I invite you to read my rant.
Whether you agree or disagree is exactly my point—that we can disagree agreeably. We can disagree and still love one another. We can be tolerant of one another’s views while holding strongly to our own.
Ah, what a rarity in our current age.
We live in a “melting-pot” culture. A melting pot sounds good. It sounds trendy. It sounds nice. It sounds “tolerant.” But it’s not. A melting-pot culture means my views and your views melt together into one innocuous soup of savorless, quasi-deference, out of which emergences a dominant cultural narrative that is imposed on everyone else. If your view doesn’t fit within the dominant cultural narrative, your view is skimmed off the top of the soup and thrown out. In this climate, those who disagree are demonized and must be neutralized.
What we need is not a melting-pot but a potluck. A potluck culture is where everybody brings their best dish to share, and no one leaves the table hungry. No one is forced to eat egg salad or the artichoke dip, but neither are those dishes removed from the table to appease those who don’t like them.
John D. Inazu calls this, “confidant pluralism” (University of Chicago Press, 2016), where “people of good faith do not insist that those who don’t share our values be legally compelled to live by them—to eat our green bean salad. That’s fake tolerance. But neither should we be compelled by force of law to eat someone else’s tuna casserole” (Kinnaman and Lyons, Good Faith, 105).
Here’s my rant.
When someone is hateful, venomous and pugnacious with me because I refuse to agree with their position, they are representing a melting-pot cultural perspective. When I reaffirm my love for them and how I want to serve them in Jesus’ name, regardless of their ideology or beliefs, that is representing a potluck cultural perspective.
I find it ironic that over whatever issue you want to pick—LGBTQ+, Democratics vs. Republicans, getting vaccinated against COVID or not, wearing masks or not—if I disagree with someone’s viewpoint, they believe I am intolerant and rejecting them. But if they choose to reject me because of my viewpoint, they are expressing tolerance by rejecting me (who has been labeled as intolerant). In the name of tolerance, some people are not very tolerant.
Hear me: I do not wish to impose my beliefs and convictions on anyone, and I choose to love all people, because Jesus tells me to (Mark 12:31). But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with you. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t defend what I believe. I hope we can have healthy dialogue in and out of the public square. If you choose to hate me because of what I believe, well, that sure doesn’t seem very tolerant.