NZ Herald 5 February 2021
Family First Comment: Excellent commentary from our board member Bruce Logan on the new virtues of ‘tolerance’ and ‘kindness’
“Indeed tolerance is not only affirmation, it demands public virtue-signalling to display its credentials. It slips into hypocrisy with consummate ease. Many public companies and banks embrace obsequiousness with the first suggestion of criticism. Someone just has to disagree with same-sex marriage, for example, and the rainbow flag will fly the next day… It is becoming exceedingly difficult to know, without being told by the new over-reaching priesthood, what is tolerable and what is intolerable. So it’s unsurprising we are all at sea trying to get aboard the lifeboat of kindness.”
I’m an old bloke who was around in the 1960s.
According to the stereotype you might expect me to lament the changing of the times. The edge flying off severed from the centre.
But it’s more than that. The way we use language has dramatically changed.
Grammar and syntax have become increasingly sloppy, particularly on television news.
Words slip and slide to be given their presumptive meaning by the priesthood of Leftism. The changes are legion but I will concentrate on just two words abused ad nauseam: “tolerance” and “kindness”.
Until about 10 minutes ago, tolerance transpired when somebody didn’t agree or approve of, X, Y, or Z but was prepared to go along with whatever it was without making a fuss.
Tolerant was still an adjective subject to comparative and superlative.
Intolerance ensued when somebody didn’t approve of X,Y, or Z and said I am going to make a fuss. What you believe or what you are doing is intolerable. Debate, argument, even invective were, well, tolerable.
No longer a working adjective, “tolerance” now means that I affirm and even celebrate whatever it is I’m tolerating.
Intolerance describes somebody falling short of that definition. And when I fall short I become a hater of mankind.
Indeed tolerance is not only affirmation, it demands public virtue-signalling to display its credentials.
It slips into hypocrisy with consummate ease. Many public companies and banks embrace obsequiousness with the first suggestion of criticism. Someone just has to disagree with same-sex marriage, for example, and the rainbow flag will fly the next day.
So tolerance, in the precise sense, has not only disappeared from our vocabulary it has also become impossible to practise.
It is becoming exceedingly difficult to know, without being told by the new over-reaching priesthood, what is tolerable and what is intolerable.
So it’s unsurprising we are all at sea trying to get aboard the lifeboat of kindness.
Every day we are being told to be kind as though this is something new. And that’s because “kindness” has also changed its meaning.
Kindness used to have meaningful content because we knew it to be the natural consequence of compassion. We all knew we were sinners and that “but for the grace of God go I”.
Compassion was a recognition of, and the sharing of our human weakness. As we travelled along we could hold each other up, particularly in the family. We understood the old adage: sometimes you must be cruel to be kind.
But kindness has been divorced from compassion. It has no roots and it is entirely sentimental in its behaviour. It is now cheap and without respect for the moral content of truth.
So to be kind is to tolerate the intolerable because people are not sinners, they are self-declared victims of life’s manufactured inequality. Kindness demands recognition of declared victimhood.
To deny that victimhood or to fail to recognise it is an offence that must be protected by law. Tolerance and kindness are actions of political expediency; their moral content is being emptied out by an education system that has submitted to fashionable dogma.
If you doubt that see how you go in any humanities class in any university in the country.
Try to declare what once was traditional and self-evident. That marriage is between a man and a woman or a man can’t become a woman nor a woman a man.
You won’t get an opportunity to defend your case because you are already an enemy simply by having those ideas. Ideas like these must be shut down because they will make someone feel unsafe.
And just to make sure the old meanings don’t seep into the minds of the suspicious we must have hate speech legislation to enforce the fabrications. Vacuousness is married to hypocrisy.
Remember it was Pink Floyd in the 70s who said “we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control”. Well Floyd’s wishes have been half fulfilled; we’ve got no education but we certainly have plenty of thought control.