No One is Tolerant

Not Even Those Who Are Supposed To Be

By Vin Sparks

It was several years ago, George W Bush was half way through his second term as President. It was time to retire the Bush-Chaney 2000 bumper sticker on my car. It had served me well, being the catalyst for many a political debate…er – ehem, discussion. What was incredible was that the bumper sticker endured relentless abuse. I lived in downtown Milwaukee at the time among all those that hated GW. As a result, that sticker was spat upon, crossed out with a Sharpee, cut with a knife, targeted for bumper scrapes and had feces smeared on it. I was just thankful that Liberals are the more tolerant among us.

More “tolerance” from the Left:

The right to choose is extended to a woman who wants an abortion, but not to a parent who would like to send their child to the school of their choosing. That’s not tolerated. Our right to choose to arm ourselves is under attack as is our ability to choose our own healthcare, whether or not to participate in union membership, whether to shop at Walmart or to eat at Chick-fil-A. We can’t even choose our own light bulbs, plastic bags or the size of our sodas for crying out loud.

Liberal musical artists want Conservative political figures to stop using their music at events. Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Sting, Boston, Van Halen, Jackson Browne and The Foo Fighters have all asked Conservative candidates for office to stop using their music – some issuing cease and desist orders. The Dropkick Murphys recently engaged Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by tweeting, “Please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you!!!” Really!? You hate the man? Why? Is it because he has a different view of things than you have? There’s tolerance for you.

There is no lack of narrow-mindedness on the Christian right either:

It seems that if someone has known many wise, loving, kind and insightful Christians over the years, and if they’ve seen churches that are devout yet civic-minded and generous, they will find the case for Christianity very plausible.  If, on the other hand, the lion’s share of their experience is with nominal Christians (those who wear the name but don’t live the part about loving ones neighbor) or self-righteous authoritarians, dogmatic about bringing them into line doctrinally, then the case for our Christian faith will be hard to advance. The Church is widely perceived by unbelievers as being responsible for incredible injustice, bigotry and hypocrisy and for good cause. Many who take an intellectual stand against Christianity do so against a background of personal disappointment with Christians and with churches.

Can anyone help me to understand where in scripture we are told that the Christian banner we fly is that we are “Against __________ (fill in the blank)”. Being against something is not the banner under which we live. It didn’t work when the Temperance Movement used its political influence to plunge the country into prohibition.  It doesn’t work today.

We have to come to grips with some things:

If the banner under which we march is one of traditional family values and half the marriages in the church end in divorce, that’s problematic. If we take a stand against sexual immorality and half the Christian men surveyed said that they look at pornography, we’re not getting something right. Do we understand that marching with a sign that says “God Hates Homosexuals”, paints us as the worlds worst bigots in the very eyes of those we’re attempting to reach. You may not march yourself, but have you sat in a congregation where the preacher said something disparaging like, “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. What was your reaction? I’ve heard it and have responded with a hearty, “Amen!” Is that where we want to be? I no longer think so. What happened to, “His banner over me is love”?

He invites us into His banquet table
His banner over me is love

The one way to peace is the power of the cross
His banner over me is love

He asks us all to join hands together
His banner over me is love

Jesus is the rock of my salvation
His banner over me is love

I found Christ to be real in my life when he rescued me from me. He did so by immersing me in His unconditional love and care. He did so when I was not lovable – not anything that He should show me favor. I know this is the experience of born-again believers everywhere. How can we justify marching under a banner of anything but love?