Conflict & Tolerance

Lots of opinions, lots of anger and lots of hatred infect all issues surrounding the current all conflict in the Middle East.  We can argue over the origins of the violent conflict, but in the end it comes to tolerance.  No, I don’t mean that stupid politically correct “tolerance” that actually isn’t.  That, correctly defined, is a fit, yes, a fit.  The kind that a little child has when it doesn’t get it’s way and when it is denied sweeties.  Tolerance as used today really means that YOU must accept ME at all times and in all ways and refuse to challenge ME at all about anything.  If you do, then you aren’t tolerant.  I, however, can rag on YOU about anything I want to, because you must tolerate ME.  If YOU have any standards of behavior or a moral code, by definition, YOU can not be tolerant.  All bets are off if you are currently a white Christian, you are intolerant before you ever open your mouth, period, don’t bother.

Actual tolerance is really the biblical virtue inherent in the second commandment as defined by Christ, “Treat your neighbor as yourself.”  Which means being respectful of someone being who and what they are, NOT accepting and conforming to their belief system without question, but allowing a difference to exist, just the fact of a difference.  It also means that when I have a difference with you that can not be overlooked we approach in peace and discuss how to handle the difference, how to mediate or how to part amicably.  It doesn’t mean that hard things can’t be said, that relationships aren’t broken.  It means that HARSH and VILE things are not said, and that no one ends up dead.  Saying hard things is often the only way truth can come out, subtlety is usually wasted, no one ever gets it.

So, while I sit here a world away from the flying insults and rockets of the Middle East, I will pray for peace, but an actual peace, and for wisdom and truth to rule.

More to come…….

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