You know what I don’t like?  Tolerance. Ok, no I’m not opposed to the idea of accepting and respecting everyone. I’m opposed to the word “tolerance” itself, for it has become nothing but a politically correct tool in the hands of intolerant leftists. Yes, intolerant leftists.

For many liberals today, the word “tolerance” does not mean what it is intended to mean. Rather, it means being “tolerant” of everything…except things that disagree with the liberal ideology. When liberals preach “tolerance” under the guise of Christianity, it is particularly frustrating. While many liberals claim to be preaching the “words of Jesus,” they scoff at Christians who still support ideas like traditional marriage and the sanctity of life. Of course, both of these issues are core values in the Christian ideology. God forbid Christians have the “audacity” to follow the tenets of their faith. Liberals accuse conservative Christians of using their religion to revoke women’s “right to choose” or gays’ “civil rights.” They scoff at the “vast right-wing conspiracy” of conservative Christians set to enslave the world with their “outdated” values. Yeah right.

Christians have been in a full-fledged culture war these past few months. It all started with the so-called “birth control” mandate in early March. Under this part of the health care bill, religiously affiliated hospitals and organizations will be forced to provide birth control to anyone, despite many Christian religions’ opposition to contraception. This was nothing more than a blatant attack on religious freedom. Yet the attacks did not stop there. Recently, a growing number of states including Oklahoma, Virginia, and Arizona have passed or attempted to pass “personhood bills” designed to establish once and for all that life begins at conception. The left went into a tizzy, claiming that conservative Christians were imposing their “radical views” on others and while denying all women the “right” to an abortion. Forget the fact that Christians are merely protecting the sanctity of life. That’s right, we’re supposed to be “tolerant” of everything, including murder. How could I forget?

Perhaps the most divisive issue right now is that of gay marriage. Christians traditionally support the biblical view of marriage as being between a man and a woman, but this is often seen as “denying” gays their rights. I don’t think so. Disagreeing with someone’s lifestyle is not synonymous with discrimination. While Christians are generally opposed to gay marriage, the religion does not support prejudice against gays. Remember, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”

Perhaps liberals are not aware of this, but Christianity, while generally unsupportive of gay marriage and abortion, is a religion of tolerance. John 3:17 states, “For God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Thus, Christianity is a religion of tolerance, not of condemnation. Jesus came to save us, not to call us “bigots” and “hypocrites.” Tolerance, however, does not mean one should be accepting of everything. Christians are not “tolerant” of the murder of millions of children through abortion. Again, Christians espouse the principle of “hate the sin not the sinner.” While Christianity is generally opposed to gay marriage, this does not imply that Christians “hate” gays. Just because you disagree with someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that you intrinsically hate them as a person. Unfortunately, liberals have proven time and time again to be unfamiliar with this simple concept.

Many liberals tend to be opposed to the Christian definition of tolerance because their definition is the opposite of what Jesus would have preached. These clashing definitions make arguments difficult and increasingly heated. Their “tolerance” is one of condemnation, not acceptance. In the same breath that they preach for “civil rights” and “freedom of choice,” they will call people against gay marriage, contraception mandates, and abortion “bigots,” “hypocrites,” and “radicals.” You know who else was a radical? Jesus Christ. He was neither guilty of baseless name-calling nor did he simply “follow the crowd” in the name of toleration. Following Christian principles is not always easy. You can’t gloss over the effort it takes to achieve morality by being accepting of everything. Sure, I could accept a life doing drugs and stealing for profit, but that wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do. I am sick of the liberal definition of tolerance because they are incapable of “tolerating” conservative Christians. Their definition of “tolerance” has left conservatives feeling rejected, excluded, and not “tolerated” in the slightest.

Amy Lutz | Saint Louis University | @AmyLutz4