commentary: The Intolerance of Liberals
It Is Growing
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 30-Nov-13; Sermon #1187c; 13 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that America has had in its cultural foundation a high degree of tolerance and forbearance, points out that the earliest immigrants came to this land to escape religious intolerance. Paradoxically, some of the people who espouse toleration [the Nones, Progressive secularists] have clearly emerged as one of the most intolerant and patronizing groups on the face of the earth (rivaling the Inquisitions of Ignatius Loyola), using the courts and the political machinery to rescue the 'ignorant' from their 'foolishness.' Political correctness is an intolerant point of view, demanding that orthodox religious views be condemned and ridiculed, and perverse and marginal lifestyles should not only be tolerated, but preferred as the norm. The disgusting political climate today appears to be described in the words of Henry Wallace, "A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party."
To tolerate means, "to permit or allow without authoritative interference." It means, "To forbear; to leave unmolested." In common language: "to put up with." Intolerable is that which cannot be endured. It cannot be put up with. It is used in reference to another's views, beliefs and behavior; something unbearable.
America is a nation founded upon a cultural base of a very large quantity of tolerance, or we might even call that, "indifference toward others." In one sense, it had to be this way from the beginning, or it never would have moved away from the starting blocks as a nation. This nation's founders could never have imagined it at the beginning because they had no clue of the vast mixture of peoples who flooded into this nation from so many different areas of Earth in such a short period of time.
Part of the reason for America's success is that people flooding into this nation were, by and large, tolerant of each other's differences regarding religion, nationality, language, music, dress, and concepts concerning government and education. I think one of the reasons for the tolerance was because the majority of people were so focused on making a living so they could get themselves and their family established that they did not have a great deal of time to let intolerance that surely existed bother them all that much. Thus, the founders established a constitution that contained a great deal of cultural liberality that required its citizens to respect the beliefs and practices of their neighbors. Part of the reason for this was because so many immigrated here because they were fleeing intolerance.
I do not want you to believe that all of its citizens acted in a tolerant manner in every aspect of life. For instance, the colonists were in no way inclined to be tolerant toward King George III and the taxation imposed on them by the British Parliament. I bring this up so that it is easily seen that toleration for another's views is not always easy. In fact, in some cases, patience and forbearance may be extremely difficulty to give.
One of the major issues of this day and age is the differences between those who consider themselves politically and culturally liberal and those considering themselves politically conservative. Or, we might say, these conservatives merely desire to be left alone to pursue their own interests.
If one pursues the definition of the word liberal, I do not believe that it will surprise you to find (as I did) that the American Heritage College Dictionary gives the following first definition. It means: "Not limited to traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes or dogmas." The second grouping from the same source includes the following: "Free from bigotry [Pay attention to this. If you're liberal, you are free from bigotry]; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broadminded."
Another source, the Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Word Finder, which is a combination dictionary and thesaurus, treats the term liberal a bit differently. This dictionary defines liberal as something that is more commonly understood by us: "given freely; ample, abundant, generous, not sparing, open-minded, not prejudiced." This is the first grouping in that particular dictionary.
What is interesting to me is that the word liberal in today's media reporting has become virtually synonymous with the term progressive. Did you hear progressive in any of those definitions? But the term progressive doesn't appear as a synonym in the Word Finder until 18 from the end of a list of 73 other synonyms. It's very interesting to me. Progressive, as a synonym, is not high on the list of alternatives to liberal, according to the dictionary.
We are witnessing something here. It is the changing usage of a term. What has happened in actual daily practice is that the people who have popularized this usage—that is, the progressive usage—are those in the political, secularist, media body of people in the culture. Undoubtedly, for the culture, these people have seized influential control of a large portion of the population. People look to them for leadership because they seem to be smart and well spoken. They tend to be people more highly university educated, work in civil sectors and academic sectors, but are without religion. And they, frankly—despite their smarts—do not know God. Once again, I'm speaking about the 'nones'. They have done this.
Most people in this nation have what I term a "live and let live" approach to the behavior of their neighbors. It's sort of a "it's no skin off my back" approach that, as long as my neighbor is not disturbing my peace, hurting my things and my family, let them do as they please. But as time continues, it is becoming abundantly clear that very, very many in the circles the influential noes travel in are in no way that way toward those beyond those in their circle. They cannot keep their peace nor allow you to keep your peace. They have got to convince you that they are right, and they only are right.
This is beginning—this is going to get dangerous. These people are highly motivated to "rescue" you. That's what they call it. They're highly motivated to "rescue" you, as they see it, from your stupidity and ignorance as they see it, and thus, they seek means to impose their will on you.
Now, why my concern? Because, brethren, this is where persecution begins. It's the source. They use any means just short of murder to impose their will on you. They will exercise their intolerance against you through the courts, as they have already done on many, many occasions, using the ACLU. It doesn't bother them one wit to lie, as they have done on numerous occasions, to secure the freedom to murder the baby in their womb.
Our president and all of his lying is a prime example of this. He is frequently lying in order to argue his points to secure his agenda. He's a 'none', brethren. It is not enough for the feminists, lesbians, and homosexuals to secure the liberties they seek; their intolerance against others holding any other opinion than theirs means the opinions are going to have to be changed. It's intolerable to them to allow them to exist in that ignorance.
Persecution begins with mere intolerant feelings, but the intensity grows until anybody else's opinion must be smashed to complete acceptance of their way of perceiving things or they will simply act to secure their desire. Open expressions of intolerance against Christianity and its beliefs began decades ago, and it is continuing to build.
We might carelessly think that people of strong religious bent would never get ideas such as murder in their minds, but the religious, along with the political folk, have been historically among the very worst of the persecutors of others who simply do not believe as they do.
This nation rose from the bloody persecutions of religious people against one another in Europe. How many died in the Inquisitions of the Catholic Church? That is a primary example that anybody can look to. One religious people persecuting another. Persecutions begin with slowly increasing levels of intolerance, and the stage is clearly building.
Here is a quote from Henry A. Wallace. He was vice president under Franklin Delano Roosevelt toward the end of the Second World War. And he said,
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.
He knew what he was talking about.