The Intolerance of Tolerance

Is the Bible intolerant?  That was the question Nathan Hansen asked me to answer for hundreds of students and adults recently.  Three years ago, Nathan, Snohomish Community Church’s innovative youth pastor, created Jesus University, a five-day youth conference in the Seattle area.  During the day, students serve their community.  At night, the community is invited to come hear top Christian bands.  

But before the bands play, Nathan has a Christian apologist address a tough question for an hour, followed by 30 minutes of Q & A.  The big-name bands draw thousands of people throughout the week, but Nathan ensures they’re given more than music.  They get an intelligent yet gracious defense of Christianity.  And our culture desperately needs some clear thinking when it comes to the topic of tolerance.

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Teaching Tolerance

Last night the news covered the story of an 11-year-old who committed suicide due to relentless bullying about his sexual orientation. Again - he was ELEVEN YEARS OLD. The news program I watched featured a myriad of resources for parents of children who might be bullied. But for me, I think this is a wake-up call to ALL parents, to make sure that our children are not the ones committing acts of bullying and hate to other children. From what I gathered watching the news, a majority of the children in his class were engaed in this kind of taunting towards him.

The harassment of children who may or may not be gay is not a political or religious issue, and really has nothing to do with our own ideologies or moral convictions. This is one of those situations where we need to set aside our polarized feelings.   Teaching and modeling tolerance has nothing to do with how we voted on Prop 8 or how we interpret scripture regarding homosexuality. 
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