Last week President Obama made an interesting remark in the White House at the Nordic Leaders’ Summit Arrival Ceremony (emphasis mine):
And we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being. We believe in pluralism and tolerance and respect for free speech and freedom of religion…
Sounds good, right? I mean, we all believe in tolerance and free speech and freedom of religion….
No, it sounds hypocritical.
This is coming from the man who believes in “tolerance” for everyone except those who believe in the biblical family, that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and that there is a moral definition of right and wrong found in Scripture.
If you believe these things, you’re intolerant—in today’s use of the word. That is why the president included the word pluralism.
Please understand, pluralism is not the same as freedom. Pluralism says all choices are equally right, while freedom says you have the liberty to choose.
Tolerance, in the true definition of the word, is part of freedom. It says, “I may not agree with your choices, but you, as a person created in the image of God, have the freedom to believe as you will.”
This is what Bible-believing Christians have espoused for two thousand years. (See Romans 10 and 14.) It is what, as pertaining to religious beliefs, Baptists call “individual soul liberty.” And it is why early Americans (most notably, Baptists) called for this kind of freedom in the Bill of Rights.
But there is a new use for tolerance today, and, quite frankly, it is self-serving and hypocritical. It doesn’t mean tolerance in the traditional sense of the word at all. It means, “You must condone and support my choices—even at the expense of your beliefs.”
Does this sound like splitting hairs over semantics?
It might be if it weren’t for the fact that the same man who made the remarks above just instructed every public school in America to disregard the privacy and safety of minors in their restrooms and locker rooms by allowing students of the opposite sex to use them. And if you disagree? If you’re concerned about the safety of your children? Well, you’re just intolerant.
What about if you believe in the traditional definition of words like marriage and man or woman? What if you believe human applies to one who is born or preborn? What if you believe that all of those words have fixed definitions and that redefining them undermines truth and liberty? Sorry, you’re intolerant.
Where is this hypocritical tolerance and pluralism headed?
You need only read the biblical books of 1 and 2 Kings to find out. It begins with pluralism (1 Kings 12:18) and leads to persecution (1 Kings 22).
Those who insist on pluralism cannot bear the freedom of those who have singular beliefs. Pluralism eventually denies liberty to those who say there is a right and a wrong. Today, those are usually Christians.
America was not founded upon pluralism, but upon freedom. And I’m very concerned that the “new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” is going to self-destruct by swapping the two.
You can’t have true tolerance without liberty. And you can’t have liberty when it is extended to those holding all beliefs except the ones that conflict with your own.
That’s not liberty; it’s hypocrisy.