I hate intolerance. I hate classism, racism,
intolerance, and sexism that prevents people from flourishing and making
the world a better place. This said, expressing moral and religious
convictions is not intolerance. Pointing out basic anthropology is not
intolerance. Permitting a range of lifestyles does not mean I am
compelled to promote every moral choice someone makes. I want for all
others the rights I desire for myself.
Agitators: refute the voices you despise with peaceful debate and solid ideas instead of harassment and violence. If Vice President Pence, Candace Owens, and Ben Shapiro are wrong, prove their thoughts inadequate instead of libeling and shutting down debate. By the way, will you apply your same standards to haters like Farrakhan and imams pronouncing fatwas on apostates? While you attack tradition, will you speak for the thousands of Christians, atheists, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists killed by folks that want a caliphate? (Not to mention the oppression of women and chattel slavery in these cultures). Are you going to protest outside of every halal baker and orthodox deli?
If we cannot find the character and maturity for free debate and civil discourse, our experiment on true liberty will end and Orwell’s nightmare will be upon us.
Conservative or liberal, cisgender or LGBTQIA+, religious or secular – we have a common interest in true liberty rooted in love and respect, hearty debate, and living peacefully with our deepest differences. If anarchy reigns, authoritarianism is waiting to pounce.
A critical mind is not a judgmental heart.
May we (re)learn the art of evaluating arguments and evidence, without castigation or hypocrisy. Disagreeing with another’s perspective – even on moral and political issues – does not mean hatred or intolerance.
Living peaceably with our deepest differences while we find common principles of ordered liberty requires humility and courage.
A Joyful Lament:
Lord, hear my praises and receive my tears:
Rejoicing in the goodness, love and power of Christ.
Lamenting the immature and polarizing words of people in power, from the President to celebrities.
Rejoicing in all the good work done by millions no one hears about.
Lamenting the sufferings of so many and praying for comfort in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Mexico City and scores of other locales.
Rejoicing in the progress of many dialogues, community outreaches and on-the-ground renewing of communities.
Lamenting the inability of so many to live with diverse views and honor one another.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Holy Spirit, come anew with purifying and transforming grace.
Today I read the sad news that Eli Wiesel has died.
His voice is one of a handful of “lifetime voices” marking my history.
As his generation leaves our world, the memories and lessons he offers must be amplified, especially in the current atmosphere of intolerance emanating from all extremes.
A survivor of the Shoah, a witness for peace and a devout man wrestling with good and evil, Weisel was unafraid to confront power in the interests of human liberty:
From asking President Reagan not to place a wreath at a German military cemetery in Bitburg to pleading with President Obama to call on Iran to renounce genocide and nuclear ambitions, Wiesel’s deeds and words leave a legacy of hope and thoughtfulness.
Praying for peace tonight.