Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Esolen: tolerance is a two-way street

Catholic World News - September 21, 2012

Anthony Esolen writes for The Public Discourse that tolerance requires a mutual understanding: the person whose behavior is being tolerated should realize that his behavior is not being endorsed.

"When we tolerate we bear with someone or something," Esolen explains. We find someone's behavior offensive (otherwise there would be no call for tolerance), but for various reasons decide not to take action. Esolen gives the example of a neighbor living in adultery:

No matter whether my tolerance in this case is prudent or only timid, it demands reciprocity from my neighbor. He will refrain from bringing the new woman to my house, to meet my wife and children. He will refrain from lounging with her in his front yard, in affectionate embrace. He will refrain from publicizing the adultery. He will certainly not celebrate it.

Today, Esolen points out, the champions of "tolerance" are asking for something quite different. They ask that their behavior be accepted as normal, even promoted as virtuous. Their attitude, he says, is actually an offense against tolerance.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($26,339 to go):
$35,000.00 $8,660.70
75% 25%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Mysteries, again and again! April 17
Tips for getting comfortable with evangelization April 17
The Shroud of Turin on Display (and an odd canonical case against it) April 16
The Vatican says the LCWR is acting Catholic. And that's news. April 16
The Truth about the Armenian Genocide April 15

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16