Thursday, June 12, 2008

Framing the Conversation: Sushi & Molotov Cocktails

In the next few days, I plan to write about some pretty heavy-duty stuff that co-mingles theology, politics & sex... which means I might as well make a sign that says "Flame War - Y'All Jump Right In" in neon letters for the front page of the blog.

So, in order to preempt some of the potential problems I'm about to create, I want to go a couple of quick rounds with a dictionary to make sure we all are using one word correctly.

The word "tolerance" is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as:
  • a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own
  • b: the act of allowing something
That means that I can express an opinion about behaviors or beliefs that conflict with someone else's opinion... that's a disagreement, not intolerance. Intolerance would be me finding ways to silence another person before they could speak about those beliefs... or punishing them for doing so.

In real world terms, it's the difference between me thinking that people who eat sushi are nutballs on a chopsick for eating uncooked fish & me censoring any mention of California Rolls or throwing molotov cocktails into sushi bars...

There, that's taken care of...

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