Friday, November 26, 2004
Lessons in Tolerance
Air Force Academy officials sent out a memo in September notifying staff of their policy on tolerance. "Our policy is clear. Tolerance of gender, racial, ethnic and religious diversity is required at our Air Force," one official said.
Under the policy, certain staffers were admonished for putting innocuous biblical verses at the bottom of their e-mails, and cadets were warned after using academy e-mail accounts to encourage others to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
Don't be confused. This was not a church/state issue per se, but involved the school's "tolerance" policy. But can't you see how the term has been mangled to further certain ends having nothing to do with the stated policy of promoting tolerance?
Is it "tolerant" for the school to discourage Christian students or staff from speaking freely about their faith, in e-mails, no less? Only if we accept the idea that Christianity is presumptively offensive and intolerant on its face.
As far as I can tell, there was nothing remotely threatening to non-Christians in those e-mails, merely positive words about Christianity. But in many pockets of postmodern America, bold (and even meek) professions of Christianity are often seen as expressions of intolerance precisely because intolerant secularists have succeeded in branding Christianity itself as intolerant.
Another step in the attempt to establish Atheism as the state religion....Or why else should freedom of religion be interpreted as being freedom from religion? True tolerance would allow us all, no matter what our personal religious persuasions, to have a say, Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist, Islamist, or Atheist. This freedom from religion functions as the establishment of one, Atheism, as the official state position.