Post: "Intolerant views should be eliminated."
Response: I saw this statement yesterday in the comments of some news about a Christian... and no doubt we all increasingly see these kind of statements frequently posted around the Internet. Infact, these are the kind of statements where I have seen people receive hundreds of "likes" on progressive-leaning news websites like Huffington Post, especially when they are talking about the views of theologically conservative Christians. It really appears that the persons who make such declarations, and their followers, fail to see the sheer irony in these statements. For to "eliminate" a view is somehow to believe that certain views are so unworthy of public discourse that such person(s) should not have the freedom of conscience to hold such views or speak about them publicly to anyone else. Now, if I understand tolerance correctly, all Christians I know of firmly believe in freedom of conscience. That is, they will disagree wholeheartedly with a false view of the world, but they allow for others the freedom of conscience to hold such bad ideas. Faith is a supernatural work of God in the heart and not something that can be coerced by the sword. But the new kind of so-called "tolerance" appears to embrace an a kind of "enforced tolerance" ethic which is obviously so muddled in self-contradiction that it should not even bear mentioning. But the new believers of such views seem to sit comfortably within their self-contradiction. It does not seem to bother them that their position defies all reason or logic, even when plainly pointed out.
These contradictions run deep: Ideas they like should be made mandatory and what they don’t like should be banned: There’s an underlying fascism that runs through those who hold these views. It’s not enough for them to embrace gay marriage; everyone else must be forced to love gay marriage. It’s not enough for them to make sure the speakers on campuses conform to their beliefs; speakers who don't hold their views must be shouted down or banned from speaking. It is not enough that they believe in abortion rights but everyone else must be required to pay for their abortions. While they may not use the sword to accomplish their goals they seem to be comfortable letting a judge friendly to their cause make a judicial fiat to outlaw free speech.
Consider this: Those who want to eliminate Christian views, by default, believe their own views are right and the Christian views are wrong. "Oh my, how narrow." And more often than not, they believe their views are morally superior to the Christians views. Wouldn't it be better to be open and honest and simply say, in love, that we sharply disagree with one another, rather than force our opponent and their views off the map? True gold fears no fire. The more our opponents work to undo Christianity the more they will realize they are kicking against the goads.
Let's pray for wisdom as we enter this new era as to how we might engage and love our friends who are influenced by such views.