Lines in the Sand

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Well the election is over. Not the result I wanted for sure.  It awakened a dormant political side to me, something that I hadn’t realized I cared so deeply about.

There were so many issues that were brought up during this election. And many of them boiled down to the issue of “tolerance”.  We debated over the niqab, over aboriginal rights, over the refugee crises.  And on and on it went.  Words were hurled back and forth:  fear mongering, bigot, divisive, intolerant.

And so I thought quite a bit about the basic issue of tolerance over several weeks. And I think I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really exist.  It is impossible.

It is easy to say that tolerance is a good and valuable ideal in society when we are in agreement or, at the very least, neutral to an issue. But I sincerely doubt that anyone would be tolerant of an issue that they would consider immoral.  And therein is the problem.

Society cannot agree on what we consider immoral. We all draw lines in the sand where we are willing to take a stand and say –

“No, that cannot continue unchecked”

or

“No, I will not accept that.”

And they are all different.

We are only tolerant until an activity crosses our moral line in the sand and that line is different for everyone. What I consider immoral and what you consider to be immoral will differ.  And when they differ, the one who draws the line becomes intolerant.  Or a fear mongerer.  Those that clamour for tolerance become intolerant to those that disagree with them.

And so there can be no truly tolerant society. And that is where I am at right now.

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