Political OP-ED 10/22/2010

Patrick T. Malone

Nancy Pelosi has the right and wants to investigate the source of funding behind the protest of the proposed Islamic community center/mosque near the 9-11 site. Muslims have a right to build the structure provided they comply with all the local ordinances and regulations. Those opposed have a right to protest without the fear of a government investigation or being labeled anti-Muslim.

The daughter of a lesbian couple has a right to attend the school of her choice. A private religious school has the right to reject students whose families do not represent the religious beliefs of the school. The families of other students in the school have the right to expect an environment where certain religious beliefs are taught and practiced without being labeled homophobic.

A young California Muslim girl has the right to wear a hijab, her religious headscarf. Her employer, Disneyland, has the right to expect their cast members to be costumed in accord with Disney standards. Visitors to Disney parks have the right to have fun without being labeled anti-religious.

People have the right to be stupid, ignorant, bigoted, etc. and express those characteristics in the lawful manner in which they conduct their daily lives. Governments have the right to try to educate their citizens, promote constructive dialogue and tolerance. Citizens have a right to reject their governments’ efforts.

All of these rights make this a wonderful country. All of these rights present huge dilemmas especially when your rights conflict with my rights. So when do your rights infringe on my rights and what can I do about it? The answer thus far is we must become more tolerant.

So my question is who are we?

Is it Nancy Pelosi, the imam or the 70% of Americans who oppose the location? Is it the lesbian couple, their daughter, the private school or the people whose religious beliefs oppose homosexuality? Or is it the young girl, her employer or the visitors to Disney?

And the bigger question might be, if we become more tolerant will we actually stand for anything?

Can I believe that marital infidelity is a sin and simply tolerate that behavior from my friends or am I compelled to find new friends? Can I believe that integrity in the business world is essential but tolerate a superior who regularly embellishes their expense report or am I compelled to report these transgressions? Can I believe that a mosque at the 9-11 site is in bad taste but be tolerant enough to say or do nothing?

Tolerance is a slippery slope. How much can you tolerate? When is enough, enough? How many of your principles and beliefs are you willing to suspend in order to be considered tolerant?

It could be said that a person who stands for nothing can tolerate anything.

Patrick T. Malone
Blairsville, GA 30512
770 493 7188 Atlanta office
706 835 1308 Blairsville office
404 630 7504 mobile

This is an independent, unedited for opinion or bias,  OP-ED piece.

-BSNews is founded on the freedom of speech and embracing a diverse bias.

All rebuttals welcome.

Patrick (14 Posts)