Bring It On!

Tolerance Is Not Christian Anymore

October 25th, 2005 | by Dr. Forbush |

I posted on Religious Fascism last week and I received the following quote as a comment. It made me angry. As I wrote I continued to think of more problems with the statement and examples of how it is wrong. My post was in response to a Religious organization promoting a new campaign called: “Truth, Not Tolerance.” The idea is that these guys believe that they have the “one true faith”, and they don’t need to tolerate anyone else’s faith because they are right and everyone else is wrong.

“I have no doubt that there are those that if given power would abuse it by using the government to force religious observance, but they are a small almost non-existant minority and their extremeism makes their rise to power unlikely.”

Well, I’m glad that you aren’t worried about your freedom. But that isn’t how I see it. I am certainly worried about my freedom. Through out human history groups have managed to take control of governments, even democracies. I don’t see the United States government to be any different than these others.

After the First World War Germany was a short lived democracy, but they weren’t able to stop the Nazi Party from taking control. They were just in a World War and they all knew that it couldn’t happen again. My landlord while I was in Germany fought in World War Two for the Germans and his father fought in both WWI and WWII. He explained to me how he and his father never thought it could happen again.

Another friend of mine escaped from Iran in 1979. His father worked for the government in the Department of Education. He told me how they never saw it coming. They thought that these students were just a bunch of loonies pushing their religion. But, they were wrong and the Fundamentalist Muslims took over Iran.

Examples abound! The Taliban took over Afghanistan even while we were there giving weapons to them. Even though I don’t know anyone involved in this I am sure that the common response would be: “We never saw it coming.” If the people knew it was coming, then why would they let it happen?

But, of course if you are wrong and these zealots do start imposing religious laws on the rest of us there isn’t any skin off your nose, because you are a member of the cult that is poised to take control and begin to make religious laws for the good of society. I don’t see your group as a bunch of loonies trying to push their religious laws like you do. No, I see two branches of the government being taken over by the radical right. These people are the seed of hatred and intolerance. Just because you were programmed to understand intolerance as a good thing, the people who are not being tolerated don’t see it that way.

The Bush administration is filled with Fundamentalist Christians that don’t see a problem with attacking a Muslim country in the name of God. Even though they don’t say it publicly I can imagine a group in the White House saying that the US presence in the Middle East will only hurry Jesus back so we can all go to Heaven. There is nothing that this president has said to ease my anxiety here.

The House of Representatives is even worse. There are quite a few far right loonies in there that really scares the Hell out of me. If Tom Delay is forced out a real religious nut is bound to take over the reigns. Fortunately Tom Delay only uses religion, he isn’t a true believer.

The Senate is actually the sanest place in Legislative Branch with people like John McCain who puts his foot down from time to time when the Zealots step over the line. But, I worry that his fortitude might not hold out. The torture he takes from the religious right may become worse than the torture he endured in Vietnam.

No, if we want America to remain a free country we need people to be vigilant when any group gets too much power, especially if they use the name of God to promote intolerance.

Crossposted @ Dr. Forbush Thinks

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  1. 23 Responses to “Tolerance Is Not Christian Anymore”

  2. By steve on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    That’s a bit of a stretch Doc! Sounds a bit paranoid as well.

    You are absolutely right on about some groups having too much power. The ACLU must go! The ACLU is just as bad as any fundamental christian group may be to you. They are a driving force in the back pockets of certain Senators like Barbara Boxer. I’d even go so far to say that Boxer doesn’t make a decision unless the ACLU thought of it first. I personally watched Feinstein get chased through an airport a few weeks ago by a gun control advocate. My point being, your side’s got some serious skeletons in it’s closet as well when it comes to abolishing certain rights in our Constitution. A bit of religion never hurt anybody. If the ACLU had their way there’d be no religion, ending some the diversity that makes this country great.

  3. By Jesus on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    Steve, thanks for speaking up for me but I would have to say that if the ACLU had there way the world might be a little safer.

    Be careful, remember who you are responding to. And for the record I am a card carrying liberal and I vote Democratic!

    And if you run into James Dobson tell him that him and I need to have a little chat, I think his son might be gay (matter of fact Iknow he is gay) and I have to assure him that it is OK in my book (the Holy Bible) not his!

  4. By steve on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    Oh Jesus (Bastard)… please..

    At least you could have made your email address .

    Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

    Ephesians 1:4

  5. By hiikeeba on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    Here’s a link to a story about how a Fundamentalist group is suing UC Berkeley because their evolution teacher’s resource page links to groups that beleive Evolution and faith can be reconciled. Ironically, they are suing on the basis of the constitutional separation of church and state. That, I beleive, is the first time they’ve used that argument to shut up the people who disagree with them.

  6. By TojaSoh on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    I think that most readers would be shocked to learn just how far the theocratic right have gone in taking over our government. Much has been done in code and stealth. I hope that we will wake up in time to save our freedoms. Check out

  7. By Dr. Forbush on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply


    I am sounding paranoid? Who was involved in the Invasion of Iraq? Why did they say we needed to invade Iraq, in order to protect and defend America? Certainly anyone that believed that Iraq was a threat to America was paranoid!

    But, beyond that the ACLU is about assuring that people have a civil right to say what they want based on the first Amendment to the Constitution. How does assuring free speech take away your freedom? Are you saying that if we support a right for people to have a right to carry a concealed weapon then our nation’s troubles will be solved?

    When will the Bush supporters realize that George W Bush used you? For the Bush administration it is all about the power and the issues they have used to gather support don’t mean anything. My fear is that when the religious right realizes this they will strike out on their own and use the base built by the Republicans to push their own ideas of Theocracy. As they gain more power they will no longer need the Republicans. More likely they’ll create their own Christian Republican Party and push theocracy further down our throats. And, by the time the country realizes what happened laws like the Patriot Act will be used against us to protect the power of this group.

  8. By LiberPaul on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply


    Great site there at theocracywatch. Been reading it for some time now. They must be stopped.

    Whenever you vote GOP, you are voting for Theocracy. To quote someone I am sure you are familiar with:

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Matthew 7:15-16

    What have been the fruits of the GOP, corporate power, religious bullshit, runaway deficits but none of the core fiscal conservative values. Wake-up before you’re going to their church.

  9. By Allan on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.”

    Thomas Paine

    As a Christian, I grieve to see those that claim the title display so few of the attributes. Christianity is about a relationship with Christ. To claim the label of Christian, and put anger or power first makes me question their claim. Here is my rejoinder to those that claim to know Jesus, yet attack unbelievers:

    Furthermore, I perceive that a very limited form of government is most advantageous for spreading the gospel. The smaller the government, the more free citizens are to embrace anything they chose, the greater our freedom to preach as we are led. God’s love is what we will use to draw the lost to him; we can not, and should not try to legislate our values. Once values are legislated then controls will also be asserted against everyone, including us. Freedom must be for all to live, talk, and act as they wish; as long as they do not interrupt others rights to the same. In a non restrictive environment of maximum liberty we will be able to move when and where God leads, without encountering government’s restrictions.



  10. By Orikinla Osinachi on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    “The Bush administration is filled with Fundamentalist Christians.”

    How erroneous!

    Where are the “christians” in the White House?
    Because, you see them posing and posturing with hypocritical “christian” ministers in churches does not mean they are actually Christians.

    Cheney the Dick, Karl “Roving” Rove, Delay the outlaw and gang look more like bounty hunters to me than Christians.


    The Beatitudes

    1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

    3″Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
    5Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.

    6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
    7Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
    8Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
    9Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
    10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11″Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Believers Are Salt and Light
    13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
    14″You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

    Christ Fulfills the Law
    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

  11. By The Cranky Liberal on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    Doc good piece. I keep mentioning it to people who try to trivialize the reach of this sect. I always here that it’s just a tiny group I’m over reacting.

    Yeah, and that’s why James Dobson got a vote on Hariet Miers because they have no power.

    As for the ACLU and Steve’s Don Quixote like quest to do away with that organization, isn’t it nice to know that the one group who would support your right to do that Steve is the ACLU itself? Granted I’ve read many of your ideas about the ACLU and could go on and on how you are factually misrepresenting them over and over (much like Bill OReily) but that is another topic. The brilliant thing is that they defend your right not to like them, and to write and protest against them.

    That’s what they do - protect your liberty from the tyranny of the majority or the excess’s of the government. You may not like that some of us need that protection because we don’t agree with people who would deny their fellow citizens civil rights, but hey - you don’t have to like them. This is America after all (at least for now)

  12. By Doug on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    I appreciate your post and agree that we have to be vigilant for our liberty. I agree more with Orikinia. Tolerance will always be Christian. Not all people who call themselves Christian will be. It’s for people of faith to keep their faith and ignore those among us who would trade obedience for power.

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” Matthew 7:15, NKJV

  13. By Doug on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    I appreciate your post and agree that we have to be vigilant for our liberty. I agree more with Orikinia. Tolerance will always be Christian. Not all people who call themselves Christian will be. It’s for people of faith to keep their faith and ignore those among us who would trade obedience for power.

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” Matthew 7:15, NKJV

  14. By Liberal Jarhead on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    As some folks have pointed out, the ACLU defends everyone’s rights - they even went to bat for Rush Limbaugh. The only people who have any reason to feel threatened by the ACLU are those who want to oppress others.
    Re Christianity, the bumper sticker says it all: “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

  15. By Mindflame on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    You know the war with Iraq had nothing to do with religion. The only reason the religious people are with Bush at all is because hardcore secularists have made it clear that there is no tolerance for sincere religious belief on the left. The intolerance for religion and the programmed secularism of childern (teaching that there is no God) actually created the religious right. You say that people who believe something is absolutely true should not be tolerated but don’t you believe that you are absolutely right? Besides, what could be more of a universal truth to a person than their God? If they said God was not a universal truth, than they don’t realy believe in God. Far from a theocracy what we are in danger of is a society that has turned it’s back on freedom of religion. Listen, freedom of speech and religion will means people can say religious things, even in public, they can try to convert you, they even may make chooses (including political ones) based on their values. A fifty-year-old stele with the 10 Commandments on it does not a theocracy make. I have to wonder if what you real want to take way the right of these people to tell you that they believe your actions are wrong.

  16. By steve on Oct 25, 2005 | Reply

    The ACLU goes to bat for NAMBLA!!! Do each and everyone of you support pedophiles?? How can you seriously support that group and say I am about oppression? Could you support the KKK? Hell no… Then why support a group who gives legal advice to a pedophelia group?

    Sorry but… this isn’t about oppression. I can understand where you all could be upset with the war, I get that part… It isn’t Christianity causing problems. It’s people causing problems. The religion part has nothing do with it. If it did, then it could easily be said that atheists are hampering the government’s effort to spread freedom by opposing the war. It could easily be said that atheists want to do away with religion. It’s atheists that would want us to stop play “America the Beautiful” because it mentions God. Why is that not oppression and voting GOP is? The ACLU will fight to the death for the first amendment but does nothing to help the 2nd amendment? Why? I didn’t know one amendment was better or more valuable than another. Nope… they are neutral, which is kind of a hypocrisy if you ask me.

    This isn’t about voting GOP either, LiberPaul and for even wrapping that around Doc’s piece is a stretch too. By stating that, you’d be oppressing religious people not tied to the GOP and other fellow Americans that excercise their freedom to vote by voting the way they want to vote. Are you guys about that? Nope…

    Why does the mere thought that someone supports the GOP evoke an oppressive theocratic slam as a response? It’s not like that… It’s nothing like that, and I think you all know that.

  17. By The Cranky Liberal on Oct 26, 2005 | Reply

    You might have thought that the White House had enough on its plate late last month, what with its search for a new Supreme Court nominee, the continuing war in Iraq and the C.I.A. leak investigation. But it found time to add another item to its agenda - stopping The Onion, the satirical newspaper, from using the presidential seal.

    The newspaper regularly produces a parody of President Bush’s weekly radio address on its Web site (, where it has a picture of President Bush and the official insignia.

    “It has come to my attention that The Onion is using the presidential seal on its Web site,” Grant M. Dixton, associate counsel to the president, wrote to The Onion on Sept. 28. (At the time, Mr. Dixton’s office was also helping Mr. Bush find a Supreme Court nominee; days later his boss, Harriet E. Miers, was nominated.)

    Citing the United States Code, Mr. Dixton wrote that the seal “is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement.” Exceptions may be made, he noted, but The Onion had never applied for such an exception.

  18. By The Cranky Liberal on Oct 26, 2005 | Reply

    You take that NAMBLA thing so far out of context Steve it isn’t funny. The truth of the matter is that fought to protect free speech..lets listen to them

    In spite of all that, the ACLU has never advocated Christianity, ritual animal sacrifice, trading arms for hostages or genocide. In representing NAMBLA today, our Massachusetts affiliate does not advocate sexual relationships between adults and children.

    What the ACLU does advocate is robust freedom of speech for everyone. The lawsuit involved here, were it to succeed, would strike at the heart of freedom of speech. The case is based on a shocking murder. But the lawsuit says the crime is the responsibility not of those who committed the murder, but of someone who posted vile material on the Internet. The principle is as simple as it is central to true freedom of speech: those who do wrong are responsible for what they do; those who speak about it are not.

    It is easy to defend freedom of speech when the message is something many people find at least reasonable. But the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive. That was true when the Nazis marched in Skokie. It remains true today.

    They did not defend NAMBLA the group, they defended this idea that the guys who commit a crime should be held responsible, not someone who had a thought and wrote about it. You may not like the message - I mean who does, but if you wrote something here that dirves me crazy (and you often do) and I shot someone - should I blame you fromwriting inciteful stuff?

    It is no different with the NAMBLA case.

    As for the Second Amendment, what you don’t like is their interpretation of WHAT the 2nd amendment means. You tend to forget that well regulated militia part. The reason they are neutral is because they support the 1939 case of U.S. vs Miller which ruled that that amendment applied to the States and not to a Constitutionally guaranteed right of each citizen to own a arms. Therefore regulation of said firearms is not a violation of the Bill of Rights.

    If you don’t like that interpretation (which of course is a common sense approach or I should be able to own any weapon I want, it says “arms” not guns.) then join the group and change the policy.

    The ACLU will also has fought to allow bible study groups to practice IN schools and is not against kids saying prayers, or any mention of God. They are against the government endorsing a religion. Would you want the government endorsing Islam? Would you want them endorsing Paganism? The ACLU does not endorse Atheism, no where do they say church’s should be barred from existence and atheism should be the new policy. What they say is you need to quit adding “God” to the government.

    Also, since when are atheists the only ones wanting to stop the war? Since when are they the ones that blew up the buildings on 9/11? When did they get 2000 soldiers killed over phantom WMD’s? It could easily be said that your statement was ignorant and lacks any semblance to reality.

    Like I said, the ACLU will fight for your right to not like them. Show me the Shrubbie organization that will do that?

    Mindflame - no one says PEOPLE can’t preach, teach, convert sing, praise the Lord or pass the plate. What we say is the Government can’t do it. What the hell is so hard about that? Yes it is secular, because a secular government protects the religious freedoms of everybody, not just the chosen few.

  19. By Liberal Jarhead on Oct 26, 2005 | Reply

    I notice a couple of either fuzzyheaded or sneaky tactics showing up a lot in neocon and fundamentalist arguments lately. The first is the straw-man argument. That’s where instead of responding to your opponent’s actual position, you misquote him or take his words drastically out of context to portray him as holding an extreme and ridiculous position (such as saying that “there is no tolerance for sincere religious belief on the left” (what about all those liberal clergy people?)and that “You say that people who believe something is absolutely true should not be tolerated” (who said that?). You then refute those positions that your opponent never really held or stated, and claim to have won the argument.
    A second is when you take a word or phrase that has different meanings in different contexts and build an argument using the word and phrase as if it always meant the same thing. The best example of this is in the so-called intelligent design movement, which says that the theory of evolution and the theory of creative design are both theories so they should get equal time in science classes. In fact, the way the word “theory” is used in a scientific context means that evolution is a concept that has been proposed based on solid, objective, observable, verifiable evidence - like the theory of relativity. Both processes have actually been seen and documented happening (for evolution, one case is a species of butterflies in England that were white until the industrial revolution - they lived in an area where white coloring blended in, and the occasional gray or black one was a mutation that got quickly eaten by birds because it stuck out. As the area got more sooty and grimy due to pollution over a period of several decades in the 1800s, the white ones started sticking out more so they got eaten and the gray ones survived. Today gray is the dominant color for that species. Evolution in action. As for relativity, nuclear reactors and weapons are the proofs.
    Intelligent design, on the other hand, has no concrete, observable, objective evidence, and no one has seen it happening. It can’t be proven but must be an article of faith based on its nature. It’s a theory in the sense that a hunch or a guess can be called a theory, not in the scientific sense.
    I took coursework in formal logic in my undergrad work, and learning about this stuff was a real eye-opener - it enabled me to start seeing the holes in arguments that didn’t really hold water, and why. A great critical thinking tool.
    A third is to attack the person making the argument rather than refuting the argument itself, as if something might be untrue just because of who said it. Hell, anyone can be right, even if they’re a total loss as a human being. That technique is a favorite of this administration - they trash people who are saying things that make them uncomfortable, rather than facing the debate honestly. That’s what Bush’s people did to John McCain in the 2000 campaign, what they did to Kerry in 2004, what they’ve done to all the Bush insiders who’ve gotten disgusted, quit, and blown whistles on them, and what they’re trying to do to the special prosecutor now.

    Like I said, these are techniques used by people who don’t have a real case and are either unable to think clearly or are sneaky and dishonest.

  20. By steve on Oct 26, 2005 | Reply

    Name one instance Cranky where the government has told you to belong to a certain religion? (ie. Preached, praised, given a holiday for…yada yada yada…)

    And if you think NAMBLA has the right to talk about what they do, just talk… then I rest my case the ACLU should go for supporting that crap. Man/boy love Cranky? C’mon!!! Isn’t sexual harrassment illegal?? So wouldn’t the ACLU fight for the right of someone who verbally harasses another person sexually?? Seriously? It’s the same argument the ACLU is fighting for…

  21. By Liberal Jarhead on Oct 27, 2005 | Reply

    Steve, he didn’t say “the government has told you to belong to a certain religion.” That’s the straw man argument again! If you’re going to disagree with something Cranky said, make it something he actually said, not words you put in his mouth. And no, the ACLU has never supported sexual harassment.
    What Cranky said was, “They are against the government endorsing a religion” and “no one says PEOPLE can’t preach, teach, convert sing, praise the Lord or pass the plate. What we say is the Government can’t do it.” And if you want one instance, look at the fact that since Bush started his program for faith-based initiatives, every single social program that has succeeded in getting funding has been run by a Protestant Christian church. No Catholic, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. programs have gotten a penny. THAT is the government supporting a religion. That chucklehead Roy what’s-his-name with his Ten Commandments sculpture in his courthouse, with no representation for any other religion, is another.
    I detest NAMBLA, but them talking to each other is not sexual harassment. It’s only sexual harassment if the person the talk is addressed to doesn’t want to hear it. It’s pathological but legal. Because we must protect everyone’s freedom of speech to protect anyone’s, the only kinds of speech that are banned are things that threaten or cause direct harm like libel, slander, threatening someone, and the cliche example of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

  22. By The Cranky Liberal on Oct 27, 2005 | Reply


    Another false argument. What the ACLU was fighting was the idea that you can sue someone if they didn’t commit the crime. The NAMBLA guy didn’t commit the crime, only expressed his views. I don’t like his views, but Free Speech isn’t about liking or disliking a view, it’s about having the right to say them. Those views also did not fall under “inciting violence” doctrine. No one read those views and went out raping and murdering little boys. They had ample time to read, digest and discount those ideas. Period.

    The lawsuit was never about sexual harrasment, not was the ACLU supporting the NAMBLA lifestyle. They did not support the NeoNazi lifestyle either, Or the KKK life style, but they supported their rights as U.S. citizsens to be protected by the constitutuon. Just like they protect your right to bash them every single chance you get.

    Steve, once again, if I read your rants on how bad the ACLU is and went and shot their president because I think they are a threat to society, would you think it fair to be a party to the lawsuit and or criminal proceedings because your ideas influenced me?

    If you answer no, then shut up about NAMBLA. It’s a cheap tactic used to scare people who do not know the case.

    By the way, how was that case decided anyhow?

    LJ - welcome aboard brother. Good to see you here in the fold.

  23. By The Bastard on Oct 27, 2005 | Reply


    Yelling fire in a crowded movie theater is a crime because you put people’s lives at risk. One man talking to another man about man on boy is not inciting violence in a public forum.

    Sexual harassment is a crime because it is actually a crime of power. Rarely will a sexual harassment case win if it is based solely on an exchange of words. Sexual harassment cases are brought about and won when it involves “favors” in exchange for advancement.

    That’s is why it is a crime of power. I guess what I’m saying is you picked a bad example to compare with freedom of speech.

  24. By LiberPaul on Nov 1, 2005 | Reply


    You are so blinded by your dogma and ideology that you can’t even see the weakness of your arguement when it is blatantly point out to you. It is no wonder you vote GOP, even though they have been doing nothing but screwing this country up.

    “Liberty cannot be sacrificed for the sake of temperance, for the sake of morality, or for the sake of anything. It is of more value than everything else. Yet some people (like STEVE) would destroy the sun to prevent the growth of weeds.” – Col. Robert Ingersoll

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