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posted: 4/27/2014 5:01 AM

Just disagree and move on

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I am intolerant, and so are you. Leaving aside race/nationality, gender and handicap, things over which we have no control, almost everyone is intolerant. In fact, I have met only one person in my life who is truly tolerant. Interestingly, those who preach tolerance the loudest are generally the most intolerant.

I am dealing here not with acceptance of the person but with acceptance and approval of those things over which a person has control, that person's thoughts, actions, behaviors, lifestyle, attitudes or philosophy. If I disagree with you, then you will label me as intolerant. Your calling me intolerant means you disagree with me. Therefore you are also intolerant.

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Anyone -- and that includes almost everyone -- who holds a position on thoughts, actions, behaviors, lifestyles, attitudes or philosophy, must be intolerant, for the truly tolerant person has no position on these matters but approves of any thought, action, behavior, life style, attitude or philosophy.

For the person who preaches tolerance there are never two sides to any issue. Apparently that person knows absolute truth. The person who disagrees is intolerant because of having failed to recognize absolute truth as defined by that speaker. There is a bit of arrogance here, is there not? I am not addressing those who say, "I disagree," and leave it at that. I am referring to those who, apparently, are convinced that they know absolute truth and are thus qualified to label the other person as intolerant or bigoted or homophobic or any other of a long list of put-downs.

Arrogance and closed mindedness are on display. Put-downs are rampant in our culture, including by many elected officials and even one member of the Supreme Court. Why can't we just disagree and let it go at that without putting people down?

Louis Bowers

Mount Prospect

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