Tolerance: a term deployed by progressives when trying to promote acceptance of those whose politics, cultural norms, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from the majority of Britons; term not applicable regarding evangelical Christians, defence of marriage supporters, right to lifers, and generally anyone who disagrees with the political establishment and media elite.
Tolerance once meant you were willing to abide behaviour in others which you found objectionable. Then it came to mean not judging such behaviour at all. Then it moved on to respecting them. Next it came to mean celebrating them, often at the cost of what was once held to be central. Now it means silencing those who continue to find such behaviour objectionable.
If you refuse to celebrate that which you think is unhealthy or wrong then the proponents of toleration will do their level best to stifle your previously free expression of opinion.
One favourite tactic the social, political and religious progressives often use in order to suppress debate is to label opponents as mentally unstable. If you are opposed to homosexual marriage you are labelled ‘homophobic’ or suffering from a psychological malady the symptoms of which are an unreasoning fear of homosexuals. If you speak out against the increasing influence of radical Islam amongst Muslims in the West you are labelled ‘Islamophobic,’ another psychological malady.
The list goes on endlessly. This tactic has it’s own perverted logic borrowed from the old USSR. There dissidents were routinely confined to mental institutions. After all, if you objected to the way the USSR was run you were obviously deranged, after all, wasn’t it a paradise upon earth.
We shouldn’t blame Stalin for this concept, its pedigree is much longer. Diderot in his article on ‘Natural Law’ in the Encylopedie in 1762 wrote “We must reason about all things.” If anyone refused to seek out truth he could no longer be considered human and “should be treated by the rest of his species as a wild beast.” Once the truth was discovered refusal to accept it meant one was “either insane or wicked and morally evil.”
With the advent of the French Revolution this doctrine was adopted, via Rousseau, by Robespierre who used it as part of his justification for the Great Terror.
There is a response to accusations of say Islamophobia. Those progressives who bandy it about as a term of opprobrium in an effort to censor cultural critics will refuse to listen to a discussion of their methods. They are interested in closing down discussion not in opening it up, they have forgotten the first part of Diderot’s argument “We must reason about all things.
Simply ask: Who has an unreasoning fear of radical Islam, the person who speaks out openly concerning its dangers, or the person who is afraid to acknowledge those dangers? Who is afraid of radical Islam, an elderly Danish cartoonist who mocked Muhammad, or the Yale University Press which last year refused to publish the cartoons in a scholarly tome by Professor Jytte Klausen devoted to the incident?
The true ‘phobics’ are those progressives who are so afraid of open discussion of contentious matters that they attempt to silence those who do wish to deal with vital social issues. A toleration which only tolerates those who agree is no toleration.