Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tolerance for You, Tolerating Me

Tolerance is a word I've heard a lot lately. Those who are not "tolerant" are looked at as being bigots, racist, or politically incorrect, not with the norm. But what is the required normal now, does it even exist?

 I have a habit of scrolling down to the comment section of most articles I read to take in what people are saying about certain topics. Wow, are we one opinionated country!

Everybody is so passionate, things spiral out of control quickly with rude comments. Are they being tolerate, but only of those who agree with them?

In my humble opinion, we as Americans have too much time on our hands, we spend so much time spreading our opinions and getting so fired up about stuff. Me included!

While pondering this thought, I wished someone could define for me exactly what being tolerant entails, so I found a great article on just that. 

 I read
Balancing Truth and Tolerance. Dallin H. Oaks answers the questions "what is tolerance, when does it apply and when does it not apply?"

I encourage y'all to read it during a free moment in your busy lives!

Some key points I wanted to share:

  • We live in a world where more and more persons of influence are teaching and acting out a belief that there is no absolute right and wrong—that all authority and all rules of behavior are man-made choices that can prevail over the commandments of God.
  • Tolerance is defined as a friendly and fair attitude toward unfamiliar or different opinions and practices or toward the persons who hold or practice them.
  • These are harder questions for those who affirm the existence of God and absolute truth than for those who believe in moral relativism. The weaker one’s belief in God and the fewer one’s moral absolutes, the fewer the occasions when the ideas or practices of others will confront one with the challenge to be tolerant.
  • Tolerance or respect is on one side of the coin, but truth is always on the other. You cannot possess or use the coin of tolerance without being conscious of both sides.
  • Our obligation to tolerance means that none of these behaviors—or others we consider deviations from the truth—should ever cause us to react with hateful communications or unkind actions.
Three Absolute Truths:
  1. All persons are brothers and sisters under God, taught within their various religions to love and do good to one another.
  2. Have mutual respect for each other. Living with differences is what the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us we must do.
  3. Christians are to be peace keepers. Our tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs does not cause us to abandon our commitment to the truths we understand and the covenants we have made.
I'll end with my favorite quote from the talk:
"Believers must always speak with love and show patience, understanding, and compassion toward their adversaries. Christian believers are under command to love their neighbors and to forgive. They should also remember the Savior’s teaching to “bless them that curse [them], do good to them that hate [them], and pray for them which despitefully use [them], and persecute [them]."