Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The intolerance you tolerate may be your own.

"Tolerance is the virtue of people who don’t believe anything." G.K.Chesterton

Since this month is (wow) half over, I am posting my May column from Catholic Insight. If you are Canadian and Catholic (or either or neither), please consider subscribing to this fine publication. 

On hating hate and tolerating intolerance

The attacks on religious freedom in Canada and elsewhere have been coming thick and fast in recent months:

· Ontario’s ironically-labelled ‘anti-bullying’ Bill C-13, which targets Catholic schools, students and parents
· Alberta’s “diversity” education legislation which seeks to control the transmission of moral values even within private homes
· The recent Supreme Court decision in Quebec refusing to allow parents to withdraw their children from state-mandated not-really-religion classes.

The day the government tries to tell you what beliefs you may or may not act upon in your school, place of work, or even transmit to your children in your home, you no longer live in a free country; you have entered the Twilight-of-Civilization Totalitarianism Zone. Of course, it’s all in a noble cause: they want to eliminate bullying and hate from society. While the former is laudable, the latter is impossible.

Likewise, one of the stated goals of the kangaroo-court system that comprises Canada’s ‘Human Rights’ commissions (HRCs) is to “eradicate hate” from our country. Good luck with that. As one witness before a parliamentary committee (investigating alleged abuses by HRC employees) pointed out, hate is a feeling that resides in virtually every human breast. I would venture that anyone who declares he harbours absolutely no hatred is either a liar, stupid, or dead.

The thing, of course, is to direct one’s hate appropriately: we should not hate people –for any reason—but we should have the freedom to hate actions, situations, and yes, even the beliefs that give rise to those actions. Has anyone been jailed lately for hating the Catholic Church? If so, prepare to see it loudly broadcast on the CBC—not.

I hate abortion, but I don’t hate women who have them (far from it); nor do I hate doctors who carry out the grisly procedures. I can hate Planned Parenthood and everything it stands for, but I don’t hate anyone who works for the organization. I must not hate someone who collects child pornography, but I certainly can (and do) hate child pornography. I can hate poverty, injustice, illegal drugs, communism, violence, labour unions, bad spelling, polyester, winter storms, liturgical dance, pan flute music, liver and onions.

Although having respect for all people based on their inherent dignity is a human (and for many, religious) ideal, achieving it is something the government cannot “mandate”, and more than it can mandate that I do not overeat or abuse alcohol or smoke cigarettes in my home (as much as they’d like to try). We have civic and criminal laws in place to ensure we don’t discriminate against people for their creeds, ethnic heritage or lifestyle choices; we don’t need thought police telling us what to believe.

Some who scream the loudest about “tolerance” are the most intolerant bigots around, for they cannot fathom a worldview different from their own. These delusional folk pretend to take the moral high ground, and no doubt think themselves persons of acute conscience and high principle. They abhor hypocrisy.

However, not only do they have no qualms about violating the consciences and principles of others, but also they routinely violate their own core principals by indulging in the very things they seek to eradicate. For after all, they selectively hate, disrespect, and refuse to tolerate those who are “different” (mainly traditional Christians).

Many claim to abhor killing, but again, only selectively (No to war and capital punishment; Yes to abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide). Not to mention that they routinely murder logic, reason, and garden-variety common sense. Suffering from acute irony-deficiency, they ‘celebrate diversity’ by declaring that there is only one way to think.

‘Hate the sin, love the sinner’, goes the saying, the two being mutually exclusive. But now the secular “separation of Church and State” government wants to tell individuals, families, and yes, even entire Churches that they may not declare an activity to be sinful, or even if they do, they must (a la Obama’s HHS mandate) participate in it.

According to our moral and intellectual superiors (government bureaucrats, unions, judges, professors, politicians, mainstream journalists), hate and bullying are OK, as long as they are the only ones who get to do it. 

Copyright 2012 Catholic Insight and Mariette Ulrich 


  1. So very, very true, Mariette! Thanks for stating the truth and making us aware!