"Just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it. If you had to like it, it'd be called...acceptance. Tolerate means you're just putting up with it. You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on an airplane or you tolerate a bad cold. But it can still piss you off!"
Yes, it’s from South Park. The gay teacher, Mr. Garrison, was trying to get fired by acting outrageously inappropriate in class, but when the kids complained, they were sent to “The Deathcamp of Intolerance.” Fed up with everyone accepting him, Garrison blows up at the town, reminding them that acceptance and tolerance are different things. You can tolerate something and it can still piss you off. It's something I wish people were more willing to do.
It can be annoying, because tolerance means something you completely don’t agree with can go on in front of your face. Of course, there is a time when you have to stop tolerating and act, but even that should be within the bounds of proper society. Go ahead and hate illegal immigrants. If you suspect someone is here illegally, it’s perfectly right to call the police or immigration. But you don’t harass them, or ever hurt them. Because they are people, people who deserve life and freedom. Breaking the law does not make it open season for inappropriate behavior. Nor does something going against your own moral code--I'm looking at you, jerks who were protesting at a soldier's funeral.
A few years ago, I was coming out of the student union on my college campus waiting for a shuttle down to the parking lot. I noticed a crowd gathered on the quad and when I caught sight of a banner with “burn in hell” on it, I had to go over. Some jerkoff was walking around with a banner saying atheists, Catholics, unsubmissive women (direct quote on that one), homosexuals, abortionists, et al. It infuriated me.
“What about ‘judge not lest ye be judged?’” I yelled. What did this man do? He said “Yeah, maybe you should stop judging me.”
He, in fact, said he was “perfect” and “a saint.” And then ten seconds later, claimed he never said that. Then a minute later, he was claiming it again. Apparently, the bible didn’t apply to him, only people who didn’t believe in what he did. Oh, and when I pointed out that the first pope was Jesus’ disciple Peter, he called me a liar and a whore. The man was a complete ass and I regret not using that thing I can do when I figure out someone’s weakness and use it against them.
The thing that still bothers me about that man is why. Why did he hate so much? Why does anyone? There are a lot of things I don’t like in the world, but that doesn’t mean I get to be mean to people who do like them. I wasn’t a fan of President Bush but when I saw someone put a Hitler-stache on his face, I was horrified. That just wasn’t right. You don’t disrespect someone just because you don’t like them. If someone did that to me, I would cry—the man is one of history’s greatest monsters. Being equated to him…is sickening.
At least, I don’t. And most of the people I’m friends with don’t (or they aren’t friends anymore). Yes, standing up for what you believe in is right. No, being obnoxious, hurtful and intolerant isn’t, even if the other person is wrong or ignorant. Because, tell me: does anyone like being yelled at, insulted or hurt for their values/beliefs? No. And it doesn’t help anything to be so.