There is something that I consider to be one of the last acceptable predjudices in our Western world, the things you are encouraged to not tolerate. If you speak about it negatively, you will be exalted, and if you support it, you will be told that you ought to feel ashamed of your support.
The last acceptable predjudice is belief in the irrelevance of what people love to call, with noses in the air, "organized religion." I would wager that as a Catholic I belong to the very most organized of the organized religions, whose hierarchy, proclamations, church government, and beliefs are without a doubt organized as perfectly as possible. It is popular in western culture to consider those who form part of organized religion to be deviants. This is a supreme irony considering that secularism and spiritualism are the vast minority of the world's inhabitants now and all that have gone before. It is in fact unnatural, given all of human history, for a human being to depart from worship. Which is why they don't. They merely choose other things to worship. Sex. Money. Reason.
The fear of religious belief and the idea that it must be "reformed" has become widespread. It is linked to a great myth, well perpetuated in a capitalistic sphere, of progress. There is a pervasive belief in our culture that as we progress forward in creating better technologies that our beliefs and ideas are also progressively improving. This is simply not the case. Simultaneously, great movements towards acceptance and great movements towards bigotry exist. Epithets are thrown about towards those who think differently than the currently acceptable viewpoint. Nothing has changed since ancient times.
As a Catholic, my viewpoint, and that of my tribe, has not significantly change in its essence for twenty centuries and regardless has nevertheless retained wide acceptance. Our canon, unchanged, our message fundamentally unchanged, and the rules have not and never will be relaxed because they are based on universal law and the best that humanity has to offer. While Catholicism shrinks in the new world, it grows in other countries, it is certainly not a dead or dying idea. It is convenient for an enemy to imagine that their enemy is dying. It is convenient to try to interpret the sayings of the Pope as though he had become more "lenient" or "accepting" or "modern" to make you feel as though his words support your point of view - and that because your idea of what he said supports you, you "like" him. The Pope is not there to be liked. He is the leader of a massive movement, the most influential and progressive group of thinkers in human history. Many of us died for this, and we're still dying for it in many places in the world. Including close to home. The reports of the latest college shooting in the U.S. tell us that the shooter asked his victims what their religion was before executing them. Did he come by this belief that the religious deserved death in the darkest corners of the internet? No. It has been widespread throughout endless ages. He is only doing the same thing to our ideas that most of the people I know do daily on the internet: shooting them down.
The most amusing thing about it is that the greatest intolerenace of our day is directed towards us because of our supposed intolerance. The world grows to despise the law - to complain about speed limits and rules and regulations put in place for the purpose of making their lives safer and keeping them from death. They have a great intolerance of law, of tradition, of what they suppose to be evidences of a lack of freedom. The word freedom, accompanied by it's close cousin "rights" is thrown about as though each and every person should have free will to do whatever they choose, no matter the consequences. Of course, this too is true. We have full free will to choose to think and act in whatever way we wish and reap the consequences, both individually and as the human race. I believe, as does every orthdox Catholic, that we were granted that divine right to freedom and then given a better choice.
Acting on this freedom without compass is not freedom, it's foolishness. In truth, we have made no significant progress towards tolerance because tolerance is not a goal, it is a negative and disgusting state of mind that should never be lauded by anyone.
To tolerate something is, absolutely and definitively, to hate it. I refuse to tolerate anything. I will care. I will denounce. I will support or I will not support. But I will not, under any circumstances, allow myself to be such a coward, to stoop so low as to tolerate. What a disgusting thing to aspire towards. I happen to live in a country who is worst of all at this. Canadians are famous for their great toleration of things. Toleration is, at its heart, an inactive and brooding hatred of the beliefs and practices of others. No country, no individual should strive for such a thing.
But while I am intolerant of tolerance, I am unsurprised, even accepting of this prejudice. In fact, it is fundamental part of my organized religion to expect it, to recognize that it will never end. To stand without wavering in the face of it, even to death. To know that those who participate are blind and to fervently hope and pray for them to see clearly.
NOTE: In 2007, when I was in college, I began a project. And then as I became an adult, I became subject to a greater than usual amount of fear of reprisal. Simultanouesly, I continued to hold matyrdom in high regard, but as something unreachable. I have become disgruntled with myself and my fear of speaking out, and so I choose to do so again. After all, if one believes in the freedom of speech on all topics, they must both allow and participate in it. I have despised being politically correct for many years, but have done little lately to act on the compulsion I so often feel to speak out on matters that I feel are important. Once one finds their voice, it is unnatural to part with it.
(20) - [ Tolereance is Unnatural]