Is Tolerance an End, or a Means?

Lots of continuing commentary going on in the blogosphere, especially the Catholic part of it, regarding the Accepting Abundance “public morality” post we discussed here yesterday.  Over at Little Catholic Bubble, Leila posted an interesting quote:

We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. – Archbishop Chaput

The left long ago learned the trick of using a nice-sounding word to cover a wicked agenda.  The key is to find a word that is hard to argue against, claim that the word covers some desired, liberal goal and then say anyone who opposes this goal is opposed to the nice-sounding word.  “Tolerance” is one of those words being misused – like using “choice” for abortion; if you are opposed to abortion you are not opposed to murdering babies, you are opposed to people choosing, you see?  These days, the left uses the word “tolerance” as the nice-sounding word to cover the concept of homosexuality being morally the same as heterosexuality.

Just as the left would never get anywhere advocating for baby killing, so they wouldn’t get anywhere trying to convince common-sense people that gay and straight sex are morally the same…so, “choice” instead of “baby killing” and “tolerance” instead of “gay same as straight”.  And if you oppose the concept of homosexuality being morally the same as heterosexuality, then you are being intolerant…even though you’ve never said anything against gay people and, indeed, strongly advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination against them be removed (as all believing Catholics, for instance, hold).

We need to scrape away the lies which have grown up in our society -the various words and phrases the left has twisted to cover the bad and unpopular things they wish to impose on us.  Tolerance is a means, not an end – it is something we do because we wish to live in a peaceful, civil society…but it must not and cannot mean approval.  I am not being intolerant when I say that homosexual sex is inherently disordered…I am merely stating the truth as I understand it.  If the left wants to persist in using that word, then we have to force them to use it properly…and right now, if “tolerance” is the goal, then they’ve won…gay people are broadly tolerated in the American populace and none but a few kooks would dream of putting the slightest legal disability upon homosexuals (good to keep in mind, liberals, that I and plenty of other conservative Christians are, for instance, not opposed to openly gay people serving in the military…and until you went and tried to judicially impose gay marriage, most of us were in favor of some sort of civil union legislation). But that is as far as we can go – to go beyond that, especially for a Christian, is impossible.  We can’t say that what is wrong is right – we are, indeed, supposed to die rather than do any such thing.

Let us start having debates without lies – no more code words, twisted phrases or rhetorical misdirection.  Words mean what they mean, and we should use them as they were intended.  Truth is not subjective – what is right is not dependent upon the ideological viewpoint of the individual.  There is a truth to adhere to – to discover as best we can and then attempt to apply it as best we can in our lives.  To do otherwise is to sink in to a morass of dishonesty where reason cannot exist…and to play the liberals game of undermining us by the clever tricks of the propagandist.