I am out of tolerance. (Minion: Let’s talk about pluralism instead.)
I don’t even know if other countries are having this particular conversation among their people. Finland is and seems to be stuck. Say that you are open-minded, tolerant - “suvaitsevainen” in Finnish - and you are asking for a shitstorm in your way. Because, according to some very loud people this means you have to tolerate the untolerance too, then.
You can’t say you’re tolerant if you don’t also accept racism, fundamentalism, nazism, chauvinism, and so on. Being tolerant means you have to just smile and shut up about any injustice? You tolerate shit, remember?
I am so very tired and fed up with this. Apparently I am NOT a tolerant person, because I can not tolerate the hate-mongering people and their extremist groups. I can not and I will not. Spreading hate and horror should never, ever be tolerated.
I am looking at you, Päivi Räsänen and Timo Soini. You and many others. You had your chance to tell your groups that you DO NOT tolerate views like those of the Utöya murderer among your groups, yet you DID NOT do this. You are still letting the extremist, hateful people flock under the safe and “politically correct” wings of your political groups.
I’ve run out of words, out of sheer anger and sadness.
This rage was brought on to you by courtesy of Helsingin Sanomat and Nyt-liite.
Veera Luoma-Aho, you are a wise and wonderful woman. I applaud you. Go read her column (in Finnish) here.
Hello, Loulou, I’m just going to rebagel this because you just said everything I was going to say, but with more words.
Tolerance is important but not everything must be tolerated.
This is why “tolerance” is such a bad way to describe what we mean. (Not to mention that even in a positive valence, it denotes mere “toleration” of the other, not an attempt at understanding.)
Cross-cultural relationships depend upon a mutual understanding of respect. Hate groups and extremists start from a position of disrespect, a priori. They have automatically placed themselves outside the bounds of a pluralist, cross-cultural society. “Tolerance” has a linguistic slipperiness that they can exploit.
“Pluralism” is probably the better word for what people like us mean when “tolerance” is used. It implies a built-in respect for the plurality of human experience and a basic attempt to include that multiplicity of life-styles within the context of the socio-political life of society.
Any group that starts with the assumption that these experiences may be invalid, may be unwelcome, or should be excluded also excludes themselves from this work, until they admit that their own in-group definitions are meant only for the in-group. I have no problem with an Evangelical Christian who believes that I am going to hell. They are welcome to believe that, since I’m an ex-Catholic agnostic at the moment. I understand that is their personal belief, and I’m OK with that. What I’m not OK with is them trying to externalize their internal rules about saved and damned into US law. Civil law must apply to all citizens with fairness, compassion, and equal strength. There are many Evangelical Christians that I have met who are perfectly OK with the idea that the laws of the land don’t match the Bible exactly. They understand that their beliefs are not everyone’s and that this is OK is a vibrant pluralist society. They believe that they can get more done for the world if they work with people who believe different theologies but have the same idea about the role of religion in the world: to help solve communal problems.
I’d go on further, but I thought I’d just offer the idea that maybe “tolerance” is the wrong way to say what we mean. “Pluralism” is what we want to promote, and these groups are preemptively taking themselves out of that discussion. So, when we leave their viewpoints out, they can’t lash back at us with out own words.