The Intolerance of Tolerance

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

One problem I have with many liberal issues is that they are based more on feelings of the moment than on reasoned consideration of principles and their implications, particularly there long term implications. In the real world ideas have consequences and reasoning applied to justified something cannot be artificially restricted just to the subject at hand, without falling victim to the logical fallacy of special pleading. Sometimes it takes years for this to show up, but they do show up unless reversed.

Concrete examples of this abound. For example, the reasoning used to support same-sex marriage applies equally well to virtually any other possible arrangement. Yet, point out this problem, and somehow you are trying to trying to ‘change the subject’

Another example recently occurred in Canada. The country many liberal want us to model ourselves after, and it follows on from one of the logical problems with “hate-crimes legislation.” Many liberals want to set up a special category of crimes in an attempt enforce tolerance. It is not enough to just punish people for committing crimes, when the crime is against certain special groups, extra punishment is needed. Thus we have hate crimes legislation for these special groups. This is justified by claiming that it is the hatred involved that makes the crime special and thus the special punishment. You get some punishment for the crime, and then additional punishment for the hatred. Ok, but if that is true, then does it not follow that that hatred is in and of itself, something worthy of punishment?

As such, it was in some respects not all that surprising to see Sweden pass laws prohibiting hatred against special groups a few years ago, and now they have been recently followed up by Canada, which passed C-250. Under that law you can be sent to jail for two years for “willfully promoting hatred” against special groups.

Of course, one problem is that what is “promoting hatred” is very vague. Is pointing out the high rate of un-wed mothers among inner city blacks (about 80%) promoting hatred? It has been called so. Is opposing same-sex marriage promoting hatred? Would a sermon on what the bible says about homosexuality be promoting hatred?

Of course one of the big problems is that this is determined to a great extent by who is in power. What if the tide continues to shift to the right? Could the writing of homosexual leaders condemning Christianity, be considered “promoting hatred.” Ted Truner and others have frequently made hate filled statements concerning Christians, should they be thrown in jail for such statements?

In short, how can you have a free and honest debate on issues, if you run the risk of being thrown in jail for your statement if the powers that be determine them to be “promoting hatred”? And all of this in the name of tolerance?

Jul 5th, 2004

Comments are closed.