Tolerance and Religion

Constantine

Tolerance has not only existed in the 20th-21st century, but also during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. In the same way that tolerance has negatively impacted the church in our contemporary period, tolerance has had a harmful impact upon the church in previous centuries. In both cases, doctrinal distinctives have been confused, and false doctrine has been accepted.

The fundamental driving force of tolerance is that it is to be used as a unifying element; it is used to eliminate differences and to subsume these differences into a unity. In order to produce this unity in the context of religion, doctrinal differences are disregarded and doctrinal similarity is emphasized. The resulting religion becomes a series of moralistic social customs, and it’s doctrines have no purpose other than accomplishing pragmatic goals. Constantine used religious tolerance in order to help unify the Roman Empire and eliminate conflict. At that time the Roman Empire was under extreme pressures from various barbaric tribes, who would eventually dissolve the empire at the beginning of the 5th century, only decades after Constantine’s rule. Constantine realized that religion could culturally, socially, and religiously unite these barbarian hoards and help to bring them under Roman rule:

“Constantine was conscious from the beginning of the enormous value that religion could have as a unifying element in an empire hounded by grave external and internal problems…Constantine was conscious of the importance of forcing a new religion that was monotheistic and that would integrate all of the subjects of the empire” (Vidal 68).

Monotheism displays a greater unifying effect than pagan cults, since it posits a single, transcendent god that is the creator of all things, instead of several rival gods that all compete for human attention. The most readily available and wide-ranging monotheistic religion of that time was Christianity. Therefore, Constantine decided to make Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire to accomplish this unification. However, in order to coerce the pagan subjects of the Roman Empire to convert to Christianity, he distorted Christianity to incorporate familiar pagan practices:

“Constantine repressed all efforts at division at the heart of Christianity…He tried to fused Christianity with pagan cults…In an attempt to convert Christianity into the ideological base of his empire, Constantine was able to introduce ceremonies, viewpoints, beliefs, and practices into its heart which originated in paganism” (Vidal 69-70).

While Constantine also sought to end theological division within Christianity itself:

“In another summons [Constantine] wrote: ‘such is the regard I pay to the lawful Catholic Church that I desire you to leave no schism or division of any kind anywhere'” (Christ & Civilization 33).

This importation of paganism into the church resulted in what is now known as the Roman Catholic Church. Papists worship Mary and their version of the saints to this day because Constantine took the old pagan idols and gave them Christian names. Instead of the female goddesses like Diana of the Ephesians (Acts 19), they were turned into Mary, and subsequently the pagan worship of these goddesses was given a Christian label. Cesar Vidal documents this distortion of Christianity in more detail in his small book called The Myth of Mary. Familiar pagan goddesses like Isis, Demeter, and Cybele were morphed into Mary, so that pagans could be assimilated into a false, homogenized version of Christianity while maintaining forms of their goddess worship.

Constantine’s Edict of Toleration in 313 helped to stop Christian persecution, but the toleration caused the church to be accepting of false doctrine. It was not true tolerance, since doctrinal division within the church was not to be tolerated. The toleration did not make it so that all religions were tolerated within the Roman Empire, but made it so that the church was coerced by the state into accepting heresy and paganism.

Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church is now utilizing this same method of pseudo tolerance. Papists deny justification by faith alone, evidenced by their continued affirmation of the Council of Trent, and therefore they deny the Gospel. As the Council of Trent says:

“If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.

Knowledgable Christians realize that true papists are unbelievers who are members of an apostate and ridiculous organization that has been responsible for the murder of millions of Christians throughout the centuries. It’s popes claim divine rule and absolute authority over the entire earth:

“In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent claimed that the pope has ‘all power on Earth….All temporal power is his; the dominion, jurisdiction, and government of the whole Earth is his by divine right” (Ecclesiastical Megalomania 131).

They have realized that in order to gain more influence over protestants and other Christian groups, it is necessary to not emphasize the differences between our religion and theirs, but to emphasize our similarities. They want to reduce our distinctions in order that we can be united and subsumed under their authority once again. Rather than calling protestants heretics and unbelievers, as they have done in the past like in the Council of Trent, Papists now say that “the Catholic Church accepts [those raised as Christians outside the Roman Church] with respect and affection as brothers” (Catechism). Papists pretend to be open and accepting so that we will eventually submit to their theocratic rule and damnable doctrine. Kenneth Copeland along with the rest of the word of faith movement have vocalized their submission to Rome, along with Rick Warren. Warren’s rhetoric follows the same line of thinking as I have described; he deemphasizes all differences between evangelical Christians and papists, while focusing only on our similarities.

Although the Roman Catholic Church uses tolerance as a unifying tool for the time being, it longs for the day when it will be able to wield totalitarian power without using tolerance. Tolerance is just a tool they use to increase their power, and once they gain more influence, tolerance goes by the wayside, as the Metropolitan Conference of Bishops is quoted as saying:

“Pope Leo XIII did not sanction toleration except when required by circumstances, to avoid greater evils; he further stated that, the greater the toleration granted the less perfect the society” (Ecclesiastical Megalomania 178).

Pope Leo XII looked forward to the day when the papacy would reign supreme, and all people would be subject to it once again. Since toleration is less perfect, the truly perfect society is therefore a complete despotism. This type of pseudo tolerance always leads to a form of totalitarianism by its very nature, becoming the opposite of what it claims to support.

Islam

Not only has the Roman Catholic Church used tolerance to increase its power, but advocates of radical Islam have done the same. David Wood has demonstrated this same tendency of Muslims in the west to use pseudo tolerance and their democratic freedoms in order to impose their ideology upon others and gain power. Wood labels pseudo tolerance as the first step in the islamization process:

“When Muslims are completely outnumbered and can’t possibly win a physical confrontation with unbelievers, they are to live in peace with non-Muslims and preach a message of tolerance. We see an example of this stage when Muhammad and his followers were a persecuted minority in Mecca. Since the Muslims were entirely outnumbered, the revelations Muhammad received during this stage…called for religious tolerance and proclaimed a future punishment (rather than a worldly punishment) for unbelievers.”

In order to gain prominence, radicals must never openly declare their radical ideas, since no one would accept them if they did. However, if these same radicals engage the public with a more inclusive message, then they will be more accepted. Robert Spencer calls this tactic Stealth Jihad, while David Wood describes it as the first of three stages of Islamic Jihad. The first stage of jihad, when Muslims are in the minority in society, is to implement this tolerance ideology that I have previously described.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is a perfect example of this tactic. CAIR claims to be a civil rights organization that advocates for justice and understanding between Muslims and the rest of America. In reality, CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front group that has been linked to Hamas, one of the largest Islamic terrorist organizations in the world. Since CAIR is now known to be linked to terrorist organizations, the FBI has formally severed its communication with them. CAIR’s true agenda is to subject the whole world to Islamic rule, as Omar Ahmad, CAIR’s cofounder, is quoted as saying:

“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant…The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

Ahmad has since denied these claims, since they are detrimental to CAIR’s agenda to secretly propagate Islamic radicalism under the guise of tolerance and civil rights.

Conclusion

Tolerance ideology is alive and well. Papists and Muslims alike have used this tactic in order to confuse their opponents so that they may exercise their authority over them. The purpose of tolerance is to eliminate distinctions in thought and to attack anyone who maintains these distinctions. In the context of the Roman Catholic Church, both in the 4th century and today, these distinctions relate to doctrines. By deemphasizing doctrinal distinctions, Papists attempt to present themselves in a more favorable light so that Christians will accept their religion and authority. In the context of Islam, organizations in the west like CAIR deemphasize and even lie about Islamic doctrine, and pretend to support civil rights, when in reality their goal is to impose Islamic law. The goals of both of these ideologies is totalitarianism. The path to this utopian despotism that they both dream of is through the methodical implementation of tolerance. In light of this, Christians must be on the alert. We must separate from darkness, maintain clear judgements and distinctions, and not be taken captive to this worldly philosophy.

Works Cited

Robbins, John W. Christ & Civilization. 2nd ed. Unicoi: Trinity Foundation,
2007. Print.

Robbins, John W. Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and Political Thought of the
Roman Catholic Church. Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 2006. Print.

Vidal, Cesar. The Myth of Mary. Chino: Chick, 1995. Print.

Tolerance

It has become abundantly obvious that those who exhort others to be tolerant are hypocritical, tyrannical jerks, who appropriate the word in order to silence others and force their opinion upon others. They get away with this because they define tolerance as agreeing with their opinion. Since tolerance is a cultural necessity in our western society, this means that you cannot possess any thoughts, attitudes, or opinions of your own, but must agree with these individuals who are the ones responsible for defining what is or is not tolerant. The ones who define what is tolerant are ofte. are often liberal secularists.

Tolerance is intricately related to what is popularly known as “political correctness,” which Anders argues originated from Marxist ideology:

“But what exactly is ‘Political Correctness?’ Marxists have used the term for at least 80 years, as a broad synonym for ‘the General Line of the Party'”

and,

“Political Correctness is in fact cultural Marxism (Cultural Communism) – Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms.”

Throughout his manifesto, Anders traces the origin of political correctness back to the Frankfurt school, explains how it has become dominant in universities and amongst university professors, and how it has spread throughout western culture as a result. Common themes that accompany political correctness and the demand for tolerance include the exaltation of radical feminism, multiculturalism, and homosexuality, and on the flip side, the denigration of Christianity, the denigration of conservative social and economic values, and opposition to white males:

“Cultural Marxism defines all minorities, what they see as the victims; Muslims, Feminist women, homosexuals and some additional minority groups as virtuous and they view ethnic Christian European men as evil.”

Societal victims are held in high regard in Marxist theory. Karl Marx’s facile theory originally categorized all people into two groups: the oppressor and the oppressed, the bourgeoise and the proletariat. The proletariat are the victims of the bourgeoise and must perpetrate a revolution in order to gain the means of production, so that the proleteriat (i.e. the working class) can rule themselves. Since this economic theory has since been discarded, Marxism has been repackaged in social terms by various Marxist social theorists, one of the most popular of these theorists being Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse and other theorists, originally from the Frankfurt school in Germany, realized that western culture was generally unfit for economic and political revolution. It’s culturally Christian values inhibited the possibility of widespread revolution. Every single Western European country, when given the opportunity, failed to give way to a successful Marxist-Communist revolution. The only countries where these revolutions eventually took place were Russia, China, and other Asian countries and Latin American countries, but never culturally Protestant Western Europe. These theorists realized that in order for political revolution to happen, social revolution must first take place. Instead of emphasizing economic injustices, the new Marxist theorists made a point of emphasizing social injustices. Through this new social paradigm, social and racial minorities are now seen as the victims, and simply by merit of being viewed as victims, they can do no wrong. Simply by merit of being viewed as victims, they belong to a special class of society, deserving special rights and privileges that other groups do not have.

This leads us back to the idea of tolerance. Clearly tolerance is a one way street that does not extend to white males or conservative Christians, since white males and conservative Christians are now characterized as belonging to the class of the oppressors. All things that white males and conservative Christians do is ipso facto wrong, intolerant, and evil. This paradigm reveals itself in many ways, one of the most recent of which is the sentiment that white people ought to “check their privilege” before they are allowed to verbalize their opinions. The rhetoric of “white privilege” is nothing more than the imposing of Marxist categories upon contemporary social contexts, which is used to silence white males and the opponents of Leftist political revolution. Any judgement given by a white male and/or conservative Christian is by definition intolerant bigotry, while any judgements given by a liberal or liberal minority is valid, no matter how absurd it may be; as Malcolm X once argued, “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.” It is a hypocritical double standard. One side may even spew hatred and still be considered tolerant, while the other side is labeled as intolerant for simply opening their mouths.

When liberals and secularists put Coexist bumper stickers on their cars, they are not concerned about peace and harmony. If they were concerned about peace, then they would join us in opposing Islamic jihad, rather than silencing those who oppose it, and rather than attacking critics of Muhammad. Rather, their exhortation for all religions to Coexist is really just an exhortation for people of all faiths and backgrounds to disregard the distinctives of their religions. In order to be tolerant, religious folk (Christians in particular) must lay down their differences in order to pursue higher goals that often contradict the teachings of their religion. These alternative goals include collectivism (advertised by some as “social cohesion” or “solidarity”), liberal economic policies, and, as I stated before, the exaltation of any other values contradictory to one’s own faith and worldview, often relating to abortion or homosexuality. Those who advocate these goals seek the disillusion of all distinctions in culture, religion, and individuals, in order to achieve this collectivism. This collective mindset is summarized in John Lennon’s song Imagine:

“Imagine there’s no countries…Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too… A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world…I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will live as one

In order to achieve this brotherhood of mankind, in order to achieve this global collectivism and to submerge all personal identities into the ideal whole, it is first necessary to destroy everything worth living and dying for. As long as people have nothing they are willing to die for, they will not be willing to fight wars, therefore avoiding conflict. It is also necessary to actively eliminate all distinctions in thought. As long as differing ideologies and personalities continue to exist, this unified vision of mankind remains impossible, since these distinctions inevitably produce division, conflict, and violence, which prevent global peace and unity. Thus, individuals must eliminate their personal identities and unique characteristics, while all ideologies must be subsumed under a single ideology. The psychology of this vision is explained by Jamie Glazov:

“Tortured by his personal alienation, which is accompanied by feelings of self-loathing, the believer craves a fair-tale world where no individuality exists, and where human estrangement is thus impossible. The believer fantasizes about how his own individuality and self will be submerged within the collective whole” (Glazov 7)

To accomplish this global harmony and to eliminate social alienation, tolerance rhetoric is necessary. Rather than being told that we ought to stop thinking and that we ought to become mindless drones, we are told to be tolerant.

This point relates to observations that I have made in a previous blog post, The Plague of Cultural Relativism. Because making distinctions and making definitive judgements is harmful to the utopian dream of global collectivism, definitive judgements are no longer accepted or rejected due to their inherent merit or lack thereof, but they are all rejected by merit of the fact that they are definitive judgements. Since definitive judgements declare some things as good and some things as bad, definitive judgements are intolerant. Since definitive judgements are ipso facto intolerant, definitive judgements are also ipso facto evil, and therefore must be opposed. However, at this point the advocates of tolerance run into a paradox. In order to oppose definitive judgements, they need to make definitive judgements. In order to support their tolerance rhetoric, they have to be intolerant of all other opinions. Hence, we see the double standard once again. What ensues is a totalitarian ideology that opposes dissent, as Zizek has also observed. Tolerance becomes the opposite of what it advocates.

The result of all of this is cultural totalitarianism. Rather than achieving true tolerance, those who tout tolerance become intolerant. Tolerance advocates are forced to render definitive judgements in their efforts to oppose definitive judgements. In order to oppose judgements and distinctions in thought, the tolerance advocate is forced to render judgements and maintain distinctions in thought. Clearly the tolerance advocate does not succeed in achieving their goal. As Robbins has observed within the context of the church, rather than making no judgements at all, these people make evil judgements instead:

“the reluctance to make distinctions, the antipathy to rendering moral judgments—all of this means that proper distinctions are not being made and righteous judgments are not being rendered. It does not mean that distinctions and judgments are not being made at all. Insofar as anyone thinks at all, he must make distinctions and render judgments.”

Our culture of pseudo tolerance forces people to be stupid and to make bad judgements. Critical thinking is eliminated, since being critical is the process of evaluating what is good and what is bad, to reject what is wrong and to accept what is correct. Pseudo tolerance forces people to label this evaluative process itself as bad. To reject the bad and accept the good would not be tolerant, and so we have a moral imperative to accept what is bad as well. Any thinking person can see that this is self-contradictory nonsense. Once again, the tolerance advocate does not cease rendering moral and factual judgements, but rather only succeeds in rendering evil judgements, all the while striving to make no judgements at all.

The popular contemporary application of tolerance is the opposite of true tolerance. It is utopian; it is impossible; it is irrational; it is tyrannical; it is deceptive; it is Marxist; it is evil.

Works Cited

Glazov, Jamie. United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. Los
Angeles: WorldNetDaily, 2009. Print.