Intolerance is Sometimes Subtle

Apr 9 18:10 2007 Tami Brady Print This Article

We have all likely had experiences with overtly prejudiced people who are very brash and forthright in their religious intolerance and criticism about other religions and belief systems. These are the people that will argue little religious points of contention until they are blue in the face never letting anyone else having a say and definitely never even considering any other point of view. Some will go out of their way spew their hate and even hurt others.

Fortunately,Guest Posting as more and more of us are examining and searching for our own spiritual nature, we are becoming more tolerant of other religions, other spiritualities, and other belief systems. This is often an unexpected part of the spiritual journey. During our search, we usually come into contact with various opinions and gain some understanding of differences and similarities within these systems. We may also come in contact with intelligent individuals who hold different viewpoints from our own. As we learn to understand the viewpoints of these other individuals, we learn to respect and tolerate their alternative beliefs. In return, we come to expect respect and tolerance from others. This brings the issue of tolerance to the forefront of our minds and we soon feel the need to speak out for religious tolerance. Unfortunately, sometimes when we speak out about religious intolerance, we sometimes subconsciously add a subtle tone of intolerance to our words which destroys the initial message. The basis of such statements is that we all want people to be free to choose their own religious and spiritual beliefs. However, deep within ourselves we also want others to choose the right religion, namely our own. Basically, it’s like giving our significant other a choice to have a romantic evening with us or go out with his or her friends. If he or she makes the right choice, we are happy that we didn’t have actually say what we wanted but if he or she doesn’t make the right choice he or she will likely be paying for it for weeks. I recently read a book that will serve as another good example. The author of this book had the best of intentions to show that religious intolerance was bad. The book’s message started off with the focus that religious intolerance is bad. Somewhere in the first chapter, however, the book veered towards the message let others choose their own religious beliefs, even if they are wrong. By the end of the book, the author was stating outright that there was no proof behind this or that belief and those views of the author were ultimate truth. Though, I happened to believe a few of the notions the author discussed, I realized that stating these ideas as everyone’s ultimate truth was dangerously intolerant.

This author truly didn’t have an axe to grind. I talked to the author afterwards and this intelligent, well educated, very spiritual person was truly committed to promoting tolerance. Moreover, this person was not even aware of those subtle intolerance hidden within the book and was honestly sickened at the thought that the book actually promoted intolerance. Nonetheless, subtle intolerance is still intolerance. To some degree, subtle intolerance may even be worse that those loud obnoxious jerks spewing religious hate. Usually, we view overt intolerance as personal insecurity, lack of education, and lack of self-control. Thus, we rarely take the opinions of these individuals seriously. However, we who actually think we are helping the cause are actually just being more clever with our prejudice. It doesn’t actually reduce the incidents of intolerance, it just tidies the appearance a bit.

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About Article Author

Tami Brady
Tami Brady

Tami Brady is author of The Complete Being: Finding and Loving the Real You and Regaining Control: When Loves Becomes a Prison. She has also penned two books of poetry: Blame and Judgment and From Lost to Found. Her website can be found at

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