So, my Letter to the Editor in last week's Tennessean (previous post) generated a response:
Christians unfairly labeled as intolerant
To the Editor:
Webster's defines tolerance as, "a sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own."
Our culture, however, has redefined the term to include embracing and applauding all beliefs and lifestyles as being equally valid. Not only does this redefining of terms unfairly label many of us as being intolerant, it also stifles all dialogue and debate on the issues, as there is nothing to discuss if there is no truth to be discovered.
As an educated, well-read American, I enjoy entertaining the ideas of others and would never seek to repress in any way anyone's right to believe or live according to one's own belief system. However, as an evangelical Christian, I also believe in ultimate, absolute truth.
For this, I, along with Cal Thomas and others who support my viewpoint, am labeled as "intolerant," "dogmatic" and "sanctimonious." Others who take equally strong positions on the war or the environment are given much more flattering labels, such as "informed," or "courageous."
This is patently unfair. Just because I believe that my views on Christianity are in accordance with truth, doesn't mean that I hold any animosity toward — much less desire to harm — others.
This, in answer to Paul Schatzkin's letter, is what makes us different from the Sunnis and the Shias. We seek dialogue; they seek death ("Debating the afterlife is not a top priority," July 17).
I think it's safe to say that Ms. Ferguson could use a lesson or two in irony. But, then, isn't that always how it goes with people who are so damn-shot certain that they KNOW "the truth." Speaking of irony: since this response was also a "tree star" letter, I guess I'll get to discuss the issues with Ms. Ferguson in person at the banquet next year. I'm sure I'll be able to recognize her in the crowd, she'll be the one wearing the bright shining halo. Guess I better go look up the definition of "sanctimonious. "