Perhaps more insidious than the nasty side of faith itself is this pernicious idea of ‘tolerance’. Sure, it sounds like a great idea and in many cases it is. There’s a flipside to this as well though. This degree of passivity, this unwillingness to call a spade a spade, to point out a problem, to criticise, means you just end up getting rolled right over by those who don’t extend the same respect.
Is there really nothing worth fighting for? Worth fighting against?
Where’s the mileage in sitting there and allowing nonsensical statements, beliefs, actions to go unchallenged simply because they’re cultural, religious or spiritual?
Why should we tolerate the anti-vax crowd and their dangerous nonsense, especially when it impacts on herd immunity?
Why should we tolerate alternative medicine, which hoovers money up from desperate people, conning them out of millions that could better support genuine medicine?
Why should we allow genital mutilation to go on?
Why should we allow the idea of faith as a virtue to continue to be promulgated or the masochistic guilt and self-loathing that Christianity foists on people?
There’s a term from Islam, commonly misused by racists, a sort of social status of one who doesn’t believe in Islam. A ‘Dhimmi’. This is ‘one whose responsibility has been taken’. It’s about two steps above slave and one above serf. It’s someone who is permitted or suffered to live amongst the believers, despite being a filthy heathen.
True believers are not going to extend the same respect to me, or to the wishy-washy ‘Let’s all get on’ types as we would extend to them. If we don’t stand up for what is true, correct and right. If we don’t fight back against these sorts of errant, bullshit ideas we’re going to get crushed.
Mr. Prosser: Do you know how much damage this bulldozer would sustain if I just let it roll over you?
Arthur: How much?
Mr. Prosser: None at all.