Monday, August 20, 2012

The Evil of "Tolerance", and Coleridge's Foresight: The Era of Prigs

Worth repeating a thousand times:

We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive.  --Cdl Chaput, quoted at RedState

There's something else that's important here:

"Tolerance applies only to persons, never to principlesIntolerance applies only to principles, never to persons. --Bp Fulton J. Sheen, quoted at BadgerCath.

Back to RedState:

We see that more and more in society and as culture is upstream from politics, we are seeing an increasing intolerance for moral virtue creeping downstream into our politics.

No surprise here.  Coleridge, the poet/philosopher/Conservative predicted as much.

He attacked the atomic individualism and statistical materialism of the Benthamites because he knew that if the Utilitarians should succeed in discrediting the religious consecration of the State, they would efface the idea of order; and if they should succeed in convincing men that we are only bundles of associated sensations, they would blind humanity to its supernatural and eternal hopes and ends [See, e.g., Justice Kennedy's Casey language:  "the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." ]  The pure democrat is the practical atheist:  ignoring the divine nature of law and the divine establishment of spiritual hierarchy, he is the unconscious instrument of diabolic powers for the undoing of mankind.  Reduce the solemn mystery and infinite variety of human life to the pseudo-mathematical principle of 'the greatest happiness for the greatest number,' and you establish a tyranny of prigs in this world, a hell of loneliness in the world of spirit.  --Kirk, The Conservative Mind

'The tyranny of prigs' is in its Second Coming.  The Priggish 'Prohibition' failed--as it was bound to do--but the New Prigs are more cunning.  See the Anti-Gun Prigs, the Anti-Sweets Prigs, the Anti-Smoking Prigs, the P.C. Prigs----the list grows.  It grows because it thin-slices its opponents and, so far, successfully, uses the language of "tolerance" to achieve its victories.


Anonymous said...

Yep, life would be so much easier if everyone in the world were Catholics who strictly adhered to the Bible!


Anonymous said...

Don't forget the anti-women's rights prigs!