Who Tolerates the Intolerant?

From here. I do make myself quite a nuisance, what with my chronic inability to shut up. I’ve been trying to word it all politely enough, anyway.

Context: Gene Autry’s cowboy code contains the line that one must not hold “religiously or racially intolerant ideas”. I complimented the code as a whole but questioned that line. After being challenged I wrote this:

From where I’m sitting it’s like the old canard that the only thing you won’t tolerate is intolerance. All right then – you don’t think tolerance should be a guiding principle. And good for you, as it shouldn’t be.

You are being extraordinarily parochial if you think the modern situation of using tolerance as the excuse to preemptively surrender to the jihad or surrender our public institutions to perverts, halfwits, eunuchs, and lunatics, is what tolerance means, or is unusual rather than the norm.

Mr. Autry almost certainly never intended for things to be that way, but when “live and let live” becomes a nation’s guiding philosophy then this is where it leads – get out of the bedroom, and if you’re intolerant, we’re intolerant of you.

“Religiously or racially intolerant ideas” is incredibly vague to the point of being useless.

Ultimately this goes back to my increasingly radical anti-liberal view of the world, such as it is right now. Tolerance is, at best, a useful tool in certain situations. It is an entirely neutral term. Telling kids we should be “tolerant” of something as incredibly important as religion, full stop, without questioning any of the things we’re supposed to be tolerant OF, is very, very harmful.

That IS what tolerance means. If Gene Autry meant something else, he didn’t say it.


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4 Responses to Who Tolerates the Intolerant?

  1. GJ says:

    Tolerance is, at best, a useful tool in certain situations. It is an entirely neutral term.

    Both ‘tolerance’ in the abstract and ‘tolerant’ as a descriptor are virtually meaningless, just like talk about ‘within’ or ‘without’ that lacks reference to a specific boundary. For what is tolerated by a party in a concrete situation is precisely what is contained within the respective Overton window.

    Tolerance has no true essence.

  2. GJ says:

    When the reference perspective is inverted, intolerance is tolerance, within is without, above is below, up is down.

  3. Liberals invariably try to blame the disastrous results of their ideology on malicious misapplication. As Zippy says, it’s a way for them to avoid self-reflection.

    • Exactly. The problem isn’t “freedom of choice”, it’s that they’re doing THEIR freedom wrong. It’s not “tolerance”, it’s that they’re doing THEIR tolerance wrong. It’s not “gender equality”, it’s that they’re doing THEIR equality wrong…

      …And on and on it goes, while nobody dares to question that maybe it’s taking those concepts and using them as guiding moral principles that’s wrong.

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