Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tolerate my Intolerance

Do liberals understand how silly it is to demand tolerance and acceptance? "Children should be taught tolerance and acceptance" according to JT letter writer Jennifer Feuker who was responding to previous letters concerning issues relating to homosexuality. Feuker was very critical of the sentiments, real or imagined, of letter writer Barbara Kortendick, going so far as to call Kortendick "obviously ignorant" and to suggest that Kortendick believes in a hate-filled God.

Now how exactly do I follow Feuker's tolerance and acceptance mandate? If I am to be tolerant and accepting, don't I have to tolerate and accept both Feuker and Kortendick's viewpoints?

Like most liberals, Feuker does not really believe in tolerance and acceptance. What Feuker and other liberals want is for you to tolerate and accept their viewpoints while rejecting (neither tolerating or accepting) opposing viewpoints.

I won't stand for that hypocrisy and if you have a problem with that you should learn to tolerate, accept and even celebrate my point of view.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention it, but in addition to tolerating, accepting and celebrating your point of view, I will heartily "embrace" it, as well.

New social campaign slogan:
Global acceptance... Just do it! NOW!

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis,
I don't think the problem is necessarily related to "liberals" as you say. I think the issue is authoritarianism and uncritical acceptance of dogma in various political ideologies.

With the advent of new media (especially blogging), it is quite easy for those of various partisan stripes to become enamored with forms of media that only support their viewpoint. On the right, you could conceivably look at free republic, little green footballs, nro, etc. and never interact with anyone on the left. On the left, you could do the same thing (daily kos, moveon.org, thenation.com, etc.). The issue is when you decide not to interact with those on the other side, and uncritically accept your opinions and are hostile to the ideas of others.

Besides being intellectually vacuous, this can lead down a dangerous slippery slope when applied in real politics.

Anonymous said...

New social campaign slogan:
Global acceptance of everything! (Except your own opinion.)

Denis Navratil said...

Hi anon 8:33, thanks for your comments. I agree to some extent that "it is quite easy for those of various partisan stripes to become enamored with forms of media that only support their viewpoint." Yes, there are new media outlets available that did not exist before, and I view this as a good thing, if consumed in moderation.

But I must quibble on your point that the tolerance and acceptance demands are not a liberals only phenomenon. I don't know of any right of center folks demanding or expecting tolerance and acceptance of their ideas. Are the left generally tolerant and accepting of President Bush, of Christianity, of the war in Iraq? No they are not and it is silly to expect that of them. There are real disagreements in this and every other country and we should not pretend as though everything would be OK if only our opponents were more agreeable.

And lastly, in my opinion, if one were detirmined to avoid our culture war, one would nonetheless be exposed primarily to a left of center bent on the evening news, in the newspapers, at the movies, bookstores etc.... while one would have to go to extraordinary lengths to be similarly immersed in a right wing only world. I am grateful for the additional media options that now exist, as I can now hear both sides of an issue. But I have to actively seek out the right of center view while the left of center view is all aroung us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis,
As far as your comments regarding the right's intolerance, I would have to disagree. I see the right's intolerance in their rhetoric and binary view of the world. So you are either "with us" and Bush's notion of what constitutes a proper war on terror or you are "against us"? This overlooks a large scale of debatable opinion on how the war on terror should be conducted. It is not just withdrawal vs. continuous occupation. There are a whole slew of opinions in the middle.

I also see it in the Religious Right's hostility to anything that doesn't fit within their definition of Christianity. Even John McCain called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance."

I actually see intolerance for others in the conservative movement as a whole. In 2003 (I believe), David Frum wrote a piece in National Review called "UnPatriotic Conservatives." In it, he marginalized basically the entire paleo-conservative movement and declared them to be anti-american, mainly because they digress from the mainstream of conservatism on issues like the war on terror and unwavering support for Israel. If you are interested, you can read the article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/frum/frum031903.asp

As far as the media, I agree with you that the generation of blogs and other user created content and communities is desirable. I also don't think it would be as hard as you think to insulate yourself in an entirely right-wing world. There are various right-wing Evangelical Protestant communication networks designed to do just that. There are also specifically geared colleges that are known for right-wing tendecies, like Patrick Henry College, Hillsdale College, etc. You could conceivably be homeschooled your entire grade school career, go to Patrick Henry or a school like that, and never have read or heard contrasting left-wing opinions.

Anonymous said...

You could conceivably be homeschooled your entire grade school career, go to Patrick Henry or a school like that, and never have read or heard contrasting left-wing opinions.

or...

You could go to a public school your entire grade school career through college and never have read or heard contrasting right-wing opinions.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 11:08, I think I have been misunderstood. I am not saying that the right is not intolerant, they are. I devote this entire blog to debunking ideas that I don't tolerate or embrace. What I am saying is that that the right does not demand or expect that their ideas will be tolerated and embraced. This is a key difference.

Yes, one could be home schooled etc... and live in a right wing only world. This would require an extraordinary effort, no TV's, no newspapers, no conversations at the water cooler etc... while living in a left wing culture happens without effort. Living in a leftist culture happens automatically while living in a right wing culture requires intent.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis,
Thank you for you comments and clarification.

I guess we fundamentally disagree about living in a "leftist" culture. I guess we first have to define leftist and then define culture. They are both hard terms to receive complete definitions of.


I guess I have issues with broad statements like "left-wing culture." For example, the previous anon commenter commented on the fact that,
"You could go to a public school your entire grade school career through college and never have read or heard contrasting right-wing opinions."

We live in a federalist republic with many local school boards and local customs, etc, so I think it is difficult to make assumptions about on a macro scale about local culture or education. I assume that there are a variety of different educational theories being taught, and many teachers and staff will reject those theories due to personal beliefs.

Even though it could be argued that the Madison Public School system is a leftist school district, the same could not be said of the school district in Dover, PA. during the time of the trial regarding teaching evolution vs. intelligent design in the classroom. Even in the case of Dover, there were dissenting teachers who went against the school board and their selection of text books. This is one example of conflicting educational cultures in the U.S.

The issue is when teachers who teach specific content which is highly political (i.e., social studies, history, etc.) let their own views creep into the classroom, and deny others their viewpoints. These viewpoints should be actively argued.


The best teachers I ever had in graduate school challenged their students to refute established left-wing orthodoxy, and would even argue from opposite perspectives to challenge their students.

conscious thought said...

The inherent problem here is that we have brainwashed ourselves to believe either you are left or you are right.

Our political process, as well as this blog, contribute to the thinking of either you are one or the other.

That is a sad commentary on our existence as a community of intellectuals who like choices and options.

We have very little of either in the current system.

Denis Navratil said...

anon, I can't offer an exact definition of left wing culture. But I know it when I see it. Take for example our public school kids. Every year they gather by the busload to protest for illegal immigrants rights. Can you imagine busloads of kids going to protest abortions or going to a rally in support of the Iraq war? I can't either.

The other day I was watching Law and Order or some other lawyer show. Two lesbian parents were accused of molesting their daughter. I said immediately that they would be innocent. I was right. Was this just a lucky guess?

I admittedly wasn't a serious student, so I might have missed those lessons in right wing culture, but I don't think so. I emerged from college as a moderate lefty like most everyone else. And I went to a Catholic college. It wasn't until I accidentally happened upon a book by Thomas Sowell that I started to think a bit differently. Finally I was reading something that was well written, not pretentious, it made sense and it was very different from anything I had been exposed to during my formal education.

There have been some studies done on people in the fields of education, journalism, entertainment etc... They tend to lean left. But if you don't think so, I probably won't be able to convince you otherwise.

So I suppose we should just agree to disagree, in an agreeable manner, of course.

Denis Navratil said...

ctw, what system do you propose?

Anonymous said...

"There are people in this world who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!" Tom Lehrer, 1960s

Discriminator said...

Yes Denis you are correct. Those that yell the most about tolerance are the most intolerant of anyone that is not on the same page as they are. Con servatives often point that out about liberals. However con servatives are also very intolerant of views that are not approved by the powers that be. Con servatives like to pretend that their takes on issues are not tolerated and are not mainstream and not politically correct. That is so obviously untrue. The "mainstream" includes liberal , conservatives and everybody in between. Only those that leave that box or political spectrum, after they realize the left and the right offer false choices, are not mainstream. Only folks like me that despise the left the right and the middle and that entire bunch of false choices are really politically incorrect. Conservatives and liberals are politically correct always or they will not be permitted to reach the masses. Yes the media will say this or that is not politically correct but anything they promote is politically correct no matter what lies they tell to confuse. There is most always a range of politically correct views allowed. The most liberal position is most often the most approved position though and yes the media is slanted left. On the Iraq war it is politically correct to be for or against the war as long as the reasons for your opinion are not based in reality. You can be against the war saying "no war for oil" ( I wish lol) or a host of other approved things or you can be for the war because you want the Jewnited States to spread democracy or a host of other approved reasons. It is not politically correct to be for the war because you think we should dominate the region and oil there and engage in genocide on the brown people there so as to lesson racial pollution on the planet. It is not politically correct to be against the war since it is a war for Jewish interests (especially a war for Israel)that are opposite of our national interests.

So be honest you are also not tolerant of opinions that are not politically correct and thus offend you. We are all intolerant to some degree as we should be. However most all folks are intolerant of uncomforatable unpopular truths though they love to be lied to.

Jennifer Feuker said...

Dear Denis,
I response to your comments about my letter to the Journal Times, and my truly not being tolerant at all.
First of all, let me say that I am not angry with you for expressing your opinion, however, for you to classify me as liberal is ridiculous. You make statements that not only are not true, but that you have no way of verifying.
You say I should be tolerant of Barbaras statements\opinions, yet the comments made by Barbara are hurtful and untrue. My main objective in life is to hurt none. For her to say that people who are gay will not ascend to a higher plateau after death because of being so is cruel. I am tolerant of everyone, and everyones opinions, however, to say such things are ignorant.
As far as the liberal thing goes, I generally vote Republican, but again would not classify myself as such, see I am a complex person, and cannot agree 100% with anyone. I have my own thoughts.
You cleary found my letter to be an attack on Barbara. Maybe I did not word my letter properly, I am trying to make people understand that words hurt. And to hide behind religion in order to make yourself feel better about doing so is sad.
Let me give you a little idea of who exactly I am. Even if I do not agree with peoples lifestyles, we are all people and for me to be as assuming as to voice hurtful words in order to force others to live the way I think is right is ridiculous. I am a married, & monogamous woman with four children. I live a fairly normal life. Go to work everyday, spend most evenings at home with my family, own my own home, have pets, go on vacations, etc. But, just because something is not right for me, or how I chose to lead my life, does not mean I have the right to say it is also not right for others. Everyone wants to be accepted. I am glad we live in a country that is generally more accepting of people no matter what color, religion, or sexual orientation. Raising my four children is the most important job I will ever have, and I take that position seriously. The views, morals, and thoughts about others That I instill in my children will determine what kind of adults my children grow up to be and whether or not they will be good to others. That is my main concern. How can I teach them to dislike others because they are not mainstream, or just like them? Do I share these same views about people who murder, lie, steal, or in general cause pain to others? Certainly not. Point being that I am tolerant, I am able to hear and try to understand how others feel, and I have many friends who do not share my views, politically, or otherwise. People with whom I have had constant and pleasant interaction with for 20+ years. I hope that this makes you understand a little more what my objective was when writing to the newspaper. And I would also like to thank you for starting your blog, bringing attention to my letter, and allowing me the opportunity to again voice my opinion, and possibly change someones mind who hates someone for something that is beyond their control. I believe in Love, no matter who is giving, or recieving. If only we could all live with that thought in mind. World peace might be achieved.

Anonymous said...

herbal viagra reviews effects of viagra on women how viagra works viagra soft tabs viagra suppliers in the uk what does viagra do buy generic viagra buy viagra soft online homemade viagra cheapest viagra prices buy viagra in england viagra free trial free viagra without prescription does viagra really work

Anonymous said...

At work the man I worked with got a virus opening a picture and when I am not there he tends to use my computer because its faster, I have important information about payrolls and financial info about the company and I can't afford to lose it. Thanks [url=http://gordoarsnaui.com]santoramaa[/url]

Anonymous said...

Good day


Why should you pay money to ebay when you can have a better ebay FREE at http://www.BuySellDirect.net


http://www.BuySellDirect.net is the free ebay you wanted to sell your products FREE on the internet.

Anonymous said...

viagra online without prescription buy real viagra no prescription - viagra online discover card

Anonymous said...

generic viagra best buy viagra generika online - cheap viagra 25mg

Anonymous said...

generic viagra buy viagra online dubai - purchase viagra germany

Anonymous said...

viagra online without prescription how to buy viagra online forum - purchase viagra malaysia

Anonymous said...

discount viagra best online pharmacy generic viagra - buy viagra houston

Anonymous said...

generic tramadol tramadol overdose how many tramadol does it take - buy tramadol online paypal

Anonymous said...

buy soma soma pills overdose - soma online discounts

Anonymous said...

buy soma soma san diego day remember - soma pills

Anonymous said...

buy soma illegal buy soma online - buy somatropin malaysia

Anonymous said...

generic soma generic soma d 31 - buy soma chocolate

Anonymous said...

soma online order soma online texas - soma san diego refunds

Anonymous said...

soma cost soma pills pictures - online somali translator

Anonymous said...

buy soma generic soma compound - soma drug mechanism

Anonymous said...

soma medication order soma usa - soma double cross dc

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online cialis joke video - cialis long term effects

Anonymous said...

order soma online pierce veil soma san diego - buy somatropin usa

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol mastercard tramadol hcl 50 mg nausea - tramadol for dogs drowsy

Anonymous said...

tramadol online tramadol for dogs after neutering - can you buy tramadol over the counter in usa

Anonymous said...

order tramadol online mastercard купить tramadol online - tramadol hcl 50 mg side effects

Anonymous said...

alprazolam mg nucynta xanax drug interactions - xanax withdrawal 2012

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy cheap tramadol no prescription - tramadol no prescription overnight cod delivery

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax lower blood pressure - xanax 2mg price

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol carisoprodol hydrocodone erowid - listaflex carisoprodol 350 mg prospecto

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol 50 mg max dosage - buy tramadol online without prescriptions usa

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol medicine soma carisoprodol - carisoprodol drug interaction

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy tramadol cheap no prescription - tramadol dosage neuropathy

Anonymous said...

cialis online generic cialis safe - cialis ad

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#30896 tramadol 50mg side effects dogs - buy tramadol 50mg usa

Anonymous said...

buy klonopin online klonopin zoloft anxiety - klonopin dosage rls

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online buy tramadol online overnight cod - tramadol extended release generic

Anonymous said...

buy klonopin online klonopin zoloft mixing - can u overdose klonopin

Anonymous said...

order klonopin klonopin euphoria dose - weight gain after stopping klonopin

Anonymous said...

buy klonopin online klonopin withdrawal symptoms nausea - klonopin withdrawal diarrhea

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg carisoprodol 350 mg and hydrocodone - carisoprodol dosage instructions