Being Tolerant Even If We Don’t Understand

July 8, 2010 by  
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UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) offers the following definition of Tolerance:

“Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference”

A well regarded site defines tolerance as follows:

“To tolerate means that you put up with something you don’t particularly like or that may even be most disgusting to you. Therefore, if I do not like a certain behavior or if I speak out against a certain lifestyle it is not accurate or fair to label me intolerant. In certain quarters today one is labeled quite intolerant if he speaks out against certain behaviors like homosexuality or abortion on demand or porn on the airwaves. But this is not intolerance because tolerance presupposes that one does not like that which he tolerates. Many people today in these various lifestyles are calling on us to embrace their sin in the name of tolerance. Tolerance does not require that we be neutral, accept, condone or embrace the evil around us.

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The Real Meaning Of Tolerance

July 1, 2010 by  
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Tolerance is a word that gets tossed around by religious leaders, politicians and regular folks as if it was a Frisbee on amphetamines.  But what about the real meaning behind the word and not just that which gets people elected and praised?

It is easy to be tolerant when our immediate social environment is made out of like minded individuals.  It is the old preaching to the choir syndrome.  But what happens when we are confronted by ideas and people that are not only foreign to us but completely opposite?  How do stout Democrats converse with Republicans?  How atheists converse with committed religious individuals?

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