12/13/13 – The one thing that I will not argue, the one thing that, if you are following current events, needs no arguing, is that Islam should simply be tolerated. It should not be tolerated. The reason? It is NOT harmless.
Tolerating it would be an attempt to render it “harmless.” That is, in one sense, what our leaders and many U.S. citizens are attempting to do. That is very much like the proverbial ostrich, which digs its head into the sand, trying to ignore a threat. We must not simply tolerate Islam, because we know it is NOT harmless; that Islam, spurred on by writings in its “holy book,” the Koran, poses a challenge, a fundamental challenge to our way of life. It poses a challenge to all of Western civilization; to all that we hold to be noble and worthwhile.
Islam is not harmless because of its ability, when left to its own devices, to attract unthinking people; uneducated people, people with real or imagined grievances, as followers. A few today, a few more tomorrow. And before long, it has raised an army of evildoers bent on destroying the civilized world.
To tolerate Islam would be to say that we care little for our own way of life – one that has, for almost four hundred years since 1620, produced the greatest, strongest nation on Earth – and that we are willing to let Muslims challenge it and impugn it every day.
Is that good? Is that right? I believe that thinking people will agree that there must be limits to toleration. Liberty is not license. Along with rights come responsibilities.
What views, if any, do we find simply intolerable? What about the Nazi view that Jews were part of an inferior race and should be eliminated? What about the Muslim view that anyone who does not accept the Shari’a system of laws and religion is an “infidel” and must be killed “wherever you find them?”
Is a healthy society one that must be open to every point of view? Must a free country allow itself to be destroyed from within? I thought we answered that question in the negative during the so-called Cold War and our battle against Communism.
Yes, freedom of speech is naturally a cherished good. It’s the first of the ten amendments to our Constitution. But should it trump all other goods? Does toleration reach a point when it ceases to be toleration and becomes in fact a kind of soft nihilism that can extend liberty to everything precisely because it takes nothing very seriously. And by nihilism, I mean the view being put forth by Secular Humanists, that every preference, however squalid, base or sordid, must be regarded as the legitimate equal of every other. Is this really tolerance or is it rather a form of moral decay that has simply decided to abandon the search for truth and all standards of judgment?
There’s a danger, I think, that endless tolerance leads to intellectual passivity and the kind of uncritical acceptance of all points of view that is terribly destructive to a society and to its people