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 July expenses ($15,467 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,533.29
44% 56%
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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Showing the Courage to battle homosexual impulses 3 hours ago
In other words, to be a Christian means this: 5 hours ago
Wanted: a balanced Catholic perspective on immigration 10 hours ago
Renewal with God before Us: Christ Determines All July 30
Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod July 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21