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One Quiet Request for Tolerance
April 3, 2016
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
― John F. Kennedy
And, man alive! Is that getting harder and harder to believe and promote such tolerance, as the current election season devolves into name-calling, one-upmanship, and verbal sewage coming from what we are told are “great brains.” It all sounds more that, if those brains are indeed great, they have long since disconnected themselves from the candidates’ mouths. One side of this election truly has reverted back to middle school vocabulary and immaturity.
For the record: I’m not a registered Republican. I’ve voted in ten Presidential elections in my life (probably double that number of local and state elections) and I’ve yet to hear, see or consider a Republican candidate who holds the values I hold. Firstly and above all, the value of TOLERANCE. This is not to say there aren’t camps on the Democratic side that aren’t as thin-skinned and apt to sling mud where it is not warranted. There are. The so-called front-running Democratic candidate’s campaign is turning into one such group. Sad. My point is, I register one way in order to have a voice in the primaries; but I vote my conscience. I vote for tolerance. Period.
And for the moment, I see nothing resembling tolerance in either frontrunner, or the “closing in” Republican candidates that would make me want to vote for any of them to be street cleaner behind the Budweiser Clydesdales. Quite the opposite. Look at the TV offerings. How many competition shows do we really need? How many sitcoms that rehash and reinforce stereotypes? How many unreal “reality shows” that pique and tease the national appetite for pain, blood, death and profanity?
We are better than this, Americans. We know it. We also know it’s hard work. And that’s the problem. We have become lazy. Not to mention dishonest about our laziness. Or as was so much more succinctly put, by Edward R. Murrow (and here you can get lazy again and watch; I only hope you listen and think about what you hear):
The Daemon Volumes (Portfolio, Sacramentary, History & Bible) are about tolerance. Tolerance of other beliefs, lifestyles, languages, cultures and of one’s self. Tolerance as a healing between people and group. Tolerance as a means of education and appreciation of this precious world we inhabit. Tolerance as a respect for all lives and the need to point out that our society at large does NOT seem to value some lives because those living it have a different skin color. And Tolerance as a spur to do something about the intolerance in the world.
For myself, I teach tolerance along with maths, English, Science and what passes for Social Studies. And I write. All in the hope that some day, some one will read, listen and, once again, THINK.
“Good Night, and Good Luck Complete Murrow Speech” YouTube Embedded Media