14 January 2008

Pluralism & Tolerance.

Former evangelical, now Catholic theologian Francis Beckwith on the illiberality of many liberals:

Because religion is thought by many to be no different than matters of taste and personal hobbies, it seems downright rude for anyone to suggest that another's religious beliefs are mistaken. For such people, "intolerance" is equivalent to merely believing that one is correct on a theological topic. But, ironically, this is a form of intolerance, for it is saying that there is only one way to think of theology, namely, that it cannot in principle be true and it is on the same level of personal preferences such as tastes in food, sports, etc. This, it seems to me, is far worse than theologically-shaped anti-Catholicism and anti-Mormonism, since, in both cases, they implicitly respect their opposition by taking their theologies and their beliefs seriously.

In many ways, the typical Evangelical Protestant and conservative Catholic exhibits the virtue of tolerance in a much grander sense than the liberal religionist who thinks that no religions are true. For it is only when you believe that you are right and others wrong that the virtues of graciousness and respect become real, manly, virtues. The liberal religionist is like a man without genitals bragging of his chastity.

From Rod Dreher; here's the whole thing.


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