.” Accept (respect) all people based on our shared humanity. Don’t accept – treat as legitimate – all behavior or all ideas.

Some conduct is unacceptable and some ideas unsound.

These three categories are frequently conflated by muddled thinkers. If one rejects another’s ideas or behavior, he is automatically accused of rejecting the person and being disrespectful. To say I’m intolerant of a person because I disagree with his ideas is confused. On this view of tolerance, no idea or behavior can be opposed, regardless of how graciously, without inviting censure and the charge of incivility. Instead of hearing, “I respect your view,” those who differ in politically
incorrect ways are told they are bigoted, narrow-minded, and intolerant.

STICKS AND STONES

This is nothing more than old fashioned name-calling. A case in point was an attack made in my community paper on Christians who were uncomfortable with the social pressure to approve of homosexuality. I wrote the following letter to the editor to show how the postmodern notion of tolerance had been twisted into a vice instead of a virtue.

Notice, my opening sounds like a standard defense for political correctness, then quickly shifts to use the tolerance trick against it:

Dear Editor:

I am consistently amazed to see how intolerant South Bay residents are to moral views other than their own. Last week’s letters about homosexuality were cases in point. One writer even suggested that your publication censor alternate opinions!

This narrow-mindedness and self-righteous attitude about sexual ethics is hypocritical. They challenge what they view as hate (it used to be called morality) with caustic and vitriolic attacks. They condemn censure by asking for censorship (there’s a difference). They accuse others of intolerance and bigotry, then berate those same people for taking a view contrary to their own.

Why is someone attacked so forcibly simply for affirming moral guidelines about sex that have held us in good stead for thousands of years?

Not only that, the objections are self-defeating. The writers imply that everyone should be allowed to do and believe what they want and that no one should be permitted to force their viewpoint on others. But that is their viewpoint, which they immediately attempt to force on your readers in an abusive way. Those with opposing beliefs were referred to in print as bigots, lacking courage, disrespectful, ignorant, abominable, fearful, indecent, on par with the KKK, and – can you believe it – intolerant.

Why don’t we abandon all of this nonsense about tolerance and open-mindedness? It’s misleading because each side has a point of view it thinks is correct. The real issue is about what kind of morality our society should encourage and whether that morality is based on facts and sound reasoning or empty rhetoric.

INTELLECTUAL COWARDICE

Most of what passes for tolerance today is nothing more than intellectual cowardice, a fear of intelligent engagement. Those who brandish the word “intolerant” are unwilling to be challenged by other views, to grapple with contrary opinions, or even to consider them. It is easier to hurl an insult – ”you intolerant bigot” – than to confront an idea and either refute it or be changed by it. In the postmodern era,
“tolerance” has become intolerance.

As ambassadors for Christ we choose the more courageous path, “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In a gracious and artful way we speak the truth, then trust God to transform minds.

Whenever you are charged with intolerance, always ask for a definition. When tolerance means neutrality, that all views are equally valid and true, then no one is ever tolerant because no one is ever neutral about his own views. Point out the contradiction built into the new definition. Point out that this kind tolerance is a myth.

The classical rule of tolerance is this: Tolerate persons in all circumstances by according them respect and courtesy even when their ideas are false or silly. Tolerate (i.e., allow) behavior that is consistent with the common good. Finally, tolerate (i.e., embrace and believe) ideas that are sound.

This is still a good guideline.

Your partner for the truth,

Gregory Koukl
President, Stand to Reason



Solid Ground © Gregory Koukl Stand to Reason 1438 East 33rd St. Signal Hill, CA 90755 1-800-2-REASON www.str.org standtoreason@str.org
solid ground solid ground from Stand to Reason
January/February 2006

®
QUICK SUMMARY:
• Just the threat of being
called intolerant is enough to
shame many Christians into
silence. But the neutrality of
postmodern tolerance, is a
myth. Worse, it’s a passive
aggressive trick.
• If tolerance means that all
views are equally valid, then
the Christian’s “narrow” view
is just as valid as any other.
Attacking Christians for
their views, then, would be
intolerant.
• Since each person thinks his
own beliefs correct and those
who differ wrong, no one is
neutral, so no one satisfies
the postmodern demands of
tolerance
• The classical view of tolerance
is synonymous with
“acceptance.” Accept
(respect) all people based on
our shared humanity. Don’t
accept (treat as legitimate) all
behavior or all ideas. Some
conduct is unacceptable and
some ideas are unsound.
• Most of what passes for
tolerance today is just intellectual
cowardice. It is easier
to call someone intolerant
than to confront an idea and
refute it or be changed by it.
In the postmodern era,
“tolerance” has become
intolerance.
GUARD THE
TREASURE

(Permission granted by author to post and/or redistribute as long as it is posted in it's entirety.)

16 comments:

Anna said...

Wow Christine!

This post was great! I'm keeping a copy for future reference.

Blessings,
Anna

mamalicious said...

A few comments:

"If tolerance means that all views are equally valid, then the Christian’s “narrow” view is just as valid as any other. Attacking Christians for their views, then, would be intolerant."

I agree entirely. I don't attack Christians for their view but, rather, try to engage in conversation. I am willing to come to the middle to understand in order to help us get along better. I haven't found many Christians who are willing to meet me in the middle - not compromise, but just try to understand.

• "Since each person thinks his
own beliefs correct and those
who differ wrong, no one is
neutral, so no one satisfies
the postmodern demands of
tolerance."

I don't necessarily believe that my own belief is the only belief. I respect many belief systems and hope that others respect my belief systems. I think it's just plain wrong for someone to say that we can't respect each others' beliefs while holding true to our own convictions.
• "The classical view of tolerance
is synonymous with
“acceptance.” Accept
(respect) all people based on
our shared humanity. Don’t
accept (treat as legitimate) all
behavior or all ideas. Some
conduct is unacceptable and
some ideas are unsound."

So who gets to decide what is unacceptable and unsound?

MoNoMo said...

Dear Christine,

This article was an excellent resource. I truly believe that the cult of "tolerance" is the true enemy of Christianity today. Jesus is not a "tolerant" God -- he loathes sin, chased the moneychanging Jews out of the Temple, and He damns to hell all who who deny that He is Lord. I believe it is the task of Christians to emulate Jesus and cleanse this nation of sin. I wonder if you have heard of the Chalcedon Foundation? They publish an excellent book entitled "The Institutes of Biblical Law," which shows that it is the Lord's intention that His law be recognized as the law of all Christian lands. The antinomian tendency is the greatest, most wicked heresy in God's eye. I really hope that we as Christians can get more Biblically-oriented laws passed in this country to confront the plague of homosexuality, infidelity, apostacy, and Romish papistry. I am really worried about our children. You see the lie of "tolerance" spreading from one apostate church to the next. First it was the Rome-loving Episcopalians, and now the entire "Emerging Church" cult has taken up this banner. I think such dark tidings are a sign of Christ's imminent return. Let us pray!

Christinewjc said...

Hi Anna,

Greg Koukl is a master at exposing the deception and lies that often are presented to the public as "truth."

In all matters Christian, he shows us how to counter the misinformation being espoused by those who oppose the Christian faith.

I have attended several seminars at Biola U. where he has taught many Christians how to recognize when moral relativism is being used to call Christians bigots, homophobic, haters etc.

Here is a link to Greg's Stand to Reason website. If you choose to become a member (no cost, but voluntary donations help keep his ministry going), then you get access to all the Solid Ground newsletters.

In Him,
Christine

Christinewjc said...

Hi Mamalicious,

I have to say that I am always glad when I see you posting here. No matter the fact that we are often diametrically opposed in our beliefs and sometimes have experienced ups and downs over the last several months, you stay true to your word that you attempt to engage in pleasant conversation.

Thomas and I have had similar conversation in the past, but it appears that our last falling out has sent him away from this board. I miss him!

I have to ask you, how does one "meet in the middle" without compromising when volatile issues are being discussed?

If by the term "understanding" you mean empathy, then that is something that Christians can do. If it means moral relativism, then that is considered compromise and it is not something Christians should do.

Mamalicious: "I don't necessarily believe that my own belief is the only belief. I respect many belief systems and hope that others respect my belief systems. I think it's just plain wrong for someone to say that we can't respect each others' beliefs while holding true to our own convictions."

This is so magnanimous of you to say and very admirable in today's world. And, as Americans, we are called to do this very thimg in order to get along in this country. As a Christian American, I am called to respect others beliefs.

However, in Christian evangelism, Jesus has called each of us and has commanded us to: Matthew 28:19 - "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

Not sharing the truth of the Gospel, who Jesus Christ is, what he did for mankind on the cross can mean that they miss heaven. Jesus didn't tolerate other religions or beliefs. Point blankly, he stated that if one doesn't believe in him as the Son of God, Lord and Savior, then those people who reject him will die in their sins.

John 8:24 - "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins."

Mamalicious: "So who gets to decide what is unacceptable and unsound?"

The answer to that is God himself. He has revealed himself through the Person of Jesus Christ and through His Word, the Bible. That is where we find out what is unacceptable and unsound and, ultimately, where we discover what is acceptable and sound. His Word is truth. God does not change in His Holy and Righteous Character. Therefore, it is the morality given to us by His Word that truly gauges how we are to live as Christians believers. In John 14:15 (NASB) Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

John 15:10 - If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

What are these verses telling us? That once we are born again and have the Holy Spirit indwelling our hearts, we show our love, abide in Christ's love, as He abided in the Father's love by being obedient.

Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Pro 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Pro 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Maureen,

Yes! The article really clears up the misuse of the term "tolerance" that we are experiencing in this day and age. It is just another tool being used to compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have heard of the Chalcedon Foundation, but am not familiar with all that they represent. I will do a search on the internet and find out more about it. Sounds interesting.

Maureen said: "You see the lie of "tolerance" spreading from one apostate church to the next."

This is, unfortunately, very true. That is why it is imperative for Christians to read and study what the Bible truly teaches so that they will not be deceived!

2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

mamalicious said...

Hi Christine. I, too, enjoy our conversation.

You said: "I have to ask you, how does one "meet in the middle" without compromising when volatile issues are being discussed?"

I think it's less about compromise and more about respect. For example, you may not agree that my family is valid (we are two moms with two kids) but I would ask that you always treat us (my children in particular) with the same kindness and respect as other families. I would ask that you recognize us for the family that we are, even if you don't agree with how we live our lives. You don't have to allow us to get married in your church...just respect that some people do it differently. We are as important citizens as the rest of our community. I always respect my neighbors, even when I don't agree with how they do things. I live in a community completely full of conservative Christians and I always honor and respect their belief system, even when I don't agree. I can have conversations - even volatile ones - and still respect their ideas and opinions. We are all different and that difference is what makes this such a colorful and wonderful world. Why can't we reach across the aisle and hold hands (so to speak) on occasion? Does this make any bit of sense?

You also said, "The answer to that is God himself." (regarding who gets to decide what's right and wrong). I knew that this would be your answer and I can respect that, but in a civilized society, don't we have to live by some legal standard? I think the law gets to decide what is right. We all believe differently so religion should not be the basis for creating civil law. You can follow the rules of your belief/church/religion/congregation, but at some point a different kind of judge should intervene - for the sake of fairness. Our land should not be ruled by one (or even many people's) version of God. There are too many variations for that to be fair and just.

Joe Brummer said...

Well this is a nice article with many flaws, my guest writer: Shep has addressed those flaws.

I would hope you are willing to hear both sides of the stroy and visit to take in the other side.....

www.joebrummer.com/WordPress

Craig said...

Hello Christine,
I enjoyed the article. It makes a lot of good points.
Now, as far as Postmodernism and the emerging church, I must admit that I am empathetic. North Americans are being exposed to a lot of new ideas and it's creating a dramatic shift in the way that we think and process information. What we are seing in some of the emergent churches is Christ doing the same work that he has always done of redeeming the fallen sinner like myself, but there is a new language being used and different cultural emphasis' because people process ideas and thoughts differently now in the west than what they did 50 years ago.
There are still people who believe that the old ways were better, but that has always been the case.

Consider the following explanation of Jesus from an emergent author and tell me if you can see that God is working through this type of ministry:

Ginkworld - Who is Jesus?

Boo said...

Unfortunately this is a classic straw-man argument. Create some ridiculously post-modernist definition of "tolerance," ascribe it to a monolithic bloc of "the elites" or the left or whoever, then assume anyone whom you view as not being on your side who uses the word must necessarily be going by the definition you made up for them.

As Joe Brummer's blog points out, this is really very simple. You have the right to think whatever you want to think, as do I. We also have the right to attempt to persuade each other that the other is wrong. That does not mean gay people have to sit by and say "La-de-da" when anti-gay people try to institutionalize second-class citizenship for us. That also does not mean that pointing out the lies of the "ex-gay" and anti-gay movements is "intolerance."

The Chalcedon Foundation is one of the cornerstones of the Christian Reconstruction movement. At one point I had written a comment to you on JJ's blog with the assumption that you couldn't be such a fanatic as to agree with them. Now, I'm not so sure.

Christinewjc said...

Boo,

My time is limited right now, so I will respond later.

However, I want to point out that I only said that I have heard of the Chalcedon Foundation, meaning, I have heard that name most likely in passing. I do not know what they represent and haven't had the chance to do the research yet.

Your accusation against me as being in agreement with them (when I haven't even done any research yet) is like me accusing you of agreeing with an organization that you know nothing about.

Maureen and I do not agree on everything. Regarding Biblical Christian Faith, it appears that she and I have substantial denominational differences. So, I would appreciate it if you would not equate all of her statements and/or endorsements, towards me.

To prevent any further misunderstanding in this area, perhaps you could read this page at my website.

Also, I don't recall your post about this at JJ's blog. Perhaps I missed it. Provide a link to refresh my memory, if you so choose to do so.

Boo said...

I probably phrased it wrong, but since I do know something about them, it seems from many of your posts like you might be in substantive agreement with them. Of course, the only person who can answer that is you once you've learned more about them. If you know of an organization that espouses views quite similar to those I have espoused, you could point out that I seem to be in agreement with them because of holding very similar views even if I haven't heard of them.

The tone of my post came across ruder than I intended because your comments on Joe Brummer's blog had kind of p'd me off. So, sorry about that.

I know you're not in complete agreements with Maureen. Judging you like that would be the same as what you do in your posts when you create monolithic "leftists" or "gay activists" and judge everyone by them. (Which, unfortunately, is something you do frequently)

Back to the orinigal point, the substance of the article is complete bunk. Basically he's asking why gay people can't tolerate people who make political attacks against us, and trying to put the desire for equal rights and the desire to deny equal rights on the same moral footing. They aren't even close.

Christinewjc said...

Mamalicious,

I think that Greg's article covers your concerns. Perhaps it isn't in the way you would like it to be, but when people disagree on an issue it means that they reject at least a portion (or the entirety) of said issue.

Greg stated:

"Be egalitarian regarding persons.

Be elitist regarding ideas.

“Egalitarian” was a new word for them. Think “equal,” I said. Treat others as having equal standing in value or worth. This first principle, loosely equated with the word “respect,” is at the heart of the classical view of tolerance. Treat people with equal respect and deference.


They knew what an elitist was, though. An elitist was a snob, someone who thought he was better than others. “Right,” I said. “When you are elitist regarding ideas, you acknowledge that some ideas are better than others. And they are. Some are good; some are bad. Some are true; some are false. Some are brilliant, others are foolish, and many are dangerous.”

******

If I ever had the opportunity to meet you, your partner and your children, you can be rest assured that I would treat all of you with respect and kindness. The Lord calls us to be this way to all people and I take that very seriously. Admittedly, sometimes within this anonymous medium called "blogging," I have often failed to keep civility, respect and kindness at the forefront. I can (unfortunately), let my emotions and politics get in the way of my evangelistic efforts. But even these mistakes have helped me to grow more attuned when witnessing to non-believers.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I see the gay activist movement as elitist and in a severely harmful way. I see it as having a negative impact upon our children in the schools because it is being forced upon them there. Thus, I see it as bad for our country; a vehicle for spreading false information (as well as lack of information) about the dangers (including physical, emotional, psychological and especially spiritual) of homosexual behavior; I see it as foolish because affirming such behavior does not avail the person to see his/her need to repent; and I see it as dangerous for the soul of the person caught up in this deception.

Now, I'm sure that you can't agree with anything I just wrote in the above paragraph. If I were to take a guess, you would most likely consider my views as incorrect. You would probably consider my views as invalid. You would probably consider my views as "old fashioned." And the list could go on and on.

However, knowing how well I would treat you and your family as persons vs. the beliefs I hold (that are obviously contrary to yours), do you see me as intolerant?

How you would answer that last question is indicative of what Greg was trying to articulate in his article.

As far as the marriage laws are concerned, I have stated my position quite clearly in the past. The fact of the matter is, there are not only faith matters and opinions involved, but also civil, societal issues and concerns that would negate the idea of gay marriage. For example. Such an experiment on society has already transpired in the Scandinavian countries and marriage, in general, is now in deep trouble over there. I can look up some links if you are interested in reading them.

Mamalicious: "Our land should not be ruled by one (or even many people's) version of God. There are too many variations for that to be fair and just."

Our country was founded upon Christian principles and faith. Our laws were formed according to the Ten Commandments and Biblical laws found in the Bible. Our law inforcement, justice system, congress, and executive branches of government were founded through Biblical ethics, virtue and tenets. Unfortunately, we have drifted so very far from the original standards and precepts of the Founders of our country (and, what's worse, our children are not learning of the true history of this founding), that it has almost become unrecognizable to those who remember the details of our founding. But I'm entering into a whole other topic of discussion which might be better suited for another thread. It would make a great future blog post.

The Bible tells us that God is the same, yesterday, today and in the future. God has not changed HIS LAWS or character; it is human beings who think they know better than the Word of God who attempt, and often succeed, at changing the laws of our country. This is an example of "doing what's right in their own eyes" rather than focusing on what God states is right or wrong in His Word.

Greg stated, "“When you are elitist regarding ideas, you acknowledge that some ideas are better than others. And they are. (bold mine.)

The ideas that are better than others are rooted in God's Word, the Bible. As our Creator, Savior and Lord, it is His Word that should always be the standard by which we measure any and all ideas. Without it, there would only be chaos.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Craig,

Welcome to my blog! I have been meaning to get over to your site and link, but sometimes my time is limited at the computer. Hopefully, I'll get to read it soon!

So, are you for the emergent movement or against it? I ran across an article that I have been meaning to read for some time now. I think that the magazine "Christianity Today" embraces the concept, but a traditional Christian college like Biola U. (my son attends there) rejects it. Admittedly, I need to read more about it to make an informed evaluation.

Christinewjc said...

Boo,

I visited a Chalcedon website, and ran across a detailed article called "The Christian Confronted by Homosexuality". Should I make a wild guess and assume that their stance on this one particular issue causes you to deem them "radical" and me a "fanatic"?

I don't know how old you are, but 30 years ago YOUR POSITION on this matter was considered radical. Then, two fanatic homosexual men named Madsen and Kirk used clever marketing tools to get mainstream America to buy into their brainwashing.

Boo said...

The Chalcedon Foundation's founder, RJ Rushdoony, wrote a book called The Institutes of Biblical Law, wherein he called for the death penalty for "practicing homosexuals." On p. 257, he even goes so far as to condemn interracial marriages. It is their stance on most issues in general, not just homosexuality, that makes them fanatics. Even Ralph Reed called them a threat to democracy.

Being "radical" is neither here nor there, because what is right does not change with the times. Repression of homosexuals was just as wrong 30 years ago as it is today.

You do, however, seem to be demonstrating your fanaticism in this thread by bringing up the Kirk and Madsen book again. We already covered this extensively on JJ's blog. There is no evidence whatsoever that this book is the "blueprint" of the gay rights movement. The only people you ever hear talking about this book are religious right extremists. Do a google search on it, all the references that pop up are from religious right sites. The vast majority of gay people have never even heard of this book, let alone read it. Furthermore, Kupelian did not actually cite anything dishonest from the book in his article. He seems to have been scandalized simply by the fact that the media would dare portray positive images of us.

You stated:

"I see the gay activist movement as elitist and in a severely harmful way. I see it as having a negative impact upon our children in the schools because it is being forced upon them there. Thus, I see it as bad for our country; a vehicle for spreading false information (as well as lack of information) about the dangers (including physical, emotional, psychological and especially spiritual) of homosexual behavior; I see it as foolish because affirming such behavior does not avail the person to see his/her need to repent; and I see it as dangerous for the soul of the person caught up in this deception."

The only thing being "forced" on children by the "gay activists" is the knowledge that gay people exist and ought not to be tormented. That's called education, which is what schools are for.

The only people who spread false information about the dangers of homosexuality are groups like Focus on the Family, AFA, and the rest of the anti-gay/ex-gay movement. They make false claims about "health risks" based on distorted or simply made-up data:

http://joebrummer.com/WordPress/?page_id=62

As does your friend Stephen Bennett:

http://joebrummer.com/WordPress/?page_id=42

Note especially the 11/22/05 entry, where Stephen claims among other things, and with no evidence whatsoever, that being too short can make you gay.

Your are perfectly entitled to your religious opinions about the need to repent of homosexuality, but the government and public schools do not exist to be vehicles for spreading your religious opinions.

Your claims about gay marriage hurting society are also unfounded:

http://www.planetout.com/news/article-print.html?2004/07/14/4