If you’ve taken five seconds to follow the culture wars currently plaguing our nation, you can’t help but see that the fundamental cornerstones once thought essential to our constitutional republic are no longer understood in our body politic. The essential virtues that once served as the bedrock upon which our nation was built are no longer even recognized in our public square. When it comes to understanding why John Adams once admonished that “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” we are truly clueless.
One of the casualties in this war on morality is the virtue of love, otherwise known as Christian charity.
Today it is assumed that love means tolerance and tolerance implies love. But even the most basic grade-school understanding of these two terms shows that they are not the same, nor do they have the same moral weight and value. Love and tolerance are not synonymous.
To tolerate someone does not mean you even care about them, let alone love them. As I once told Bill O’Reilly when I was on his show, “I didn’t send my wife an ‘I tolerate you card’ on our anniversary, and there’s a reason. It wouldn’t have ended well. Tolerance is an inferior virtue. Tolerance says, ‘I really don’t like you, and I certainly don’t love you, do what you want.’ Love, on the other hand, is a superior virtue. Love says, ‘I care deeply about you, enough to tell you to stop.’ Tolerance says, ‘I couldn’t care less.’ Love says, ‘I care a great deal.’ We don’t send ‘I tolerate you cards’ to those we love.”
If the COVID-19 panic has proven anything, it’s that liberal tolerance is a lie. The evidence is pervasive. The daily news is replete with evidence that “tolerance” is extended only to those who align with the Left’s approved thoughts, attitudes, and political views. We see it everywhere. Liberal elites such as Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo are so “tolerant” that they feel empowered to dismiss, if not completely shut down, any viewpoints that differ from their own. Their intolerance for anything that smacks of tradition is on full display as they shamelessly tell all who dare challenge their narrative that they must be quiet or they will be shamed into complicity.
The Mainstream Media and their thought police are constantly walking the beat to root out all ideological crimes they deem intolerable. Religious freedom is derided. Freedom of conscience is mocked. Biblical morality is maligned. Every day brings new rules and restrictions regarding what others are allowed to think and permitted to say. With their every word, the Left proves that liberal tolerance is about authority and control. Want to go to church? Intolerable. Don’t want to wear a mask? Intolerable! Question the efficacy of a vaccine that by definition has no longitudinal data to confirm its long-term effectiveness? Intolerable!! Argue that women have the right to their own bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and sports? You’re insane! And all in the name of tolerance.
The bottom line is that the tolerance of these smart folks is dangerous. It is unstable. It is constantly blown around by the winds of political fads. It is wielded by those who seek power. It refuses to allow for discussion. It has no consistent standard, and its target is always moving. It refuses to allow anyone to challenge what the oligarchs declare to be popular. This tolerance is really little less than tyranny. It squashes debate, derides dissent, and seeks to control. It silences speech and is anti-freedom.
What are we to do in the face of such Orwellian insanity? Well, Saint Paul gave us the answer some 2,000 years ago in his letter to the church of Corinth. “Love is patient. Love is kind… It always protects… Love never fails,” he said.
As England Dan and John Ford Coley sang in the 1970s, “Love is the answer.” Biblical love that is.
Biblical love stands in direct contrast to the counterfeit of liberal tolerance. Love that is patient. It is not found in rioting against others who disagree. Love that is kind. It is not witnessed in ruining the lives of those who think differently. Love that protects does not fall in line while others are forced to comply. Love is willing to break rank, even when doing so is quite unpopular. Love never fails to speak up when tolerance is silent. True love—that is, Christian charity—sacrifices self-comfort for the sake of others. It doesn’t ridicule and mock them because they have different views than us. True love steps in the way and tells people like Don Limon to “Stop!” True love cares, while tolerance could not care less.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”