Teens who want to run with friends who do drugs might say, "After all, they are 'good people' and we need to be tolerant." We need to take time to discuss with our youth what "tolerance" includes and how it can be misused.
An example we might use is the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), which proclaims itself the nation's "guardian of liberty" as well as the nation's protector of tolerance. It seems to me they can't tolerate the Ten Commandments being displayed; they can't tolerate the traditional family; they allow a Jewish Menorah displayed but not a nativity scene, etc. It appears to me that if it doesn't fit their perspective of being OK or if they don't agree, they proclaim that it's not right. They use "tolerance" as an argument in their favor.
Still another example is to look at the situation in Bountiful. It is amazing to me to watch people move to Davis County because the crime level is low and they want the benefits of the values that are here, and yet they protest the very values that keep the crime rate low and keep the community safe overall. It is amazing to me that knowing that alcohol is destructive to homes and families, it encourages crime, affects unborn babies, changes brain structure in teens, etc. that some people insist that we should be "tolerant" and let more alcohol be sold in this community, the net result being more misuse of alcohol. They say those who don't want more beer sold here are not tolerant. In my opinion, "they" are being intolerant of the existing values. I wonder why they choose to live here.
An episode showing a lack of tolerance happened a few years ago in our community. I spearheaded an effort to bring about awareness for a need to protect children from sexual images on magazine covers that were inappropriate for children. A group of us placed 450 signs in people's yards, on their private property, with their permission, all over Bountiful. One night 200 of the signs disappeared, a few were left on my front lawn and others were vandalized. The people involved put big red "X's" on signs we had near schools. The next day when children went to school we received report after report that the children were afraid--not of our signs, but because of the red X over "Protect Children."
These people also took a sign, which said, "Protect Children, Remove Inappropriate Material from View," covered up the bottom half of the sign and fixed it so it read, "Protect Children, Protect Free Speech." This was placed on my private property.
Now think about the above two examples. We were using our right of free speech to speak up in defense of children. In order to obtain the signs these people, who didn't approve, had illegally trespassed on private property, stolen the signs, vandalized others, and took away the free speech of over 200 people who had chosen to speak publicly through their signs. The irony was that they claimed that there should be free speech. Certainly this was a lack of their tolerance of our free speech.
You might ask your family if it is possible to be intolerant of "majority thinking." In my opinion there is a resounding "Yes" on both a national and local level.
This should make a great dinnertime discussion.