Letter: Tolerance is something we all must strive for

From: Noel Taylor


It’s common knowledge that many traditional faiths do not support the LGBTQ agenda. In the U.S. there are a few protestant denominations that are the exception, but even in the fastest-growing religion in the world today (Islam) the teachings are unambiguous on the subject. In response, those who do support this agenda may be weaponizing finance.

A local bank employee recently called a local pastor to request that the pastor sign a contract stipulating that he would not preach against homosexuality. I don’t think the pastor has preached on the subject, but he’s very clear that no one other than God determines the content of his sermons. Suppose, though, that the bank employee makes a similar request of a church over which his bank has loan leverage. Would that change the legal status of the employee’s action from pandering to assault?

It gets complicated, doesn’t it? If the bank calls in a loan on a mosque where the imam refused to sign, which side represents tolerance? For that matter, if a pastor pulls his church’s account out of a bank that requests a signed contract regarding sermon content, which side represents tolerance?

The Webster’s 1913 unabridged dictionary defines tolerance as, “The endurance of the presence or actions of objectionable persons, or of the expression of offensive opinions; toleration.” This very definition offends the more progressive among us, and thus, finally, we get to the real issue. Taking offense is something which author John Bevere calls “a deadly trap,” as those who become offended at the choices of others not only find misery themselves but often act to visit their misery upon others. Eminent 17th century Quaker George Fox offered a better way: “Walk gently over the earth, seeking that of God in every man.” That’s wise counsel.