my friend asked me the other day if tolerance means taking christ out of…you fill in the blank. i would imagine he means christmas, schools, america in general. i started to respond to him but the computer ate it so i thought i’d muse on it here.

i don’t think that tolerance means taking anything out of your life. but that is just it. it is your ife. i don’t take the feminism out of mine…if you call God a he when i refer to Her as a She…that is my choice and i do what works for me.

part of it is the idea that if people don’t agree with you they must be agaisnt you. if i’m repbulican and you aren’t then you disagree with everything about me. but that isn’t true. the world is more nuanced than that.

mostly i think people let themselves get caught up in things they realy don’t care about. i’m not sure i believe most christians care if target has happy holidays on a sign welcoming them in. most time the spirit with wich something is given is far more important than the gift itself.

i think bill orielly or whatever is name is was looking for some publicity…something to get riled up about and managed to pick one of the lames things ever. i can’t say i’ve ever been offended by someone wishing me well…god bless you from jew, gentile or muslim is still a mighty nice thing for someone to wish me as far as i’m concerned.

even so, the big problem rests in the word tolerance. i tolerate my 3 month old niece shrieking in the back seat of the car until my sister can get a boob in her mouth. i don’t enjoy it, but she can’t help it and i know she can’t help it and eventually she’ll stop and i’ll get to coo at her and make her laugh. i think that tolerating other people is akin to that. grimmacing while they do their thing and waiting…or in some cases, praying, that they stop it immediately.

i understand that it is easy for me. i’m not especially wed to religion. i like God, i think she does amazing work and i try to be a part of that work. but my muslim friend’s belief that she should pray 5 times a day does not give me pause, neither does my christian family’s belief that jesus is the way to salvation, or my buddhist friend’s belief that this life is the result of my last life. i am intruiged by all of these views. i sometimes engage them in conversation. i mull them over and measure them against my own heart. and when i pray i keep them all in my prayers.

that’s how i think most people do it.

i’m not talking the zealots like pat robertson or terrorists, trying to incite good people to follow blind rage…i’m talking about most people. people who believe that God loves them, people who don’t believe in God at all. i think most people are fair. because it isn’t about religion. tolerance – or whatever you call it – is about allowing people to live (as long as it doesn’t harm) as they decide to live…as you decide to live. i don’t know anyone who wants someone deciding how they raise their kids, what they read, where they go. tolerance isn’t just for jesus.

all said, i wish people were less tolerant and more understanding, less tolerant and more engaged, less tolerant and more forgiving, less tolerant and more thoughtful, less tolerant and more interested, less tolerant and more open. i don’t think that means that jewish people should have to celabrate christmas, but i don’t think that means that christians have to stop either. i think that means i can call God Her and you can instruct your kid not to say “one nation under God”. i thimk that means that you can have your rush is right bumper sticker and i can laugh about it with my friends. 

we can all tolerate those things…and if we work at it…we might just move beyond tolerance altogether.


2 Comments on tolerance

  1. muurs9 says:

    The problem is people do not take the timing two over stand each other nature. You know the old saying that person is bant that way. I learned that there are certain tools that can help you navigate through people and in that process of going through a person you learn about that person and why that person is the way they are. The mother Earth is a wonderful place. The greatest school you'll ever attend. The father god gives us the will to do or not to do but when you do choose to use the tools to navigate through one's universe actually brings you in full circle with your universe. The best way to exercise on using these tools is to have the open mind. And then you can appreciate the people around you and your self within because of your clarity amongst the people around you. I have said enough be easy peace

  2. AJ says:

    another gem miss ashley…you sure you can't at least string these together and make a one man/woman play on broadway? i am telling you would win a tony!

    but i am diggin it and i am with her…i think you and andre' 3000 will get along in that God is a She thing. it don't matter, what ever makes you happy!!!

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