Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tolerance: Everything is Equal

Shawna and Jon were home alone in the living room folding clothes. After several minutes Shawna asked, "Dad, do you think tolerance is good?" "What kind of tolerance are you talking about?" Jon asked. "The new kind," Shawna answered.

She knew that Ms. Carmona would probably classify her father as a fundamentalist bigot, hopelessly locked into the outdated and traditional view of tolerance. But Shawna suspected that he knew more about tolerance than her horoscope-reading faculty advisor. "The kind Juanita Dunsmuir promotes and Daniel Bellardi is against?" Jon asked. "Yeah."

“First, how does Ms. Dunsmuir and her kind define tolerance?" he asked. She tried to remember the definition Ms. Carmona gave at the conference in San Francisco. "Everything is equal. All people are equal. All beliefs are equal. All lifestyles are equal. Nobody can say, 'My beliefs are better than yours.' Nobody can say, 'The way I live is right, the way you live is wrong.'"

"As compared to traditional tolerance," Jon added, "which agrees that all people are created equal, but that some beliefs are valid and some are not, that some lifestyles are right and some are wrong." "Yeah, I guess." To be honest, I have a problem with the new tolerance because the basic assumption behind it is faulty.”


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