Friday, November 11, 2005

Don't look now, but the Secular Taliban is on your tail!!!

The Secular Taliban is trying to redefine the concept of tolerance. Traditionally tolerance has meant that I'll put up with you even though I disagree with you. However the Secular Taliban is now trying to force you to believe that you must hold their values every bit as valid as your own even though they may contradict each other.

There’s a story told by a well-educated woman regarding the two young women missionaries caught in Afghanistan with the Jesus film. She believed that fact that these women were trying to reach out and share their faith with the people of that country was inappropriate. She said, "What right do they have in the first place to be over there trying to influence someone to a different point of view?" After we spoke, this same woman drove out of the parking lot with bumper stickers on her car proclaiming "Ban guns." "Stop logging." It was OK for her to convey her point of view, but she could not tolerate anyone promoting a belief system with which she disagreed. This intolerance of differing opinion is what the Secular Taliban is all about.

Another view the Secular Taliban hold is that truth is relative. There are no absolutes. If that's true, we can't say Hitler was wrong, can we? But soon after disabusing you of the notion that your truths are not absolute, the Secular Taliban will introduce their new set of truths which to them are very absolute.

A professor did a great job of destroying this idea of relative truth. He wanted to demonstrate to his students that there are absolutes. He told his class, "regardless of what you think, I want you to know absolute truths can be demonstrated and if you don't accept that they can, I'm going to flunk you." An angry student got up and said, "But that's not fair!" The professor replied, "See there, you've just proven my point. You have appealed to a higher standard of fairness of my own, or hopefully for you, an absolute, right?"

However, conditioned as we are to embrace tolerance, intolerance can be a positive thing. Let's think for a minute about the positive influence of intolerance. Consider the intolerance of the Christian missionaries who went into China and forbade the cruel practice of binding women's feet. Think of the Christian missionaries who went into India and in 1839 outlawed the practice of Sati, the burning of the widow on the husband's funeral pyre. Remember the intolerance of Rosa Parks, a frail woman who got on that bus in Birmingham Alabama and said, "I will not tolerate you telling me to go to the back of the bus any more." Or the intolerance of Susan B. Anthony and Katie Elizabeth Stanton, suffragettes, who said, "we will not tolerate anyone denying women the right to vote. "

These are examples of the positive political influence of intolerance. Making positive political reform in our society. When is intolerance a positive thing? When it destroys injustice. There are many things today that we should not tolerate. As you and I are sitting here there are twelve and thirteen year old young girls, maybe boys, being forced into prostitution. We should not tolerate that. Sixty-three percent of the babies born in Baltimore are born out of wedlock. We should not tolerate that. Nor should we tolerate the corporate skullduggery that has surfaced in recent months. G. K. Chesterton said, "Tolerance is a virtue for people who have no conscience." To put his words into recent context, just think of the people who were willing to tolerate Saddam Hussein's cruelty towards his own countrymen. People who just stood by passively and tolerated it when Hussein took his political enemies and threw them head­first into a device that grinds up plastic parts like a big trash compactor. People who were complacent when Saddam Hussein watched while Doberman pinchers ate his political opponents alive. Tolerance of injustice is a virtue for people with no conscience, for people who don't care. I hope in some small way you will be intolerant of injustice and intolerant of the Secular Taliban 's eager attempts to eliminate your freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

(Based on article by Foster Friess)

No comments: