Not Your Mother’s Kind of Tolerance

August 8, 2012

From the folks at Desiring God:

Views that advocate same-sex marriage are free to exist, but they are wrong.

Now, stop. Read the above sentence again. Are you okay with it?

Chances are how you feel about that statement indicates your understanding (or misunderstanding) of tolerance. D. A. Carson, in his book, The Intolerance of Tolerance, explains that Western culture isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders when it comes to knowing what tolerance is. He distinguishes two different concepts of this word: old tolerance and new tolerance.

Old tolerance — that is, before the onslaught of postmodernism — defines the concept as to “accept the existence of different views.” New tolerance, however, defines tolerance as to “accept different views.” More than just accepting a view’s existence, new tolerance adds that you’d better not say it’s wrong either. New tolerance demands that we consider every opinion to be equally valid. The only wrong is to say that everything’s not right. Just wait, it gets more complicated . . . .

Make sure to read the rest.

Your thoughts?

3 responses to Not Your Mother’s Kind of Tolerance

  1. People of differing views cannot freely exchange ideas if the very thought of having a different view is wrong.

  2. The new tolerant just can’t tolerate the old tolerant.

  3. Bruce,

    cough–strawman–cough. Carson is not saying that it is wrong to have a different view, but that the view itself may be wrong. The former is a judgment on the individual who holds the idea, the other on the idea itself.

    Or, do you believe, that all ideas are equally valid?