A wise business man began his workday in the brand new “Power Tower”, located right downtown, in Capitol City. The new building had gone up overnight, and any growing business wanting to bloom was now located in this amazing skyscraper. When time came for the wise business man to eat lunch he stood from his desk and saw a man standing in his doorway.
“Hello? Can I help you?” the wise business man asked.
“Oh no, I’m John I just stopped by to see my work.”
“John? John Royt?”
“Yes, thats right” he replied.
The business man became very excited almost shouting, “Youre the architect who designed this! You are simply magnificent!”
“Oh well thank you, I appreciate it. Would you like to see my design?”
The businessman could not pass up the opportunity to see the blueprints, and hear from the architect himself, so he sat down to listen to John, the grand architect. As John began to show the businessman his plans and how he designed the structure they now sat in, concern started to overwhelm the wise business man.
“Excuse me, John, I’m not an architect but here on the load bearing walls it seems like your math was wrong.”
The architect looked and replied, “Well, I felt like using the two foot blocks rather then the ten footers because they are so much prettier. Aesthetics and all that.”
About this time the businessman lost control.
“Are you insane? The building will fall down! You didn’t do your math right!”
“Are you judging me?”
“No, I mean, yes, your wrong, but I’m not judging you,” the businessman replied.
“This conversation is over,” the architect walked out, quipping, “I can’t believe the arrogance in this room!”
Is this story ridiculous? Perhaps, but everyday the public square of our nation has a similar conversation. “Tolerance” has become a good, in itself. To claim that your belief is right is fine, but if you claim that anothers beliefs are incorrect the most grievous sin has been committed. Of course, non-tolerance is the only sin.
Spiritual and Religious beliefs are specifically under fire. Ask any person on the street what is true and the answer is likely to be, “I feel” or “Well, what I believe is”, or some other answer denoting that their belief is valid, but so is yours. Nobody cares to claim exclusive truth anymore, for fear of being intolerant.
But what is tolerance? Truth be known, it is entirely possible to be tolerant, while holding that a particular belief is wrong. This, of course, is not what our culture teaches. We are told that tolerance is “not trying to change other people’s beliefs because they are just as valid as yours.”
But, that simply isn’t true. Not all beliefs are valid. Just as the building, in the story above, would collapse without proper math, many other beliefs would collapse with the right analyses. If we won’t accept false tolerance in our architects because it risks hundreds of lives, we should not expect “tolerance” for being wrong in religion. There is much more than human life at stake with religion, there is eternal life, and the price of false tolerance is too high.