Intolerance And Even Mere Tolerance of Others Is Toxic

Many haters within our midst hide behind the veil of religion. They don't care about the consequences that stem from their spewing and teaching hate.

06/18/2016 02:23 pm ET | Updated Jun 20, 2016

In his book "Power through Collaboration - When to Collaborate, Negotiate, or Dominate!", Stephen Willis, Ph.D. said the following: 

Stress, disappointment, negative emotions, and counterproductive behavior constitute solution pollution that degrades the solution development environment. The back and forth work of processing diverse perspectives, synthesizing different ideas, and sorting out options is often stressful. Many react emotionally to the manner in which they or their ideas and interests are treated. Negative emotions push people off target, and stir up extraneous issues or counterproductive behavior. Also, solutions often fall short of expectations, creating disappointment with the solution development work and outcome.

Domination and win-lose Negotiation emit a toxic solution pollution that clouds vision, chokes off vital communication, and smothers the best ideas of solutions. The toxic fallout can spread far beyond its original source. Domination and win-lose Negotiation can achieve results for their practitioners, even if only short term, but at a cost of polluting the solution development environment and degrading overall solution productivity. The costs are passed on and the impacts externalized to pollute the solution development environment for everyone involved.

Severely polluted solution development environments incite incessant conflict and reliance on Domination and power tactics. Communication breaks down, distrust becomes entrenched, positions become hardened, and parties are maligned and caricatured. Achieving a successful outcome becomes much more difficult when the successes of one party are experienced as defeats by the others. Each defeat fuels the resolve to fight and win the next round. At the extreme, parties become unwilling to accept any mutually beneficial solutions just because the other parties will derive some benefit. Reason and seemingly advantageous trade-offs get ignored or rejected. Participants fail to see or adopt even the most apparent and sensible of solutions.

Useful or valuable solutions cannot grow in a polluted solution development environment, which must first be cleaned up. Collaboration on balance cleanses and restores the solution development environment of the pollution from Domination and win-lose Negotiation.

Religious extremists have created just such an environment throughout the world and no religion is exempt.  In the United States, Christianity is the dominant religion.  In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, 70.6 percent of the U.S. population was Christian, 36 percent of whom were Evangelical, let alone the percentages of Orthodox Christians, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other Christian sects and denominations holding extreme religious views.  This also doesn’t include religious extremists who are members of non-Christian religions.  In other words, a significant percentage of our population holds extremist religious beliefs of one sort or another; however, the majority of such religious extremists are Christian.  

Barry Goldwater accurately predicted what would become of our society, should Christian “preachers get control of the [Republican] party,” which is why on November 24, 2016, 'The Atlantic' referenced the following quote to “Barry Goldwater, prophet”: 

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them...

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'

As was stated by the Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, “Intolerance leads to hate and social disintegration.”  Since religious extremists are intolerant of those who fall outside of their religious beliefs, they are a major the cause of “hate and social disintegration.”

The following quote from the European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights says exactly the same thing:

The European Union continues to witness challenges to its core principles and values, through violence motivated by hate and intolerance, through terrorist attacks against soft targets such as the media and cultural or religious facilities, and through the discrimination and exclusion of those regarded as ‘different’ because of what they believe in or where they come from.

Regardless of ethnic origin, religion or belief, everyone living in the Union has a fundamental right to be treated equally, to be respected and to be protected from violence. This contribution paper provides evidence of the fact that such respect is lacking, and suggests ways in which governments can ensure they fulfil their duty to safeguard this right for everyone living in the EU.

However, Thomas B. Watson was absolutely correct with what he stated in his article titled “Tolerance Is Not Enough” that was published by 'The Harvard Crimson' on November 7, 1990.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

YOU may be perfectly willing to tolerate homosexuals. But tolerance is not enough when our society makes it unsafe for gays, lesbians and bisexuals to live. Homophobic violence, suicide, AIDS and Other forms of discrimination are society's war against my right and the right of all gays, lesbians and bisexuals to love. Your Hegemony of heterosexuality does violence to my life…. 

Cardinal Ratzinger of the Catholic Church has written that gays, lesbians and bisexuals should not be surprised if they are the victims of violence because of their ‘immorality,’ Ratzinger heads the Vatican organization that was once responsible for the Inquisition. Did not his predecessors make similar comments to the Jews? He is not alone in trying to justify anti-gay reactions on the basis of who we are.

Will they next blame Blacks for slavery?(Or women for sexism and rape?) Sadly, such anti-gay crimes are not rare. According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals are six times more likely to be the victim of crime than any other demographic group. More than 350 people were killed in the united states last year because of their sexual orientation….

 BEYOND violence and disease, there is discrimination--the everyday fear and exclusion all gays, Lesbians and bisexuals feel. The idea that we must be ‘tolerated’ is just part of this discrimination. It is also entrenched in the legal system, where we are not even tolerated.

Gays, lesbians and bisexuals are not asking for ‘extra rights,’ but simply for the right that most heterosexuals take for granted--the rights to employment, insurance, housing and marriage…. 

TOLERANCE is not enough. The gay, lesbian and bisexual community is not something that needs to be tolerated like a bad cold or a rash. We are the full moral and spiritual equals of heterosexuals, and refuse to continue to be relegated to second class citizenship and fear. There is nothing bad about us to tolerate.

The gay, lesbian and bisexual community demands that the violence against our lives be stopped. That goal demands that everyone fight such violence against our lives, and that everyone fight such violence loudly. The gay, lesbian and bisexual community demands nothing less than full acceptance because we are part of you….

Gays, lesbians and bisexuals demand that you respect and value us. We are your roommates, your friends, your brothers and sisters, your parents and may well be your children.

If your life were being threatened because of your love, a love which by most accounts--scientific and psychological--is utterly innate and unchangeable, would you ask for acceptance? Would you want, perhaps even expect, people to join in the fight with you against injustice and to learn about your experience?

Tolerating Blacks is still racism. Tolerating Jews is still anti-Semitism. And Tolerating gays, lesbians and bisexuals is still Homophobia. Accepting us means respecting us, valuing us and loving us for who we are.

That is not too much to ask. We can accept nothing else. And heterosexists who preach tolerance or worse had better change, or enter the closets that we have abandoned.

People who are intolerant of others on the basis of who they are as a result of religious beliefs or otherwise are a major cause of “hate and social disintegration.” 

People who merely tolerate others on the basis of who they are, rather than allowing for their integration and assimilation are a major cause of “hate and social disintegration.” 

So-Called ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws Increase Conflict Through Isolation.”  Furthermore, “Denying Others Their Human Dignity Based Upon Your Religious Beliefs Is Unconstitutional.”  

The following are the lyrics to Rogers and Hammerstein’s song from 'South Pacific' titled "You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught":

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Many haters within our midst hide behind the veil of religion. They don't care about the consequences that stem from their spewing and teaching hate - only that their right to do so is constitutionally protected.

In fact, in response to my recent article titled, “Those Holding ‘Anti-Gay’ Sentiments Need To Stop Making Things Worse By Expressing Outrage Over The Florida Massacre”, a number of people expressed their right to Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  However, I never said that they can’t say certain things; rather, that they shouldn’t.  With rights come responsibilities.  It is irresponsible to say and do things merely because you have the right to say and do them, particularly when you completely disregard the harm it causes.  

As the violence in our society escalates as a direct result of the way in which such people opt to exercise their Freedom of Speech, they insist that more guns and assault weapons be made available for protection - "protection" from the violence their hatred, disrespect and abuse of others has created.  They once again focus on a constitutionally protected right – the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  As with the constitutionally protected right to Freedom of Speech, they completely disregard the reality that along with rights come responsibilities. They fight against any form of gun control because they believe that the right to keep and bear arms is and should be completely unfettered.  

These people’s twisted thinking prevents them from grasping their responsibility for the ever increasing level of conflict and violence in our society and at the same time, they want more firearms made available to our increasingly angered and volatile populace.

"Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability."

Jennifer Finney Boylan stated the problem exceptionally well in her article titled "Where did the Orlando shooter learn his hate? Hint: It wasn't Osama bin Laden."

Make no mistake, however, the toxic environment created by intolerance and even mere tolerance of others and hate is by no means limited to the LGBT community.  

American Muslims, among others, have also experienced a violent backlash as a result of toxic hate.  

I seriously can't handle the fact that perverted people have distorted our democracy.  Yes, those who believe that everyone who falls outside of their worldview (religious or otherwise) are perverted.  

You see, "hate is a mental health issue... Overwhelming, all-consuming hatred cannot exist within an emotionally healthy human being... Children are not born hating themselves or others. It is our collective responsibility to give them other options."  In other words, people who harbor such hatred have been perverted by those who made a concerted effort to teach them to hate themselves or others.

The whole thing is seriously perverted and those who have been perverted are calling everyone else perverted.  This would be incredibly hysterical if it weren’t so toxic. 

 

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