We have learned in our culture that tolerance is important; that in some capacity, there is some situation whereby most people might do bad things but are still good people, and that we certainly should never cast a cloud over an entire group for the actions of a few. But there is one area where I believe that view has become too dangerous. There is one place where tolerance has gone too far.
I admit it. I was intolerant. I didn’t like being called that, but I was.
The truth is that I had never known an openly gay person, until my uncle died of AIDS. Then he was the only gay person I really knew until my godmother told me her news late one night outside my husband’s office in the capitol. I remember her asking me if she could still be in my life. I remember telling her I did not see how. We both cried for hours. I wasn’t sure at that point what “being gay” meant in practical terms. Was she a “man” now? Was she really gay, or just lonely? Would she just give up ever having children?
The truth is that I lived in a world where gay people seemed only to exist in the lives of other people, but not in my family until then. It was never a feeling of “hate,” though. It was honestly just compassion for her spiritually, maybe fear, and a lack of understanding.
As a post-abortion counselor during my master’s practicum, I hated abortion and all it encompassed. That is, until the day my obstetrician looked at me and told me that I had a pre-cancerous condition that would likely kill me if I carried the baby to term. Suddenly, the thought of telling my two little girls and my husband they would grow up without a mama and a wife so I could take a chance on having this baby I didn’t know yet was too much. For a moment, I honestly thought abortion might be the only answer to save my family. It felt selfish to leave my family without a mother to have this baby. I did have the baby, and we were both healthy, but I could then understand how a good woman could be convinced to have an abortion.
In junior high, I was often singled out for violent pummeling by an all-black gang. They made it clear that they targeted me based on my skin color. I lived in fear of that ever happening again. For years, I kept my distance out of fear of being hurt again. If that is intolerance, then so be it. I have overcome it now, but I am living evidence that racism goes both ways.
Until I had Islamic neighbors, I had never known a Muslim. There were three darling little children and two parents who seemed friendly and were good neighbors. It was at a stage in my life where I was struggling to find trendy clothing for my tween girls and was appalled at the way parents were dressing their daughters. I appreciated the modesty of the Muslim girls in our neighborhood.
It is nonsensical oversimplification to paint conservatives as intolerant. My concerns for my godmother were based on her wellbeing above all else. My concerns for those pushing abortion rights were based on love for the weakest among us and the lives and souls of confused young pregnant girls. Like all good-hearted Americans, I embraced my Muslim neighbors and found strong common ground on an individual scenario.
The truth is, we have tolerated too much. I am struck today not by what we don’t tolerate, but by the anti-conservative/anti-Christian bigotry that pervades our society the more tolerant we have become.
In the case of gay people, I live in California, and some in my closest circle are gay. I am very close to my godmother today. That doesn’t mean they are LGBTQ militant radicals who believe in the abolition of traditional marriage, just that they are gay. All have been very supportive to me in my desire to understand their psychology, and my passion to distinguish the liberties and political policies that can help us all live without bigotry that hurts people. Some of them have even helped me write about and report on the topic, as I have extensively.
In the case of abortion, my perspective has shifted from one who was outraged at a woman who would do that – let alone advocate for it – to one who has a heart for women and children ravaged by a $9 billion-a-year industry living off the backs of women’s pain. “Tolerance” has done nothing for the “fiscal conservative” here: Your taxes pay $1.5 million very day for the travesty of an industry that preys on young women and minorities. How is that a social issue? It seems very fiscal to me.
But in the case of Islam, I feel differently. A “nice” Muslim family was part of a ring of Muslims here to recruit little American girls to be taken to ISIS to be sold off or bargained away to live a life of rape, abuse and torture. Many “families” employed to do this are front people, posing as nice families preying on our tolerance and using it against us. Those who may actually be nice are not vocally opposed enough to the terror that the rest of them are creating for the world, in my opinion. If it were my “faith” that was inspiring such heinousness, I would question that faith, not continue to defend it blindly. That isn’t tolerance; that is radical militancy.
There is an invisible cyber war raging by ISIS 24/7 in which cyber detectives across the nation work valiantly posing online as children hoping to catch cyber predators before those predators catch our children.
The predators are crafty. How would you lure a naive 14-year-old girl? A predator (whether sexual or today, too often, Islamic) on the prowl will create an online persona using a fake identity of an attractive teen boy. First, they find their target, a young girl or boy who appears lonely or otherwise isolatable. Before ever making contact, the predator will learn about that child’s deepest desires and cultural interests. Then he drops the lure.
He will flatter the child. He will mention passion for things the child likes before the child mentions them to show common interests. As the child takes the bait, he waits patiently and looks for the perfect opportunity.
“Hey, I will be at the church Tuesday,” he says, knowing the church is the perfect disarming connection and knowing that no one is at the church on Tuesdays. “How about meeting me there and we can walk to the ice cream shop?” The child thinks they are meeting a young American teen. They are meeting someone who is a professional lure for ISIS. This has happened hundreds of times in the last year.
The scenario can also be live. Young girl meets young Muslim boy at school. He seems nice. He says all the right things. She has no clue that the meeting was not random. She is a target.
Decent, liberty-loving Americans have been pounded into submission, into accepting a second-class citizen status in which they must unilaterally discard any semblance of wise discernment. Tolerance has been defined in a way that anything less than full endorsement and flag-waving is bigotry and hate. Meanwhile, the tolerant left has armies of activists, lawyers and bureaucrats looking for the next Christian business owner or politician to target for destruction.
The slave trade is thriving again, but this time it is innocent women and young girls who are the victims. We turn a blind eye to those calling for help because we are afraid of being called intolerant or hateful if we speak out. Tolerance of radical Islam has caused Americans to tolerate slavery again. And it is the same political party allowing slavery just like it was 150 years ago.
Tolerance has gone too far. Our children are being actively recruited and kidnapped now. We must hold fast to the liberal ideals of our founders to be gentle as doves, but also wise as serpents. As the admonition goes, “It is not paranoia if they really are out to get you.” We have enemies in pursuit of our kids who seek to destroy the nation as we know it. There can be no tolerance of that.