The Faux Virtue of Tolerance

Glenn Fairman
Our age's faux virtue is tolerance: but it is a tolerance that has degenerated from its original application relating to religious matters of conscience and morality. Such tolerance, driven by the influence of the Gospels, the Enlightenment, and the Reformation, rightly enjoined that in Christendom and the West religious choices were to be condoned, and that one would not forfeit his liberties, or his head, for matters of conscience or belief.

Compare this with the undifferentiated tolerance of the Postmodern West, which obscures the yardstick of nature and excellence, clouds the frontier between vice and virtue, and holds moral judgments as categorically suspect. Such a debased understanding reduces tolerance to the proposition that all "life styles" are equally valid -- all behavior is essentially commensurate -- the social panorama of human conduct is fundamentally natural and morally neutral.

In order to arrive at this capricious state, the very proposition of objective truth had to be annihilated and revelatory articles of faith discredited. Moreover, theological hallmarks such as biblical inerrancy, the transcendent law of the Decalogue, and the undisputed tenets of faith had to be called into doubt and deconstructed under the assumption that words, ideation, and concepts are time and culture bound. This meant that what spoke to and animated one generation of people could not do so to another.

Effectually, this is historicism: the epistemological isolation of men. No longer can the Ancients speak intelligently and credibly to the Moderns; and as a result, Modernity has brokered its own stunning collapse by alienating its civilization's precious linkage with transcultural and transhistorical wisdom and truth. Within the reductive influence of the multiculturalist worldview, in the spirit of an unmoored and emaciated tolerance, the West has voluntarily enfeebled its God given powers of discriminatory right reason: the emanating shadow of the divine logos.

Subsequently, we now have intellectuals and philosophers who hold that the life of virtue is subjective and not empirically preferable to the life devoted to pleasure; or Christian clergy who cannot say with determined certainty, informed by faith, that Jesus is the sole path to the Father. And more fully, we can no longer agree that the teachings of the Nazarene are anymore superior to the agitated ramblings of a murderous, mendacious, pedophile lunatic.

Glenn Fairman is a writer living in Southern California. He blogs as The Eloquent Professor at www.palookavillepost.com and can be reached for praise or blame at arete5000@dslextreme.com.

Our age's faux virtue is tolerance: but it is a tolerance that has degenerated from its original application relating to religious matters of conscience and morality. Such tolerance, driven by the influence of the Gospels, the Enlightenment, and the Reformation, rightly enjoined that in Christendom and the West religious choices were to be condoned, and that one would not forfeit his liberties, or his head, for matters of conscience or belief.

Compare this with the undifferentiated tolerance of the Postmodern West, which obscures the yardstick of nature and excellence, clouds the frontier between vice and virtue, and holds moral judgments as categorically suspect. Such a debased understanding reduces tolerance to the proposition that all "life styles" are equally valid -- all behavior is essentially commensurate -- the social panorama of human conduct is fundamentally natural and morally neutral.

In order to arrive at this capricious state, the very proposition of objective truth had to be annihilated and revelatory articles of faith discredited. Moreover, theological hallmarks such as biblical inerrancy, the transcendent law of the Decalogue, and the undisputed tenets of faith had to be called into doubt and deconstructed under the assumption that words, ideation, and concepts are time and culture bound. This meant that what spoke to and animated one generation of people could not do so to another.

Effectually, this is historicism: the epistemological isolation of men. No longer can the Ancients speak intelligently and credibly to the Moderns; and as a result, Modernity has brokered its own stunning collapse by alienating its civilization's precious linkage with transcultural and transhistorical wisdom and truth. Within the reductive influence of the multiculturalist worldview, in the spirit of an unmoored and emaciated tolerance, the West has voluntarily enfeebled its God given powers of discriminatory right reason: the emanating shadow of the divine logos.

Subsequently, we now have intellectuals and philosophers who hold that the life of virtue is subjective and not empirically preferable to the life devoted to pleasure; or Christian clergy who cannot say with determined certainty, informed by faith, that Jesus is the sole path to the Father. And more fully, we can no longer agree that the teachings of the Nazarene are anymore superior to the agitated ramblings of a murderous, mendacious, pedophile lunatic.

Glenn Fairman is a writer living in Southern California. He blogs as The Eloquent Professor at www.palookavillepost.com and can be reached for praise or blame at arete5000@dslextreme.com.