The Intolerance and Lies of Open-Mindedness

by Doy Moyer

ArgumentWeíve all heard it: we donít accept a particular viewpoint so, therefore, we are closed-minded bigots trapped inside some blind faith and hope fostered by an ancient, cultish superstition. Those who make such charges are, of course, the open-minded, loving, tolerant, compassionate people who are willing to accept others for who they are and what they believe. Except those who disagree with them.

Surely one who thinks things through can see the irony in this. The viewpoint isnít even subtle: open-mindedness is to be equated with the progressive, morally-liberated mindset. If you donít accept their way of thinking, you are closed-minded. They wonít even entertain the idea that you have much of a cogent thought, and itís okay for the open-minded, liberated, progressive thinkers to insult, call names, use vulgarities, and show obvious contempt and hatred for those who are more conservative than they are. Those stupid conservatives are the closed-minded ones, remember.

If open-mindedness is such a virtue, as is claimed by these self-proclaimed free-thinkers, then why are they so intolerant toward those who disagree with them? This just highlights the fact that the version of open-mindedness and tolerance they advocate is a lie. Itís a sham, and itís geared more toward trying to shut up the opposition rather than actually demonstrate true open-mindedness and tolerance. No truly open-minded person would condemn others for believing in God and holding to a strong code of morality fostered by standards higher than themselves. Even if these liberated ones donít agree, they should still defend, with the same passion as they defend others, the more conservative personís right to believe, practice, and teach their views without demonstrating such malicious hatred. Their vehement opposition to those more conservative betrays their claim to open-minded tolerance.

Why is it more virtuous to show open-mindedness and tolerance toward one group of people (say, homosexuals) than it is another (say, Christians)? Is it because one group disagrees with the other? Then both must be wrong and intolerant. Is it because one group expresses their views? Then both are condemned. Is it because one believes certain things are right and other things are wrong? Then, again, both stand under the same judgment. If open-mindedness, for the sake of its own virtue, is so great, then it shouldnít matter what anyone believes or practices at all.

Why is it more appropriate to condemn Christians than it is to condemn those of another lifestyle? If we choose the morally-liberated, free-thinking path, and in the process turn around and condemn, judge, and vilify those more conservative, then we have bought into a lie and are no better than what we think we are opposing. Why is it better to be compassionate toward one group but not the other? Why is it morally acceptable to bash Christians while claiming the high ground of open-mindedness? The answers to these questions will likely not be forthcoming, especially from those who have essentially trashed any universal standards. They are open-minded only because they say they are. In reality? Not so much.

The fact is that everyone has drawn a line in the sand. I respect that. What I donít respect is the denial of a line, then the insulting intolerance of those who claim to be so compassionate. It doesnít work. And the sad part is, they just donít see it.

To those who disagree with me, I would say this: Be honest. If you hate Christians, then you are free to say so. I respect your free will and free speech. As a Christian, Iím even wiling to take abuse for the cause of Christ. But donít turn around with some nonsense of being tolerant and bigot-free. That game is tiresome and demonstrates a lack of reason. The true motive, therefore, cannot be open-mindedness and tolerance, the very things you refuse to demonstrate toward those who disagree with you.