Tolerating the intolerant.

Over the past few days as the events within this freedom loving country of ours takes the news by storm evolving and escalating to the point that even those who do not keep-up with the news as our busy life demands upon our time, know once civil society is getting out of hand into the weird.  Most likely, you’ve heard about the student uprisings on college campuses demanding a complete stop to offensive behavior and/or speech. One event recently captivated my attention that sums up all the others. A Wooster college in Ohio sit in, students taking over Galpin Hall on January 24, 2018.

“The students demand that all new students and faculty be required to enroll in a ‘cultural competency training course’ that will begin during orientation week and continue throughout the whole first year. The Center of Diversity and Inclusion will determine the content of this training course, but it must be submitted to the student activists for review at least once a year.” [a]

Hmm? And here I had thought that the American civil behavior toward each other was already an ingrained part of cultural competency was based on the Judeo-Christian admonition that we must treat others the way we would like to be treated. On the most part we were kind, considerate, respectful, easy going, saying ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘is there anything I can do’, opening the door for the elderly and ladies, patiently waiting in line, preferring others the right of way, putting a check on our tongue during family gatherings and the office coffee break, respecting the property of others, politely disagreeing without being disagreeable and on and on we’d act day-in day-out.

Perhaps I’ve been wrong and that there’s another side to: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Matt 7:12

Now the student’s demand “safe zones”, a nice quiet place where they can feel safe from unwanted interruptions, conversations, some zones even offering coloring books and crayons to help escape the bigotry of others. Bigotry is defined as: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

Hmm? So, as a Christian if I stand by and say anything whatsoever about my faith which you disagree with then I’m guilty and intolerant, I’m silenced and found guilty being punished for “hate speech”, and you’ll go to a safe zone to recuperate.  Just yesterday, a creationist speaker was dis-invited to speak on campus. Evidently his talk would have been offensive. A mayor has issued subpoenas of the sermons of the local pastors in case any kind of “hate speech” was involved.

Is society now facing a new ‘social revival’ of sorts.

Does this current generation look at America as having a long history of bigotry?  Yes, you can say that America has a history of being bigoted toward others not of their own kind.

The US was established as a democratic-republic based on Judeo-Christian morality of right and wrong, but our actual history has been filled with intolerance. Our frontiersmen pushed the natives out as our expansion into the west developed. The Indians were not wanting to be engaged with the ‘white man’ and his ways. The same was true for the millions of Europeans immigrating here: Scandinavians found other Scandinavians to live near. Italians desired to live near other Italians, the Jews with the Jews. The same with the French, the Germans, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. They tolerated others but desired companionship of their own kind. It was part of the American dream: one nation under God, indivisible and with liberty to all. Tolerating the others while desiring fellowship with their own kind rather than forced diversity.

America does have a long history of bigotry toward “blacks, or people of color” being brought here and sold as slaves to the land owners in the south and the rich of the north. The free ones in the north expanding westward sought to live near and with their own kind. The southern states forced total separation, which did not end until Lincoln signed the bill officially ending slavery and ML King gave his famous speech. It was bigotry. It was intolerance. But haven’t we moved on from there?

Both sides of my parents were Swedish immigrants. At first we lived near other Swedes and went to a dominate Swedish church, then moved to a varied neighborhood where the high school in the 50’s of Chicago had been integrated with a few ‘black’ students living in near-by neighborhoods. That was my first encounter with those of dark colored skin and we behaved in school with tolerance; some playing football or basketball and in the band. Back in those days there were a few students who just didn’t fit the boy hormones of flirting with girls. They walked and talked differently without any outwardly shown affections for boys instead of girls. We’d quietly snicker ‘queer’. It was a considered a private matter.

We’ve come a long way since those days. Now it’s common to see integrated marriages, neighborhoods, schools and churches. Europeans with Asians, blacks with whites, browns with blacks, with Asians. Families with mixed children. Mixed together tolerating all. The brotherhood of man, as Christianity says all humankind came from the same heritage going back to the first male and female through the lines of Noah and his family; middle-eastern Arabs. Our differences are only outward appearances in skin tone and facial make-ups, that’s all, simply a fact of mixing biological genes over the centuries.

Yes, America does have a long history of intolerance towards those of a different shade and we’ve come a long way to overcome those prejudices. Now there’s this new side that is being highlighted, that of the intolerances toward the LGBT’s demanding complete open tolerance of their life choices and doing away with what they call as ‘white-privilege’. Elementary Schools are telling the kiddies that having two daddies, or two mommies is normal, that’s it’s natural for a boy to dress like a girl if that is her desire and wanting to use the girl’s locker room is fine, and even competing against girls running track is wonderful.

And, another side to this upheaval is that of those desiring the right to abort the life growing within at any time for any reason. Sexual freedom outside marriage without consequences. It’s also been noted that less and less of the younger generations are attending church on a regular basis as evolutionary atheism gains more ground denying coaches pre-game prayer time with their team, denying students to hold bible studies outside class, denying parents to instill Christian ethics in their children.

So, where are we headed as a society?  How will the future look?

Author: Arnold Kropp

About the Author. Back in the days when I was a kid growing up in south Chicago, freely roaming around the neighborhood was common and just a part of life in the late 40's and early 50's. A train track was less than a mile away and a favorite place to walk along the rails. A large city park was a bit closer with areas of dense trees and areas of open grassy picnic grounds. A public golf course was just two blocks away, but the famed 4-lane busy Western avenue had to be crossed to get to it, and we crossed in the middle of the block running between the cars and trucks. We knew the risks. In the winters, we would climb that fence making our way to one of the ponds, we’d push and shovel away the snow and play a spontaneous game of hockey, or bring a sled and slide down the hillside ; no adults, no special padding, just a group of kids enjoying the contest. Dad was at work, mom was home tending to the washing and preparing the family meal for promptly at 6 pm. Life was good. It was fun. Sunday mornings were dress up in suit and tie, polished shoes for Sunday school and the worship service, then to a restaurant. Arnold went on to college immediately after high school, but could not find a subject, a major that was really up his alley, so he enlisted in the Army and served in Germany during the years the Berlin wall was built. Seeing what effects Soviet communism had on the people of East Germany left an impression on him. During those years, he would write many long letters home starting a desire to write more than just letters. Many years later Arnold developed a blog where he posted hundreds of articles on the political side of American life. Some of those are available in the collection named "Ramblings". Today, Society is totally different from that of the 50's, a whole lot different. Today, it has become scary to let the kids roam. Today it has become organized to the hilt with 2nd graders playing organized football. In my present relatively quiet neighborhood, I do see kids walking the streets, but there is a difference as the kids seem to be apprehensive and on guard or intently operating a telephone as they walk, not running after each other. Today, the above freedoms of the 50's are suspect and avoided as being dangerous activities. And that is sad. It's sad that today's kids do not have that freedom, and it may be having a direct effect on their development. Consider, one fact that is readily apparent today compared to yesterday; the preponderance of overweight and obese kids, even pre-school kids are heavier than we were, and this has to be affecting the rest of their daily lives. No doubt about it. But, I'd better hush, can't talk about those things. Yes, in the 50’s there were Semi-trucks, public transportation, murders, rape, robberies, house fires, sickness and diseases resulting in death, and yes, there were deadly vehicle accidents too. There was even poverty and homosexuals too. We went to public schools, and the high school was integrated. This was Chicago, but those events did not make the headlines, as news was only broadcast at 6pm and possibly 10pm nightcap. Days of the cold war kept us together as a nation. We saw the "Victory at Sea" war clips before the main feature at the theaters. And now technology dominates life. A cell phone in every handy pocket posting selfies. A computer saving everything to one of those cumulous clouds. Room size TV’s broadcasting everything 24/7. This is more information than I want. Let me decide something. I think. therefore, I am. I was born a male, therefore I am. I was born-again, therefore I am. I have life within, therefore I am. The news is not my guide. The TV is not my Sheppard.

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