Tag Archives: Tolerance

Middle School Boy Deemed “Intolerant”

I am very big on the concept of tolerance.  I tell folks every day on my radio program to “tolerate” the eccentricities of others as they tolerate yours.  However, I fear that in the private and public sectors, tolerance is being spelled “C-O-W-A-R-D-I-C-E.”

There isn’t a day that goes by you don’t hear from someone that making a generalization about world terrorism and Islam is a display of intolerance, in spite of the fact that Islamic world terrorism is a fact.  You are brow-beaten down from facing reality because, when you do, an organization like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) comes after you with a vengeance.  People in the media have lost their jobs over stating reality, because it was deemed “intolerant.”

When you don’t want a monument to Islam to be built in the sight of the fall of the World Trade Center, well, you are intolerant and racist.

Our own President avoids connecting the words Islam and terrorism.

We have a woman journalist in America who is in permanent hiding because of an international fatwah (hit list) against her for suggesting that people participate in a “draw Mohammed day.”  I don’t see the world’s moderate Muslims tracking down the perpetrators of this fatwah or offering her protection.

Recently, we had a middle school boy in Sacramento, California ride to school with an American flag on his bike in order to recognize Veteran’s Day.  The school district forbade him to do that lest it show “intolerance.”  Truth was some Hispanic students threatened to harm this little boy. 

What?

It turns out the principal was afraid of the violent Hispanic children and, instead of protecting this little boy, cowardly backed down and forbade the showing of the flag of the United States of America.  The principal commented the Hispanic students would want to fly the Mexican flag and this would turn into violence. The school district reversed the decision when this became a national story.

Moreover, politicians have become disgustingly un-American with their commentaries on the heartlessness and bigotry of those who support legal immigration.  Some politicians and pundits act like having national boundaries and sovereignty is a crime against humanity.  Some politicians and pundits have the gall to call people who support legal immigration “bigots,” “hate-filled,” or “racists.”  This is utterly horrendous, and is an example of one party attempting to get power in America by catering to those who disdain our laws and sovereignty simply to gain power, power, power.

America used to stand for something, and was such a symbol France gave us the Statue of Liberty as a gift!

We are having our tolerance used against us by forces that would destroy us.

“I’m Offended” Becomes A War Cry

Those of you who listen regularly to my radio program know I am big on tolerance.  For example, I tell callers who are bemoaning a parent or other relative’s annoying behavior to play “Stepford” human being and just smile and be nice.  If, however, that relative is evil, now that’s not to be tolerated.  But being annoyed or likewise offended by stupid comments, quirky behavior, irritating demands, or odd habits is a waste of time and emotion.  Everyone has his or her quirks.  And when you live in a country like the United States of America – a salad of cultures and personalities with the freedom of self-expression – there’s always going to be something to be surprised or offended by.

Unfortunately, it seems that America is evolving into a”not offended zone.”  If anyone feels their feathers ruffled, well, many seem to think the world should stop spinning on its axis out of respect for their momentary discomfort.  This would be just silly and funny, if it were not a growing danger.

Let me give you recent examples of this situation.  These examples range from the ridiculous and silly to terrifyingly evil.

First, the principal of Chesterfield Elementary School in Missouri sent a letter to all parents on August 13th which said “singing ‘Happy Birthday’ is not permitted due to the sensitivity of all student beliefs.”
 
What?  You can’t possibly be sensitive to all student beliefs.  You should expect students to be sensitive to the fact other people have beliefs.  They should be taught not to make fun of other students’ beliefs, but they sure as heck should not be taught to give up their own beliefs simply because another student can’t or won’t share that belief.
 
I remember one rabbi telling me his small son was invited to a birthday party for a friend, but the birthday party was at a fast-food hamburger place, and this rabbi and his family were kosher.  That meant the boy couldn’t eat ANYTHING at the birthday party.  Did the rabbi condemn the party’s location?  No.  Did the rabbi tell his son he couldn’t go?  No.  He packed his son a kosher lunch and sent him off with a present for the birthday child.  He was teaching his son two things:  1) keep to your own beliefs no matter where you are, and 2) allow others to do the same.  Now that’s tolerance.  Tolerance is not forsaking your own values because someone else is offended.

Fortunately, enough parents at Chesterfield Elementary School rose up and cried “foul,” and the principal backed off.

Next example:  there’s a blog called “Love Affair with Gossip,” and it’s written by someone who calls herself “BuggyGirl.”  Here’s what she wrote:

Last night, my family and I went to the Olive Garden for my birthday dinner.  Anyhoo, it came time for them to bring the cake out and sing ‘Happy Birthday.’  The server informed us that the Olive Garden staff could no longer participate in the ritual of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ because some patrons had complained that singing by the staff was disturbing their meals.

How long does it take to sing “Happy Birthday?”  Six, seven seconds?  So, some grouchy people don’t like to hear six or seven seconds of cheer for someone else, and the cheer has to stop?  Who is the Grinch who stole birthday?  Also, let’s take a vote:  will most people stop going to a restaurant because “Happy Birthday” is sung?  Or because it is not?

Yes, I understand these are stupid calls, but they also lead to dangerous ones that unfortunately promise the tyranny of those who proclaim being offended.

Here’s where it has already gone:  far worse, far more serious is the reaction of a Muslim cleric who is running for parliament in Afghanistan – the country we are supposedly trying to liberate from the Taliban and Al Qaeda; the country which owes its current levels of freedom to our troops (my son having been one of them); the country which, 10 years ago, did not allow girls to go to school; the country which stoned women for showing their faces.  That country.

Mohammad Mukhtar, a cleric and candidate for the Afghan parliament in the September 18th election, in reaction to the news reports of the September 11th Koran burning set to take place at a Florida church said:

“It is the duty of Muslims to react.  When their holy book Quran gets burned in public, then there is nothing left.  If this happens, I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed.  No matter where they will be in the world, they will be killed.”

And we all know these people follow through.

So, here’s my question:  how come all the attention in our news media goes to a guy who wants to burn a book, and no attention whatsoever goes to a candidate for the Afghan government who calls for all Americans – that’s you, me, and our children – to be killed?

I do not believe in burning books.  I do believe I want to live in a country where if you burn a book, the response is not the death penalty for a third of a billion human beings.

I can understand Muslims being offended at having their holy book burned.  I’m not Catholic, and I’m offended at art shows in San Francisco displaying a crucifix upside down in a jar of urine.  My right as an American is not to attend and not to support such vulgarity with public funds.  However, when “I’m offended” becomes the war cry for censorship and mass murder, then we have allowed people to manipulate and twist the sentiment of offense and tolerance into a tool for murderous tyranny.