I’m Not Sure Tolerance Is The Right Word

I’m Not Sure Tolerance Is The Right Word May 29, 2017

Zero-ToleranceThe more I think about the word Tolerance, the less I like it. Over time, I’ve been coming to the conclusion the word tolerance just doesn’t seem to be the right word; it just doesn’t fit.


If we look at the definition we’re told tolerance is, “To allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something you disagree with, without interference.” The more I process the definition, the more I find it doesn’t fit my faith journey. When I look into the Collective Narrative, when I open my heart to the Divine, there are actions, ideas, I will not allow to exist, to occur, or to tolerate in any way, shape of form. The Idea of not interfering with such thoughts, such actions, seems foreign to me; I’m unable to remain silent, I’m unable to not interfere. Tolerance is a disconnection between my walk with the Divine, and a cultural expression of tolerance.

Here are a few things I have ZERO TOLERANCE for:

I will not tolerate Racism: Racism in any form, for any reason. Yes, all lives matter, but let’s start by acknowledging the oppression our culture, our society, has place upon African Americans for centuries, by realizing “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t discount other lives, it’s a starting point;

I will not tolerate Xenophobia: The exclusion of those others define as outsiders is beyond my thought process. No walls, not national divides, not dehumanizing those born in other lands;

I will not tolerate Misogyny: To see, or treat, a women as less, violates every sister, mother, daughter, grandmother, aunt, friend, neighbor, cousin, or wife we love. There is never a justification to see a women as less.

I will not tolerate Homophobia: Telling anyone who they can, or cannot love, seems weird to me;

I will not tolerate Marginalization: Everyone, absolutely everyone, is a child of the Divine, and should [no, must] be treated with dignity, compassion, understanding, and disruptive love;

I will not tolerate Ignorance: To express the hurts, needs, pains, concerns of others , as a political toy, is beyond cruel. Ignorance of the hurts, pains, and concerns of others is beyond anything I can process.

Not interfering with people who hold those views because I’m a Progressives Christian, and claim to be tolerant, is not part of my faith journey. So, I’m suggesting we need a new word; no, I’m struggling with the idea of finding a new word, a new expression for standing with diversity, while speaking against intolerance. A word where we can express acceptance of those who are different, express their lives differently, and hold different ideas, while not accepting ideas which harm, or marginalize, another. A word, which says, you can have a different point of view, but I draw the line at hate.

Any suggestions?

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