The tolerant quote of the day

main cap tree borderThe following sort of reminds me of the story about Georgetown University debating the wisdom of removing crucifixes from its classrooms as a sign of that very hip Catholic school’s commitment to diversity. In the midst of the mini-media storm, it was the Muslims on campus who said the whole idea was nuts. In fact, a Muslim chaplain threatened to resign if the school took this step.

Now we have this interesting quotation, from a blunt editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer defending public officials who take the controversial step of calling a Christmas tree a “Christmas tree” in this troubled age:

Let’s be clear. Christmas is a holiday for Christians, when believers celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Calling it what is, is not meant to slight those who don’t believe as Christians do.

Karen Dabdoub, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was right when she told the Enquirer: “Who are we fooling? The Jews don’t put up a tree for Hanukah; the Muslims don’t put up a tree for Ramadan. It doesn’t take away from my celebration of my holiday for other people to celebrate their holiday. I don’t want anybody’s holidays to be watered-down. I think they’re all wonderful.”

Oh my. I think this attitude is called “tolerance” — “civic tolerance” (as opposed to “theological tolerance”), to be precise.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Stephen A.

    Wow. Examples of real, honest-to-God Tolerance, with a capital “T,” rather than the cultural cleansing that the fervent, illiberal jihad/Crusade secularists have been waging for the last few years.

    Maybe it’s occurred to some minority religions that if the majority’s religious expression can be taken away, their’s can be, too.

    Whatever the reason, I hope this idea that we don’t have a God-given right to NOT be offended by everything we happen to see or hear catches on!

    (p.s. I used both Crusade AND jihad here so no Muslims would be offended by this post.)

  • Carl Vehse

    The principle of toleration in which this nation was founded is not the Liberal Lie spewed by liberal politicians and judges, but that of Christian toleration. Stephen Colwell (1800-1871) explained it very well in his book, _The position of Christianity in the United States, in its relations with our political institutions,and specially with reference to religious instruction in the public schools_ (Lippincott, Grambo & Co., Philadelphia, 1854, pp. 20-23; http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moa;cc=moa;sid=0fe6ac3a60bd23e310763b1ca3bfcd78;q1=tolerating;rgn=full%20text;idno=AGE0581.0001.001;view=image;seq=0021):
    “The Christian nation which adopted this Constitution invited the people of every country to come and live under it; but in so doing they did not abdicate their Christian ascendency nor proclaim that their institutions were purged of the Christian element. They avowed toleration, and not infidelity, as their great principle… We are a Christian people, our institutions are constructed with reference to Christianity, and are intended to be administered under its light and influences; it teaches us to offer you the largest Christian liberty every enjoyed by a civilized people – the largest possible consistent with the existence of Christianity itself. It is the light of Christianity which enables us to offer this boon to all people, but while we make the boon great we can never permit the light to be extinguished which disposes and enables us to confer this signal favor. The right of private judgment will be accorded to all who come to our shores to the utmost extent consistent with the continued existence and comfortable enjoyment of our present Christianity. In offering these advantages of civil and religious liberty to the people of every creed and nation, they, our ancestors, did not concede any principle of the great work they had just finished; they did not propose to take down their fabric or fashion it to the taste of all who might take refuge within its walls; they did not propose to place the existence of Christianity and Christian civilization in our land at the mercy of those who should make their abode with us; they intended to extend a real Christian toleration to all people, but they did not mean that the idolators or pagans who might come among us should be regarded in their turn as tolerating Christians. They intended that it should remain a Christian land, and that the glory of its toleration should continue to be ascribed to its true origin, Christianity.”

  • Jim Dahlman

    A little off-topic, but about that Christmas card illustration: I’m sure the “holiday tree” reference was to the lit one on the middle, but my eye was drawn to the winterized, dead-looking thing in the foreground on the right side of the photo. That might be more approriate.


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