“Tolerance,” as it is practiced by the left, seems to necessarily involve the organized mocking of certain groups.
Right now, the self-styled forces of “tolerance” are busy thinking up provocations for Christians, in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage.
Daily Beast, for example, dresses up a screed from Sally Kohn with our image of the day: twin “Jesuses” in tuxedos, clearly preparing to wed each other. (We can safely assume they’re not getting ready to participate in an archaic men’s club ritual. That night-terror of the left was laid to rest 20 years ago.)
The Same-Sex Jesus image is meant to illustrate Kohn’s thesis that America’s future holds “not…a post-Christian America, but a post-homophobic Christianity.”
The laughably intolerant Ms. Kohn goes on to clarify how she feels about Christian traditionalists who adhere to a biblical understanding of marriage:
Will anti-gay Christians be politically and socially ostracized? I sure hope so. Just as those orthodox Christians who still believe in strict, traditional gender roles have been increasingly mocked as absurd.
So, to be clear: political and social ostracism are desirable things, as long as they’re directed against the groups Kohn wants to hurt. (As the old joke goes, “We’ve established what you are, Madame. Now we’re just haggling over the terms.”)
In theory, tolerant people whose particular view had just been endorsed by the highest court in the land would be magnanimous in victory. Sure, they’d high-five each other over what they considered a good ruling. But they wouldn’t be vindictive and relentlessly mocking toward the side they counted as the loser.
The pile-on from the intolerant left is growing by the day, however. The political import of the trend is not to be dismissed.
That said, what’s interesting for a traditionalist Christian is how lame the provocative imagery is. It doesn’t hurt the way it’s meant to. It makes one sad for the mockers.
And it’s a reminder of the importance of the Judeo-Christian philosophy, per se, to Western civilization.
Without the perspective shared by Judaism and Christianity – that “God is not mocked” by the pathetic attempts of men to mock Him, and that vengeance against mockers, if there is to be any, belongs to God – no human culture develops tolerance for iconoclasm. There must be a higher standard (and a higher court of appeal) than the feelings of men, if a difficult concept like tolerance is to be enforceable among us.
Whatever the faults of individual Christians and Jews, or historical failures of organized Christian denominations, Christianity and Judaism actually make explicit provision for tolerance: true tolerance, meaning that people with different views of social mores and metaphysical truth live together on the earth without trying to exterminate each other. Mercy and non-compulsion are built into both the Judaic Law and Christianity’s government by the Spirit. Although Christianity is a proselytizing faith, its essential nature is to emphasize being “in the world but not of it”; it doesn’t require the world to conform to it, before it can treat the world mercifully.
What the West maintains of social tolerance comes not from secularism, whose fundamental intolerance is on egregious display today, but from our Judeo-Christian heritage. Sally Kohn will be miserable in the world she longs for; she just doesn’t know enough about the underpinnings of her civilization to realize that. (Or, in Reagan’s deathless phrase, she “knows so much that isn’t so.”)
There are scarier things by far than traditionalist Christianity waiting to occupy the throne of mockers and cultural despots, which she and the editorial staff at Daily Beast seem so anxious to have filled. Their sad error is to think they will be in charge of filling it.