In today’s society, there is a growing “anything goes” attitude. Followers of this school of thought believe that whatever lifestyles, activities or speech in which a person chooses to engage, are perfectly all right. They believe that we as a society should celebrate and embrace our differences. In short, this is a tolerance movement.
However, our society’s practice of tolerance can lead to hypocrisy. Let me give you an example taken from conversations that I usually wind up in at least once a week.
Somehow, homosexuality, or some other controversial topic, is brought up. Several people chime in about gay rights this, or homosexual marriages that. Then after listening to all that I can take, I tell them very bluntly, yet not disrespectfully, that I believe that practicing homosexuality is wrong. Then all chaos breaks out. I am given lecture upon lecture of how I “need to be more open to what other people believe” and that I “have to be more tolerant of other’s viewpoints.”
At this point, the hypocrisy should be glaring you in the eyes. The “anything goes crowd” is so bent on making others tolerant, that they are not tolerant of those who they claim are not tolerant.
Evidence of this inconsistency runs rampant in our society. Wherever you see somebody standing up for something they believe in, whether it is Christianity or even Old Glory, you will also see someone screaming tolerance.
In recent times, questions such as, “How dare you get angry at someone burning and trampling on the cloth representation of the country that you love?” or “How dare you speak up when someone is mocking your God?” have become all too common.
In their rigorous pursuit of the protection of rights, the people who ask these questions do more damage than anything else. More often than not, it is freedom of speech that is the first right to be conveniently forgotten. We’ll just say that, due to their “open” minds, there are a few leaks in their memories. According to their line of thinking, burning a flag is a right, but speaking out against it is not a right because it is suppressing the flag burner’s right.
If anything truly goes, and if they really want to embrace and accept everyone’s lifestyles, then that should encompass those of us who believe that anything should not always go. It should encompass those of us who don’t accept everyone’s lifestyles.
Since this is obviously not the case, the situation is simplified. The quarrel between the “tolerant” and the “non-tolerant” can be looked at as two different moral standards jockeying for position.
Depending on the mood you catch me in, I may or may not try to convince you that my moral standards are right and yours are wrong, but at least if I do, I am not doing so under the hypocritical guise of “tolerance.”
Dustin Nation is a junior computer information science major from Broken Arrow, Okla.