What is tolerance

My husband read this great article by Orson Scott Card the other day, and I have to share it with you all. Go read it at http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=4740.

Card writes about how we should be able to disagree respectfully, and why the LDS Church opposes legalizing gay marriage. His point that really caught my eye, though, was this:

“I speak from experience: My family and I have close friends who are gay, some of whom have entered into lawful marriages. They know we don’t agree that their relationship is the same thing or should have the same legal status as our marriage, but we all accept that strong and clear difference of opinion and move on, continuing to respect and love each other for the values we share.

Only when a gay friend demanded that I agree with his or her point of view or cease to be friends has the friendship ended. What is odd is that in every case they called me intolerant. They misunderstood the meaning of “tolerance.”

Tolerance implies disagreement — it means that even though we don’t agree with or approve of each others beliefs or actions, we can still live together amicably. When we agree, we aren’t being tolerant, we’re being uniform.

It’s uniformity or submission these former friends wanted, not tolerance at all.”

You might object and say that this refers only to Orson Scott Card’s understanding of the word tolerance. But you’d be wrong. Here’s what the dictionary has to say under the entry “tolerance”:

1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

Tolerance, therefore, can only exist when we agree to disagree. Some gays are opposing Proposition 8 under the guise of desiring tolerance from heterosexuals. However, the ones doing the name-calling and vandalizing signs are more often opponents of Prop 8 than not. Legalizing gay marriage; requiring that we treat it the same as heterosexual marriage; teaching it as the same in school; suing photographers, doctors, newspapers, adoption agencies, and newspapers for expressing a different opinion and standing by their religions; threatening to even remove the people’s right to vote on the issue in San Diego… None of these things sound like tolerance to me. This is not peaceful co-existence. This is not agreeing, politely, to disagree. This is attempting to force the opinion and habits and standards of a vocal minority on the majority of the population under the guise of “rights” – even though the right to marry is not protected, and establishing gay marriage directly contradicts existing federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, which states: DOMA defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.

How can forcing the 96% of the population that isn’t gay to endorse homosexuality truly be considered tolerance? Gay activists aren’t fighting for tolerance of their behavior. Their rights are already protected as domestic partners under the California family code. They gain nothing by marriage, except the validation of the rest of the community, and the ability to force others to support their beliefs. Legalizing gay marriage does not gain them more rights; all it does is undermine our society and confuse gender issues until we are all one homogenized, featureless lump. They are fighting to PROMOTE A GAY LIFESTYLE. Not for tolerance. If they were so big on tolerance, perhaps they’d be a little more TOLERANT of their opposition. You know, those of us who are out there fighting for our children, our educational system, our right to parent our children and teach them our own morals, our religious freedom, our freedom of speech, and the rights of future generations of children to be born into a home with a mother and a father who love them and are socially responsible to them.

Please support real tolerance, and vote in favor of Proposition 8. Otherwise, dissent becomes illegal.

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11 Comments

  1. […] Lots of soul searching and testimony-examining has been going on lately. I don’t know if I have the power to persuade a single person, but I still have to try. If you want to read some of what I’ve been writing about, check it out here: https://voteyesonprop8.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/what-is-tolerance/ […]

  2. But in the end, you’re not really tolerant at all, because you’re the one who wants to have it your way.

    If you remember your high school government class, minorities have the same rights under the Constitution as the majority. In cases like women’s right to vote and desegregation of schools, these rights were gained through the courts. Why should you have any more right to have a legal connection to a spouse than a gay person?

    Why not make everyone couple who wants to be together just make a legal contract? Leave the term “marriage” for the churches. If some churches only want to perform straight marriages, so be it.

    There’s no reason for the government to be involved in religious ceremony anyway. Aren’t you really defending your view of marriage because of your religious beliefs?

  3. But in the end, you’re not really tolerant at all, because you’re the one who wants to have it your way.

    If you remember your high school government class, minorities have the same rights under the Constitution as the majority. In cases like women’s right to vote and desegregation of schools, these rights were gained through the courts. Why should you have any more right to have a legal connection to a spouse than a gay person?

    Why not make every couple who wants to be together just make a legal contract? Leave the term “marriage” for the churches. If some churches only want to perform straight marriages, so be it.

    There’s no reason for the government to be involved in religious ceremony anyway. Aren’t you really defending your view of marriage because of your religious beliefs?

  4. Didn’t you just prove my point? I disagree with you, and now you’re calling me intolerant. Simply for disagreeing. I don’t believe that gay “marriage” is the same as marriage at all. The “right” of gays to be married is a recent invention of gay activists. The relationship is different, the social responsibilities are different, the parenting abilities are different. Why do we have to call it marriage when it clearly isn’t the same thing at all? And gays already have guaranteed rights under domestic partnership laws. They gain no new rights, just a new name, which will force others to stop preaching and practicing their religious beliefs for fear of offending litigious activists. And yes, I do defend my view of marriage because of my religious beliefs. And because of my belief in the family as vital to the upbringing of children. Hey, wait, I believe I am ALLOWED to have an opinion, and a religion, and to express it in America. First amendment rights and all.

  5. as i’ve studied this issue, i’ve realized that the state really does have a responsibility to protect its children.

    France took a year studying the issue BEFORE they decided. They rejected same-sex marriage because of the rights of children.

    Every child has a right to a mom and a dad. This is how they grow and learn best. While homosexual parents might be really good people, they can’t equal a mom AND a dad.

    society has an obligation to provide this basic and natural/biological right to its children.

    there is a cool discussion going on here:

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/children-matter-society-has-a-moral-obligation-to-protect-them-children-have-a-right-to-a-mom-and-a-dad-day-3/

    and here:

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/category/legislation-and-social-issues/

  6. Thanks for the post!

    The ENTIRE COUNTRY OF FRANCE PROHIBITS SAME SEX MARRIAGE!!

    Why? They based their decision on scientific research that states it isn’t beneficial to France’s children. Get the FACTS before you vote. Please. For America’s children.

    Go here: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006_docs/Francesummary.pdf

  7. This post is wonderful. Thank you so much. I like Orson Scott Card’s example of tolerance. And it was proved in a comment made on your blog. Yes, minorities have rights too, but there is no right to be married. It is not a fundamental right, a civil right, a human right, any other kind of right you want to throw out there. Marriage is a contract between two individuals. The terms of the contract are set by the institution granting the contract, in this case, the state of California.

    I’m bordering rambling now, so I will end. Only a few more days left! YES ON 8!

    http://makemyvotecount.blogspot.com

  8. This morning several individuals from the local Conejo Valley School Administration in Thousand Oaks, CA, destroyed the giant proposition 8 sign that was placed on the public easement there. The easement, originally owned by the school administration was given to Edison power company because of the power lines. Edison gave local residents permission to use the easement for their personal use.

    Residents erected the sign yesterday but it lasted less than 24 hours before school officials destroyed it. There was a disagreement about whose property the sign was on, but rather than discuss the matter in a reasonable way, school officials marched out to the location saying they were going to “nuke” the sign. Residents were on hand and offered to remove the sign but the administration officials refused to allow the sign to be removed peaceably and destroyed it instead.

    Several of the local residents called police who recovered property from the sign that administrators stole during the incident.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/school-board-vandalism/

  9. Wow, beetlebaby. That is an amazing example of exactly what I have been blogging about. Opponents of Prop 8 all too often resort to violence and slander, instead of the law or peaceful discussion. That is one of the big reason I am afraid of the consequences for our society if Prop 8 fails. We are already being subjected to violence, vandalism, and slander; how much worse will things be if Proposition 8 fails? It amazes me the persecution we are facing for trying to live up to our moral standards and to protect our children.

  10. I find it wonderful that other faiths have stood with the LDS church and not let them take the flak alone.

    Los Angeles interfaith leaders voiced their support for the LDS church this afternoon, saying: “The peaceful faiths, families, educators, activists, and community servants who make up the protect Marriage Coalition are saddened to hear of the continued targeted attacks on the Mormon people during and after the conclusion of this fair and certified election. Like many churches, the family is the anchor of the LDS faith and it is no surprise that its members in California joined other faiths in giving everything they had to Proposition 8.“

    It’s one of the more amazing things of this election, that so many faiths were able to build bridges and find common ground to stand on.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/pride-predjudice-prop8-rage/

  11. Thanks for that, beetlebaby. It’s been really sad to me to see all the outrage against the LDS church over the last two days. It definitely makes me feel better to know that other faiths are actively supporting us.


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