“Shut Up, Bigot!”: The Intolerance of Tolerance

Aug 12, 2015 by

By Ben R Crenshaw, Public Discourse: Conservatives are called bigots because those who embrace the new sexual mores are beholden to the new tolerance as a plausibility structure. Postmodern liberals cannot comprehend the idea that one could simultaneously reject a belief and accept the person who holds it. America is in the midst of a raging national debate on issues surrounding sexuality and gender. If you dare to suggest that gender is determined by sex and is immutable, that same-sex sex acts are immoral, or that marriage is a permanent, exclusive union of husband and wife, then you will be called an intolerant bigot, hater, and homophobe. Where does the charge of bigotry come from? Is it just a passing fad, a political and social tool for power and control, or do its roots go deeper? Bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” Notice that bigotry is not intolerance toward the opinions or beliefs of persons other than yourself, but intolerance of the other person.Bigotry is not simply disagreeing with what someone else believes; it is an unwillingness to tolerate or accept the person who holds those beliefs. A little reflection on this definition will reveal that the vast majority of bigotry accusations populating the internet and in public discourse are not legitimate ones. On the contrary, they are the consequence of a mistaken view of tolerance that is itself a product of a warped postmodern epistemology. Read here...

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How liberalism became an intolerant dogma

Aug 9, 2015 by

By Damon Linker, The Week: At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in mydiscussion of Hobby Lobby. My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism’s decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma. The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. But the cultural shift during the Obama years that has led a majority of Americans to support gay marriage seems to have opened the floodgates to an ugly triumphalism on the left. The result is a dogmatic form of liberalism that threatens to poison American civic life for the foreseeable future. Conservative Reihan Salamdescribes it, only somewhat hyperbolically, as a form of “weaponized secularism.” The rise of dogmatic liberalism is the American left-wing expression of the broader trend that Mark Lilla identified in a recent blockbuster essay forThe New Republic. The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls “neoliberalism.” At its deepest level, libertarianism is “a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice” in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right’s anti-government furies, but it also animates the left’s push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West. What makes libertarianism a dogma is the inability or unwillingness of those who espouse it to accept that some people might choose, for morally legitimate reasons, to dissent from it. On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government. The latter tendency shows how, paradoxically, the rise of libertarian dogma can have the practical effect of increasing government power and expanding its scope. This happens when individuals look to the government to facilitate their own liberation from constraints imposed by private groups, organizations, and institutions within civil society. In such cases, the government seeks to bring those groups, organizations, and institutions into conformity with uniform standards that ensure the unobstructed personal liberation of all — even if doing so requires that these private entities are forced to violate their distinctive visions of the good. Read here...

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The ‘intolerance of intolerance’ is intolerant

Jul 11, 2015 by

From Christian Concern: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has challenged the government’s approach to tackling “extremism”. Speaking on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live programme, he observed: “When the Prime Minister says to be ‘intolerant of intolerance’ … that itself is intolerant … What we don’t want is a liberal totalitarianism.” He went on to say that, as a society, we are in danger of“bringing up children not to value free speech and free thought.” Watch a clip here, or the full debate here....

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150 Striking Cases / Problem of Intolerant Equality Laws Analyzed in Newly Released Report 2014

May 4, 2015 by

From Observatory on Intolerance: The Observatory’s report on the year 2014 portrays the150 most striking cases of intolerance against Christians in Europe in the year 2014 and presents theproblem of intolerant or militant equality laws. While awareness regarding religious freedom is growing, legal projects are under way to place restrictions on religious freedom especially for Christians. A key concern is the so-called horizontal equal treatment directive which is being pushed at the level of the European Union and partly also nationally. This report explains the scope and the associated problems of such legislation and provides key examples of the consequences. Read...

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Christians Who Cave to the ‘New Intolerance’ Only Make It Worse

Mar 23, 2015 by

By Napp Nazworth, Christian Post: Christians should not cower to the “new intolerance,” in which certain liberals have used government, social and economic power to bully and censor people who disagree with them, because doing so will only undermine the Church, Mary Eberstadt argued Tuesday for a lecture hosted by First Things. The new intolerance is unlike previous challenges Christians have faced, she explained, because it’s not rooted in a deep philosophical debate, such as debates over theodicy, or the challenges to the Church presented by Pelagianism or Arianism. The new intolerance “is not an intellectual or philosophical force. In fact, it’s hardly about ideas at all. It is instead something very specific, taken from playbooks that nobody should be proud of studying. It’s about using intimidation, humiliation, censorship, and self-censorship to punish those who think differently,” she said… …Rather than the product of any rich philosophical tradition, the new intolerance is, at root, about sex; It’s a descendent of the sexual revolution, Eberstadt argued. The Church’s “single most deadly enemy in our time, the one with which it is locked in mortal combat, is not the stuff of the philosophy common room. It is instead the sexual revolution. The new intolerance is a wholly owned subsidiary of that revolution. No revolution, no new intolerance.” The new intolerance has been particularly effective in dividing the Church, she continued, because it exploits the universal human desire to be loved, or not be hated. “The desire not to be hated on is a powerful and underestimated thing,” she said. What makes the new intolerance so powerful, therefore, has been its ability to get some Christians to capitulate and self-censor, Eberstadt continued, but that path is ultimately destructive for the Church. Read here      ...

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The Rich Roots and Spoiled Fruits of Liberal Toleration

Mar 6, 2015 by

By Jeremy Niell, Public Discourse: After decades of efforts to be emancipated from religious influences, the toleration of political liberals is still only an impoverished relative of its classical cousin. Toleration as it was understood by early modern philosophers like John Locke was richer and fuller than toleration as political liberals understand it today. Political liberals today think of toleration in a methodologically secular way: they try to replicate the two-kingdom infrastructure of Christian liberty in ways that do not retain the Christian model’s theological commitments. But after decades of efforts to be emancipated from religious influences, political liberals have only succeeded in developing a toleration that is an impoverished relative of its classical cousin. What Does Toleration Mean to Contemporary Liberals? Consider the standard political liberal account. Toleration, for today’s political liberals, is a willingness to allow others to lead lifestyles of their choosing, as long as they do not harm their neighbors. In our modern societies of strangers, in which people live alongside each other but are uninvolved in each other’s day-to-day lives, and in which people endorse many conflicting accounts of the good, toleration has seemed to a lot of liberal theorists to be the most functional way of keeping the peace. Thus, liberal toleration is the idea that in conditions of pluralism each person should refrain from interfering in others’ attempts to live their lives as they see fit. Read here...

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