Contact, not isolation, leads to tolerance. If our goal is to be a society that tolerates a variety of religious expressions, then we have to respect the free practice of other religions -- including their attempts to proselytize -- in the public square. That doesn't mean instituting a state religion. In fact, it's the only thing that can prevent such an institution. A vacuum is easy to fill, but occupied territory isn't.It reminds me of what my media law professor said several years ago about free speech -- the fringes define what is acceptable for most of us. If we aren't willing to allow free expression for ideas we vehemently disagree with, or even find repugnant, we may find our own rights limited. In other words, what goes around, comes around, folks.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Respect and tolerance
Mark Bertrand has been posting on this theme some lately and I really like what he says today about how we develop real tolerance.