Monday, October 27, 2008

How we're tolerant people AND voting yes on Prop 8

This pretty much sums up how I feel on this issue. Its a hard one, but one I've carefully pondered and have thought out. Please watch this video before you make your decision on election day.


Scott said...

The claim that the definition of "tolerance" has been distorted in recent history is false.

The Church has claimed that tolerance "means love and forgiveness of one another, not 'tolerating' transgression" (The Divine Institution of Marriage). They claim that only in recent history has political correctness distorted the definition to include permissiveness or acceptance of wrongful behavior.

The Online Etymology Dictionary records the use of the word "tolerance" to indicate permissiveness as early as 1539. In 1828 Webster's said that to "tolerate" was "to suffer to be or to be done without prohibition or hinderance". Every available dictionary definition includes phrases like "freedom of choice and behavior" and lists "permissiveness" as a synonym. It is the Church that is attempting to redefine the word so that its members can claim tolerance without having to be tolerant.

People who are tolerant of each other can co-exist happily, cheerfully, and peacefully; each allowing the other to live his life as he sees fit without condemnation or prohibition.

Although I do not believe that smoking or drinking are healthy or beneficial or right from a doctrinal standpoint, I am still good friends with my next-door neighbor, and I can still visit with him and respect him and honor his right to drink and smoke if he chooses to do so. Out of respect for my beliefs he chooses not to smoke in my presence, and I appreciate that.

Although I don't believe that gay sex is right from a doctrinal standpoint, I can still be good friends with my gay neighbor and respect his family and honor his desire to celebrate his love for his partner by getting married.

Tolerance doesn't mean that I have to approve of behavior or actions that I don't agree with. It just means that I will refrain from expressing my disapproval, especially in any way that could be construed as a criticism of the person. It also means that I won't take any steps to try to prohibit or restrict the action or behavior by legal or other means.

That, I think, is how nearly everyone but the Church defines tolerance, and that, I think, is how a truly tolerant person would have difficulty justifying support for Prop 8.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

Then in your opinion anytime that the Prophet warns against sin or the consequences of such, they are guilty of intolerance.

So the Family Proclamation in your definition is intolerant. When Christ said, "Go and sin no more," was this an intolerant statement because the Savior recognized the persons sins? Was Moses out of line for introducing the Ten Commandments that God gave him?

You write: ...Tolerance doesn't mean that I have to approve of behavior or actions that I don't agree with. It just means that I will refrain from expressing my disapproval, especially in any way that could be construed as a criticism of the person...

So are you saying that a person can commit any crime, any sin or any offense and that no matter what, as long as this is what the person wants to do to be happy that you feel its intolerant to stand against that crime, that sin or that offense?

Given the logic you are using, your comment on my blog is intolerant because you have no right to attack my position or tell me I'm wrong. You are in fact breaking your own rule and being intolerant of me.

Scott said...

I should have been more clear, I suppose, and perhaps I worded things poorly.

The Prophet can warn against sin. Moses can introduce the Ten Commandments. I can say that I believe that smoking and drinking and gay sex are wrong. You can say that you believe same-sex marriage is wrong. I don't think that any of these statements, when made generally, are intolerant.

If I tell my neighbor that he shouldn't smoke and drink, or tell my gay friend that gay sex is wrong, I'm edging closer to intolerance. Whether I'm over the line or not depends on how I word it ("I believe that gay sex is a sin" vs. "You're sinning when you have gay sex") and on the frequency with which I mention it (if he is already aware of my feelings and opinion, there is no benefit on continually harping on the issue).

If I specifically try to hinder or prohibit my friend, or any group of individuals, from doing something I believe is wrong, I've definitely crossed the line into intolerance.

Technically, standing against crime is indeed intolerance, but it is acceptable intolerance. We, as a society, have determined what behaviors we consider criminal. For the most part, criminal behaviors are those which are harmful to other people or others' property. It is proper to not tolerate these behaviors.

Along the same lines, standing against sin is also a form of intolerance, and the acceptability of this intolerance depends on where we are taking our stand. Standing against sin within our church is proper. We should not tolerate the violation of our spiritual laws by those who have covenanted to uphold those laws.

Taking that stand outside the Church, to the world at large, is an inappropriate intolerance. Attempting to enforce our spiritual laws among those who believe differently than we do and who have not agreed or covenanted to obey them is wrong. We can teach the standard that we uphold. We can encourage others to live that same standard, but we cannot condemn those who choose not to or attempt to force them by legal means to do so. That is unacceptable intolerance.

The Savior told the woman taken in adultery to "go, and sin no more". This supposedly give us the right to do likewise. We conveniently neglect to read the words immediately proceeding: "neither do I condemn thee".

The Savior is our Redeemer and Judge. It was and is His right to judge, and His prerogative to condemn or forgive, while we are commanded to "judge not" and to forgive all men.

The Savior commanded sinners to "go, and sin no more", but He also loved them and lived among them, and led them to repentance by loving example, never by coercion or force.

emily said...

thanks for the video! it's awesome. i totally agree with you.

this is another interesting viewpoint:

BigRedHammer said...

To defend Scott, his comment is not being intolerant. He is not using "prohibition or hinderance". Stating a difference of opinion is not intolerance. *Acting* to remove "freedom of choice and behavior" is intolerance.

So the Savior allowing the woman to go and sin no more, he was very tolerant. He allowed her to make the choice herself. The Prophet speaking on behalf of the Church is not intolerant. He is expressing his and God's opinions.

Voting 'yes' on Prop 8 is intolerant. It is acting to prohibit and hinder a person's choice.

Now don't get me wrong, there are times where we need to be intolerant. We are not tolerant of murder, illegal drugs, etc. Intolerance is a good thing sometimes.

Regarding gay marriage, those who are Pro-Prop 8 just need to come out and call it as it is: "We are intolerant of gay marriage and gay lifestyles."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for so vigilantly standing up for what you believe Crow's Nest...and doing so in a respectful manner.

Anonymous said...

Yes, really.