“Tolerance” is Virtue on the Cheap

Via Charles C. Cooke, I ran across an appalling story from Great Britain.  According to The Telegraph, a British couple had three foster children removed from their home because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party, and social welfare officials have deemed the party “racist.”  In a rational world, the foster parents would be considered exemplary citizens:

The husband was a Royal Navy reservist for more than 30 years and works with disabled people, while his wife is a qualified nursery nurse.

Former Labour voters, they have been approved foster parents for nearly seven years and have looked after about a dozen different children, one of them in a placement lasting four years.

They took on the three children — a baby girl, a boy and an older girl, who were all from an ethnic minority and a troubled family background — in September in an emergency placement.

Yet our world is far from rational. From my many encounters with the hard Left, I learned long ago that you are deemed an evil person — regardless of your other virtues — if you believe men shouldn’t have sex with each other or that babies shouldn’t be dismembered in the womb on a mother’s whim, but I can sometimes forget how smugly self-satisfied the disciples of tolerance can be.  You see, just as you can serve your country, your fellow man, and feed the hungry for your entire adult life and still be considered nothing more than a lowlife bigot if you don’t adopt the latest fad in modern sexual morality, so can an absolutely miserly prick be considered “good” for simply having the “correct” thoughts bouncing around his otherwise self-indulgent brain.

I’m reminded of the ongoing, public vilification of Michele Bachmann.  Here’s a woman who — by any objective measure — has dedicated an enormous part of her adult life to helping the “least of these.”  Who among us has taken in more than twenty foster children (she fostered 23)?  Who among us has taken in even one foster child?  Yet is there a more mocked and despised woman in all of Congress?

The secular Kingdom of Man so painstakingly constructed by our cultural elite is pretty appealing, in concept.  In this secular kingdom, your sexual experimentation is virtuous (brave, even), you can delegate charitable service to the welfare bureaucracy, and you can even convert what would otherwise be intolerance and totalitarianism into “tolerance” and “civil rights” so long as you choose the right targets for your venom and vengeance.  And as the social costs of your libertinism continue to build and build, simply kick the can down to unborn future generations while ostracizing from polite society anyone with the temerity to ask that either the self-indulgence or the fiscal irresponsibility slow or — God forbid — stop.

And so the innocent will once suffer — after the horror that necessitated the initial “emergency placement,” they are removed from yet another home, disrupted again — to serve the lords of tolerance.  But at least three underprivileged kids won’t be exposed to bad politics, so British social welfare bureaucrats can sleep soundly at night, secure in a job well done.

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