The problem with tolerance is that people mean different things when they talk about tolerance. When somebody else has a different idea of what tolerance is, they become intolerant. I understand this because I am intolerant of words that are not clearly defined.
I have no problem with people being different from me in appearance, belief, or action as long as no harm is being done to me or someone else. I certainly will not try to stop people from watching movies or reading books that they like. I don’t think that information should be restricted nor do I want to ban all beliefs or practices that I disagree with.
However, I am sure that there are certain things that people need to agree on. I think that by defining terms and talking with others who are different, I can understand the reasons for their actions. Otherwise, I may make false assumptions that cause me to be afraid of them.
I think constantly about which things I should tolerate and which I should either oppose or promote. Some things are just plain bad. There is no way I would ever want to promote abortion, rape, or dishonesty.
If I am doing something that is hurting someone, I expect somebody to tell me about it. Otherwise I will have no clue. In this case, I hope that people are intolerant enough to correct me if they have reason to believe that I am wrong.
If someone ignores someone because they disagree with their religion or politics, this is not tolerance. It is irrelevance. Since some things automatically affect everyone, they need to be talked about. I think that religion, politics, death, sex, and marriage are things that do affect us even when we try to avoid them.
As an example, I want to understand marriage. I am not looking to get married, but I need to know what it means to other people. Should I ignore people just because they are married to someone else that I do not like? What is the response I should have if I am invited to a wedding? How do I communicate with a friend if they marry someone who is abusive to them or to me?
Is it right to let people believe lies? A person cannot call themselves pro-life and then bomb an abortion clinic. It is just as wrong for them to kill as it is for the abortionists to kill. A person cannot call themselves pro-choice and then force people to pay for the abortions of others. If they arrest or kill anyone who wants to end abortion then they have taken away someone’s choice.
How can anyone tolerate things that are causing them pain? When people say one thing and then do the exact opposite, what response can there be except to point out the hypocrisy? I have no tolerance for people who confuse me. Because of this, such people are irrelevant to me unless their actions become relevant to their words.