- "Truth is the greatest of all national possessions. A state, a
people, a system which suppresses the truth or fears to publish it,
deserves to collapse." --Kurt Eisner
"Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar,
but is a stab at the health of human society." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
"And, finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to
herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and
has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition
disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors
ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them."
--Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Act for Religious Freedom, 1786.
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You don't have to look far today to find evidence of liberal
intolerance. The headlines are everywhere: "School teacher fired for
praying with students after tragic accident," or "Columbine school
officials tear down religious tiles remembering slain students."
Liberal intolerance asserts itself in libraries, where
Ohio, family is looking for answers after officials at the Toledo-Lucas
County Public Library rejected their book donation (on Planned
Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger) for being 'too
political'; and in the media where 'Sponsors of the Love Won Out' conference, which protects young people from homosexuality, say media in the city are censoring their ads."
It's little better internationally, where "Trinity Western University is waiting to learn the date it will be required to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada to defend its right to train teachers for service in public schools -- a right the British Columbia College of Teachers says the school should not have because of its opposition to homosexuality." Despite protestations to the contrary, liberals seem consumed with hatred and intolerance for any views or ideas that challenge their own. Why?
I think there are at least three major reasons:
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1) Ignorance. Many of those who espouse liberal ideals are abysmally ignorant of their own history, culture, and society. When you don't know where you came from, it's difficult to understand where you are headed. George Santayana, an American philosopher and Harvard University professor wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." He wasn't being funny in using the word "condemned." The individual liberty that you and I enjoy today is a very recent development in human history. It grew out of the values that Christianity brought to pagan society -- where under the old order women were chattel and your family's class determined your destiny. Without the values that grew out of Christianity, most of us would still be surfs working the king's lands; our wives and children his playthings. Liberals, being ignorant of these facts, assume the freedoms we enjoy today to be the eternal condition of mankind.
2) Laziness. The degree of intellectual laziness among so many of those pushing the liberal bandwagon is difficult to accept. Many of these individuals clearly have the ability to think -- but are loath to do so. This is evidenced by quips like, "your truth and my truth," or the ubiquitous "whatever." By piously deceiving themselves that all truth is equal they eliminate any need to examine facts and arguments -- the credentials that values must be asked to present whenever they come calling. Of course these individuals don't live their lives this way; when was the last time a piece of software that repeatedly crashed was justified by "your truth and my truth"? They have even dressed their laziness in the robes of tolerance, thus flaunting their vice as a virtue. Did they really believe no one would notice?
3) Selfishness. Liberals worship at the altar of personal peace and affluence. Any idea that disturbs these twin gods is immediately labeled a threat -- and the individual proposing it "intolerant." Thus a protester confronting a pregnant woman with the fact that abortion will dismember the baby inside her womb is likely to make her uncomfortable -- and must be legislated against. Freedom of speech -- Jefferson's great safeguard of "free argument and debate," will always give way to personal peace for the ignorant and slothful. Dictators know this -- and appeal to it.
Ignorance, laziness, selfishness: These are the main reasons that today's liberals become hateful and intolerant whenever their treasured views of the world are challenged. They -- not Thomas Jefferson's campaign letter to the Danbury Baptists -- are the reasons that any mention of God must be purged from the public schools. It is not little Josephine who must be protected from God, but rather her mommy and daddy, who are loath to deal with uncomfortable questions about the origin, meaning, and final destiny of humankind, or risk embarrassing questions about the way they live their lives today. Ignorance, sloth, and selfishness: They are the reasons that public library bookshelves must not hold
books detailing Margaret Sanger's love affair with
eugenics. Why, think of the uncomfortable questions mom and dad would face if little Jimmy learned that such a modern icon had a less than saintly past! Ignorance, sloth, and selfishness -- certainly not a commitment to "free argument and debate" -- are the reasons that homosexual advocates must never have to face their critics in the media. Jefferson's dreadful caveat, "unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate" -- is now the daily condition truth faces in our nation's once-great and free press.
It is a sad fact that today's liberals are but a rotted corpse of their classical forebears. Such men and women were distinguished by their historical, cultural, and social knowledge, and possessed of a genuine love for their fellow creatures. They thought deeply about life's great questions -- which is why they are a joy to meet and converse with. Yes, they do still exist, but I have met only one in the past 15 years. Treasure such a person, should God bring him or her into your life. But accept no substitutes. Sometimes love demands that we speak the hard truth, and today's would-be liberals are in desperate need of understanding their Faustian bargain: separation from God and flight from humanity. The human race has trod the path of self-deceit too many times before. Those who know the hell that awaits at the end of that road have a duty to speak out before our culture boards the buses and checks into that camp. Love for our fellow creatures, including those we disagree with, requires that we publish the truth. The good news is that God is still in the business of changing hearts and minds, one at a time. Many of us are evidence of that. We must do our part, and pray that He will do His.