Tolerance (critics on Tony Campolo's Article)


To write an essay, concerning the major human values is not a simple task.  Usually, in this case, there is an option, either to accept author’s point of view or try to challenge it, which is more difficult.

This is always more difficult to defend your own belief, than take a point of view of an intelligent person. So, looking through the articles I tried to find some author’s conclusions that were rather controversial. After reading the article, which deals with such value as tolerance, I got rather dual impression. Frankly speaking, I would name this article in the American way «How to be a really tolerant person». 

On the one hand it’s difficult to disagree that all people are different and we should see them as they are. On the other hand I don’t think that tolerance is achieved by making an effort not to harm a different person. It is written in Webster’s Dictionary that tolerance is a fair and permissive attitude toward those, whose race, religion, nationality differs from one’s own. I think that Tony Campolo looked into this dictionary before writing the article. In fact, this is the most laconic definition of tolerance.  But if this possible to be so laconic in such miracle as human life, I bet not. I’m afraid that my point of view is not the only true point, but I honestly believe that tolerance and faith lie somewhere in the deep of our souls, and we can’t just learn how to be tolerant, as we can’t just learn how to believe in God. If we take a concept of faith and it’s definition in Webster, it’s a belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion. For me it’s not just like abidance by religious rules. Faith is a fraction of holy creature inside me, something that makes me human, something that guides me through my entire life.

To say the truth, such simple ideas of tolerance and faith by Campolo made me recall such book as «Windows for Idiots». In which you didn’t have to think something over -- a wise Uncle Sam had done everything for you. All you need to do is just follow the instructions of the menu, just do it, just sing the songs they sing, taste the food they eat and everything will be OK. ‘American philosophy’. But I think it won’t be OK if, as the author suggests, you hide your personal feelings, negative emotions somewhere inside you. It will lead to something that we often observe in the States. Sooner or later those negative tendencies appear in shoot-out somewhere in McDonald’s, in bombing Baghdad or Belgrade. So to my mind, a person may be really tolerant if he or she does believe in God, a person who just can’t carry something negative in his, her soul.  As far as Camplo’s ideas of tolerance are concerned I think it’s better to call them the ideas of tact and correct behavior, which is more connected with the upbringing and education problems, than a faith in God.

There is one more controversial pattern that I can’t share. This is author’s insight on the biblical truth: We all created in God’s image. His point resolves itself into the formal features of human appearance, which is not correct. A human is a similar to God not to his appearance, but to the ability to create. A human being is the only being on earth that can create something, introduce something new into this world. This is the only feature that proves our affinity with God. Otherwise we could only be primates. 

Concluding all these I must say that tolerance is not just a permissive attitude toward others .We can’t just learn it anyhow. Of course, some of my thoughts may seem controversial, but they are frank anyway, unlike the thoughts from this article.     

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