Intolerance masquerading as tolerance

Published 12:59 am Sunday, April 13, 2014

Our country was founded on the principal of freedom, religious and personal, and the pursuit of happiness. For centuries our country has been a haven for people who felt persecuted and misunderstood.
America was a place where an individual could stand up for their beliefs and at the same time understand that not everyone will agree with it, but it would be respected. At least that is the way it used to be.
Somewhere over the course of time political correctness has grown into a monster devouring differing opinions. Groups have become so passionate about their cause that they will do whatever they can to be heard. They will even trample on the constitutional rights of others to make their point. Going so far as to shout that if other people do not agree with their opinion they are intolerant.
Our country is nothing if not tolerant. People are free to express their opinion, no matter how inane. They are free to assemble on the street corner, gather in public places and shout their strong and even profane views from every available form of communication.
Other countries in the world are truly intolerant. China imprisons anyone who does not tow the official party line or who exposes anything unflattering. Cuba along with China strictly regulates the Internet and other forms of free speech. Malaysia publicly canes people they deem socially deviant. Many Middle Eastern countries chop off the hands of thieves. African nations erupt into all out ethnic cleansing from time to time.
We truly do live in the greatest country in the world. America is a land where we can freely pass ideas and communications amongst ourselves without fear of retribution.
Individuals and groups can passionately proclaim their beliefs and stances and threaten to bring down anyone and anything that doesn’t agree with them. One thing those people should understand is that fanaticism beyond reason doesn’t help convey their message. Intolerance masquerading as tolerance is a thin veil that is easily seen through.

Paul Barry is managing editor and can be reached by email at paul.barry@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.