Toleration is something that’s often misunderstood. The dictionary definition of toleration is as follows:
1 a : the act or practice of tolerating something
b : a government policy of permitting forms of religious belief and worship not officially established
A more modern definition reads:
Agreeing with any cause or stance that affirms your beliefs. It can also apply to others who should agree with, empower, embolden, or protect your ability to do whatever it is you decide to do, feel, think, write, or act like. Anyone who disagrees with your self-perceived right to act or think in any way is to be seen as “intolerant” of you personally and therefore can be ignored, rejected, or belittled.
While the dictionary definition is very simple – the more modern definition is something that is experienced more than anything. In researching this post I came across a promising site named Teaching Tolerance. Their stated purpose is to:
Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.
In fact, on their “About Us” page, they even provide their own definition of the word “tolerance” as follows:
Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference.
We see again a very different view where tolerance is not something that is merely the process of tolerating (understanding without prejudice) something, but “accepting and appreciating” those differences. This is a theme that they are very dedicated to. There are scores of articles that I’ve found on their site that denounce hatred for all people. This is something that I agree with whole-heartedly. It’s some of the other things that I seem to have an issue with. First is their call for acceptance of homosexuality in the classroom.
In an article entitled Exposing Hidden Homophobia, an 11th grade English teacher is lauded for her approach in exposing and transforming the minds in her care in regards to their view of homosexuality. Her whole project started when she heard the children stating that offensive or irrelevant things were “gay” and she wanted to see if she could stop this practice. While I agree that name-calling of any kind is unwelcome and should be avoided, it’s her second motive that really struck me. She was curious why there were so few openly gay people in her community. What she developed was a 37-day course that introduced the children to heroes and martyrs of the homosexual community and, with careful planning and organization, imposed upon them the belief that any sexual orientation is acceptable and to be appreciated. As part of her course, she introduced them to movies and books that are at the very least pornographic. What do I mean? One of the books that were produced for required reading is described on the author’s site as follows:
Two best friends spend their first summer apart blogging to each other about their separate but equally exciting romantic and sexual adventures. Chuck, the talented one, goes off to summer theatre camp where he proceeds to fall for the sexy female lead of his show. Hal, the less talented one, stays at home in exciting Wheaton, MD learning how to drive and getting busy with a hot French dude he meets at the mall. With a frank and shocking candor, these two 15 year-olds going on 20 debate their differences, consider their similarities, and push their decade long friendship to the breaking point during a summer that neither of them will soon forget.
I can barely quote that description in good conscience and I would definitely not quote anything from the book. The very description speaks of homosexual pedophilia. To make it worse, the same “tolerant” site has recommended that this course be adopted into other schools and taught in as many places as possible.
I wonder if they would be so tolerant of teaching that homosexuality is a sin and that it was spoken against in the Bible repeatedly. Tomorrow I will dig a little deeper into this site and see where they stand on the marketplace of ideas related to evolution and creationism.