Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gag the One You Dont Like.

Some things about the push for tolerance really bother me. Don't get me wrong, I completely think that we should all be tolerant of things that are different than ourselves in areas of religion, political stances, social ethics, etc. We dont have to agree, by any means, but we should strive to be respectful and atleast see where others are coming from. I would even say that I am more liberal in my view of tolerance than many people I know. But when it comes down to people crying wolf over this issue, its getting out of hand. "The other side isnt being tolerant of us...!" Come on.

Lately I have witnessed this happening a lot, both in my personal life and in the news. For an example in my own life, a class that I am taking has been down the trail of morality and ethics lately. We were discussing some meaty topics when people took one side of an issue, and then aggresively blasted the other side saying "They think they are right and they dont care what we think, and they are brainwashed, blah blah blah, how could they think they are the only right way, thats just not right." All while continuing to bash the opposing side without even taking thought or concern into their opinion. All while claiming that they were the only right way of looking at it. Wait a second, I thought that it wasn't right for the other side to think they were right, but its ok for you to think that?

Maybe you have heard of the scandalous Superbowl commercial featuring Tim Tebow, a cool college quarterback who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy. The commercial is all about celebrating family and celebrating life. His mom refused the medical advice given to her to abort her fifth child because of health complications after a trip to the Philippines. Well, then Tim was born. I have not seen the ad, but cant imagine it shows anything inappropriate or hateful (its by Focus on the Family for goodness sake). Yet, over 30 women's advocacy groups are up in arms about it because apparently it is offensive, demeaning, and is trying to use the Superbowl to bring division. (gashdangit, life and family are just so offensive.)

The average person can see the complete ridiculousness of this issue.  I love what BoundlessLine has to say:
   We all know how much sports brings our friends together. It's something we see all the time among Packers and Vikings fans, Cowboys and Redskins fans or Broncos and Raiders fans (Red Sox vs Yankees anyone?). You almost feel uncomfortable around them with all that love and uniting they show over games. (sense the sarcasm?)
   A USA Today article about the Focus ad is titled "Super Bowl ad no place to play with life choices: Women's Media Center." That's right. We all know Super Bowl ads aren't supposed to be about life choices. They're supposed to be about frogs who like beer, sugared-up carbonated beverages, and women who promote domain name registrations in beach wear.
And thats what I'm getting at here. Its not about what "side" you are on. Tom Nevin closes it up precisely: "They had never attempted to communicate their own message; they just wanted to gag the one they didn't like. That's what happening with the Super Bowl ad. Rather than produce and pay for their own commercial, they just try to shut down one they don't like."

Please people, when screaming for tolerance, at least have a little bit of your own. At least be respectful of what I have to say, and if you don't like what I have to say, instead of wasting all your time bashing it, come up with some intelligent campaigns or conversations that could reinforce and educate about your own stance. (the "other side" isnt afraid, so bring it on. the truth will win.)


(Check out this article as well. I love it.)


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Great post, Alyssa! I think the real problem lies in the definition of 'tolerance.' You and I define it as 'being respectful of someone's right to a different belief from our own.' But popular definition seems to have shifted to 'you must agree that all beliefs are correct - even if they are opposites.' You hit on the problem with this thinking - most people don't really hold it. They really want everyone to tell them they are right and not challenge them. No questions leads to weak beliefs...

Again, great post!

Shoot Son Dang Girl Alissa said...

I think you are right about our definition versus what popular culture is saying it is. And its frustrating and counter productive!

Also, Im glad you bring up that no questions lead to weak beliefs, because sometimes christians are given the stereotype that we are afraid of anyone questioning our beliefs. I say bring it on. God can handle it, and hopefully we are able to explain the hope that is within us!

Anonymous said...


Shoot Son Dang Girl Alissa said...

Oh good, because I can read that?

Sheila said...

Sadly the people that scream for "tolerance" are not tolerant.

BTW awhile back I told you about a friend of mine in Russia and you asked me did he have a blog. He does send out a newsletter and if you would like to contact him, his name is Russell Thomas and his email is I'm sure he would love to hear from you.

In Christ

Elizabeth said...

Hi Alissa, I was just reading your email again from when you wrote me in the fall.

I like your post. Tolerance is big in Russia right now, too.