Search This Blog

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Limits of Tolerance; a Commentary by Fr. Barron...

Speak, see and hear no evil...
One of the biggest problems facing society today is the confusing of love with tolerance.

In fact, even among Christians, in our earnest desire to avoid being seen or labeled as intolerant, bigoted or closed-minded, we have been willing to accept things that may go against our better moral judgments, just because it is, at least outwardly speaking, accepted by society as the more "loving" response to a particular issue or behavior.  In turn, these behaviors become cultural norms.

However, love is more than just acceptance, tolerance and inclusion.  It is a sincere desire, as St. Thomas Aquinas described, "to will the good of another as other," even if it involves or, as Fr. Robert Barron points out in his latest commentary, it must involve, an intolerance towards adverse behavior and thought.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Freedom is not the right to do what we want but the right to do what we should."  And, he well could have been speaking of today's culture.

The dangers of this contrast and misguided acceptance between tolerance and love for Christians, Fr. Barron states, was made clear in a recent sermon by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of America, Katherine Jefferts Schori, who, while praising the beauty of diversity, indicated that St. Paul himself was subject to the intolerance of his time when he cast out the spirit that gave a slave girl fortune-telling abilities in the Acts of the Apostles and thus "depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness."  (Which by the way, is a perfect argument as to why the Church teaches that Sacred Scripture must be read through the lens of Apostolic Tradition and not personal interpretation!)

In any event, Barron says that once tolerance replaces love, as the motivating virtue driving society, truth becomes irrelevant and even the devil can be accepted as beautiful and holy...

No comments: