Tolerance = silencing

Peter Kurti

17 April 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

Easter is a celebration that has brought hope to billions of people. But before the hope, there was anger, intolerance, and hatred that led to crucifixion. What has changed since then?

Not much, to judge from the angry tone of public debate these days in Australia where intolerance is on the rise. Just think of recent militant campaigns about meat, God, or gender.

Views that upset the progressive identity warriors of the left are quickly choked off by confected outrage, and those who hold these views are hounded.

For many people, this is not the kind of society they want to live in: but the reality is that it’s the kind of society we’ve now got. The left’s new identity morality claims to be tolerant and fair.

The truth is very different. In the progressive moral universe of the left, anger, hatred, and intolerance are the weapons deployed supposedly in the name of compassion and inclusiveness.

But they are weapons that divide and harm. At one time, diversity was used as a shield to protect people from the bad behaviour of others: now it is used as a sword to cut down any voice that dares to dissent.

And fundamental freedoms we all take for granted — the freedom to work, the freedom to believe, the freedom to speak — are also under serious threat from identity warriors wielding the sword of diversity.

Rules and sanctions are slammed on anyone who claims the right to think, speak, and act for themselves in accordance with their conscience. Today it’s Israel Folau, but tomorrow it might be you.

At one time, tolerance meant tolerating those you didn’t like. But now, tolerance is seen as a weakness. When a dissenting view is said to be ‘hate speech’, ‘tolerance’ now means immediate silencing.

But we must not allow the hate spouted by today’s progressive identity warriors — who silence dissent and shame the dissenter — to destroy the democratic and social freedoms we prize in our country.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email