Tolerance: To what extent?

By Timothy J. O'Malley
Managing Editor

In a world that seems to dictate how we are to accept certain view points has me looking deeper within my soul questioning what I can and cannot tolerate.
The original definition of tolerance and the way in which the word is used today is nothing alike. Originally, tolerance meant to acknowledge that others have different beliefs and accept that it is their right to do so. Our forefathers saw this was important as they allowed us to have certain inalienable rights in the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights. In the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance.”
As a people we have the right to choose what to believe in, or not, in the form of religion; we have the right to freedom of speech as long as it does not incite an immediate breach of the peace by provoking a fight, display obscenity, or make false statements of fact.
In my travels I have seen, for the most part, people practice this very admirable act of tolerance. I have shared what I believe and never did I meet someone who did not respect my beliefs, as well as I respecting theirs if it did not align with what I believe. We still worked with one another and I had their back as thy had mine. When discussing politics, rights to bear arms, or anything else where two people did not agree on, it was cordial. There was no ill-will toward one another or offenses taken to no longer be civil to each other.
But, in recent history there has been a paradigm shift. People are taking action against anyone who does not line up with their own beliefs and accusing the opposition as intolerant.

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