I Tolerate You as long as You Agree with Me

Apparently Dolce and Gabbana have been taking a lot of heat for saying that they do not support gay marriage, gay adoption or IVF and surrogacy. They said that “procreation is an act of love” and that children are born with a mother and a father. Basically, they spelled out Catholic Theology. The only difference is that they are gay. And they are now in the middle of a huge fire storm. Elton John is calling for a boycott and other celebrities are joining him in that boycott.

Gay people can’t even be against gay marriage now or they are called bigots? How does that work? They hate themselves? Isn’t it a bit authoritarian to say that everyone has to be ok with something or else? If I said everyone had to be Catholic or I wouldn’t deal with them that would be stupid. And that is why I boycott boycotts. I drink Starbucks (and had a lady at my parish try to go off on me for having a Starbucks coffee in my hand, that turned out interesting), buy girl scout cookies and no longer give a shit if  my box of Kraft Mac and Cheese has a pink ribbon on it. My way of trying to reach people is by getting to know who they are, not forcing them to agree with me in order to be blessed with my presence in their life, how prideful would that be?!

I find it crazy that so many of those who yell at Catholics to be more tolerant and stop being haters will try to flush out anyone who disagrees with their beliefs on marriage or politics. I don’t think they truly want tolerance but a knee bending worship of the ideology that they have deemed the only ideology that is acceptable. Anyone who steps out of line gets a target put on their back.

Everyone has a right to their opinions and beliefs, even those who disagree with you. Hi 5 to Dolce and Gabbana for speaking their beliefs. If they were giving the finger the to the Catholic Church by having a wedding at St. Peter’s, the world would be cheering them on, because tolerance. We all need to get over ourselves a bit.

What D&G are facing now is similar to what a lot of Catholics who identify as gay, while living according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, go through. They get told by one side that they are not good enough Catholics and told by the other that they are not good enough gays. I have seen people tell others that they shouldn’t call themselves “gay” as if it is up to any one of us to demand that someone else identify themselves by what we say they can. That is wrong on so many levels. Every Catholic should read Eve Tushnet’s book Gay and Catholic to understand what life is like for gay Catholics. I have learned a lot from reading her books along with her blog posts. In fact, I learned more about marriage in one of her blog posts than I have any other blog post on the subject because she is a wonderfully smart Catholic woman who is obedient to the Church.

Thinking we should only be accepting and kind to those who believe as we do or as we think they should, regardless of how left or right we are, damages the entire belief of encounter. It is through encounter that we come to love and if we refuse to have encounters with people who do not fall into line with what we think then we miss out on the opportunity of love. So many people will be shooting down Elton John for his call to boycott D&G without looking at their own calls to boycott because someone doesn’t fall in line with their beliefs. I have known of people who spell out what abortion is to little girls just trying to sell some cookies outside of Walgreens. That isn’t being pro-life, that is being the worshipper of an idea.

I am proud of Dolce and Gabbana,  I am sure they knew the storm that they were kicking up (who wouldn’t know that saying those things would cause one? ) and they said it anyway. They put a light in a dark place of the tolerant movement that claims to want to accept everyone for who they are, unless who they are is someone opposed to their strange gods. Then, there should be no tolerance of them, but they should be boycotted. On the flip side, Catholics need to take a long look at how much we act the same way when the tables are turned. The weapon that Jesus has given us to fight the modern day golden calves is encounter, not boycotts. It is what He used when He walked this earth. Encounter was such a big deal to God that He became Man and dwelt among us.

“Help each other to live and to grow in the Christian faith so as to be valiant witnesses of the Lord. Be united, but not closed. Be humble, but not fearful. Be simple, but not naive. Be thoughtful, but not complicated. Enter into dialogue with others, but be yourselves.”   
– Pope Benedict XVI, Genoa, Italy, May 18, 2008


21 thoughts on “I Tolerate You as long as You Agree with Me

  1. It’s a bit different than you’re spinning it. Elton John’s issue is completely personal. He’s got two kids through IVF and surrogates and got really pissed off by them being called synthetic. He didn’t even seem to mention the whole letting queers raise children issue.

    OK. I can understand his outrage and that it is more seated in personal butt-hurt than any ideology.


  2. The ideology comes in saying someone can’t have a belief that causes you to be butt hurt so therefore they must be boycotted.

    “If you offend me, I will go after you” is not tolerance it is the opposite of it.


  3. No, it’s not “tolerance” but, in this case, I can’t see where it’s ideology either. It seems to me to be more of a case of, “You seriously insulted my kids’ very existence and I’m going to go after you for that.” Then, to be fair, if someone said something equivalent about my kids, I’d go after them too and, likely, more extremely and more violently than Mr. John is doing.

    Now, all that being said, let’s wait and see how the anti-Christian Left handles this. With no personal axes to grind, their responses would be purely ideologically based.


  4. Well, the fact that he doesn’t get that his kids are made in a… There is no word that couldn’t be taken as offensive, but they aren’t made in a biological way is rooted in the ideology that kids can be ordered up like a hamburger and nobody can say anything about it. I do have an issue with the wording some people use making that point because it does sound insulting but what should one say who is against IVF? It’s a sensitive subject because no matter what, God had a huge part in every life, even those conceived in those ways, without Him, there is no conception.

    People insult my kids every day when they talk about Catholics, or children born out of wedlock, or kids raised on food stamps, Bla Bla bla. People be crazy.


  5. Great post! This is like the secular version of heretic calling: You don’t agree? YOU MUST BE ANATHEMA!


  6. This is a good discussion. I guess the lesson here is that rhetoric is usually beneath people. A person is valuable no matter how they get here- that’s the principle. Doesn’t matter if it was IVF, or rape, or out of wedlock: life has value and slapping labels on people doesn’t always help.


  7. Right. I don’t like the term “synthetic children” even though I get that it could be used in theory, but it’s still rough to me. Also though, Americans are more sensitive in the ears that Italians, there’s always that.


  8. Right?! That’s what first struck me, I don’t even understand how the “tolerant” can be so not tolerant. Oh, because it’s not about tolerance, it isn’t about accepting people as they are, no matter what, but of making everyone approve of x,y and z. It’s not right when Christians do it and it’s not right when anyone else does it either.


  9. “It’s not right when Christians do it and it’s not right when anyone else does it either.”

    You’re comparing different things. When Christians have ‘done it’ and it’s in the news, they’ve tried to deny service to people. When non-Christians ‘do it’ it’s a boycott, which just means I won’t go to your business.

    Those are two different things.


  10. I don’t agree with boycotts on principle but what’s not right is the name calling and the insults towards people who disagree with you on things. The idea that if someone doesn’t agree with you then they are hatful bigots is wrong, regardless of who is doing it.


  11. That’s true. But someone who you disagree with might also be a hateful bigot.

    I don’t think everyone I disagree with is a hateful bigot. But I happen to disagree with every hateful bigot I know.

    No one has the right not to be called names, however. You can either ignore it or respond to it.


  12. True. What I’ve been seeing in all these boycotts is more polarization and that leads to a lot of things and kindness usually isn’t one of them.


  13. Perhaps, but that might not be the point of the boycotts.

    If I boycott someone it is at the least because I refuse to support them with my own money and at most because I’d love to see them go out of business (for whatever reason). Neither is particularly ‘kind’, but if I’m to the point where I’m boycotting someone I don’t want to be kind to them.


  14. It’s the not wanting to be kind the them that I have an issue with. Why the pitchforks over people not believing the same as you or me? They aren’t needed. If they go out of business then they end up on Gov’t assistance and who do you think pays for that? Or what about their kids? Do they deserve to go hungry because their parents support something that you deem worth them losing their business over? There are different ways to fight injustice without pitchforks.

    I just find it weird and odd that with all the talk about being against bullying that most people, including celebs, will use bullying tactics to get people to change their views on some things. It’s just odd to me.


  15. “Or what about their kids? Do they deserve to go hungry because their parents support something that you deem worth them losing their business over?”

    What happened to that government assistance you were complaining about? Doesn’t that feed the kids?

    “will use bullying tactics to get people to change their views on some things. ”

    Except it’s not bullying. Elton John can’t do anything to force a business to close. He can talk about them. He can not give them money. He can encourage others to do the same.

    If the business fails, it fails. Maybe it’s a lesson that if you have a business you shouldn’t take positions like that? Or be content that people who you are speaking against won’t give you their business.


  16. So if you own a business then you can’t have beliefs that others think are unacceptable? You can only believe in private? That is where ideology taken hold. And the point of my entire post. It isn’t about tolerance, but about revenge. If someone wants to go around seeking revenge on every business owner who dares to have their own beliefs and support whoever they want with their own money, then they can go right on living that way, but I won’t. Catholics/Christians don’t represent their faith when they do.


  17. “So if you own a business then you can’t have beliefs that others think are unacceptable?”

    You can. But if you express them publicly, do not be surprised that there are consequences.

    If words hurt your business, then you have to decide for yourself what to do. Either speak out and have some people speak against you, or don’t speak out.

    You can choose whichever. You have that right. But you don’t have the right to make me give you my money. And you don’t have the right to shut me up if I don’t like you.


  18. True enough. But I can point out that that’s not very tolerant and we can move on with our lives. 🙂


  19. This author says things that I both agree and disagree with. She does something that so many people unnecessarily do, and that is to create a false dichotomy. Many protestants, and many people in general, believe it has to be either/or instead of both/and. The beliefs of the Catholic Church generally fall into the both/and category, and it does with the topic of this article too, although the author doesn’t see it. The author falsely believes that we can either boycott OR we can lovingly “encounter” the person we disagree with. I believe the Catholic Church would suggest that we do both. Why can’t we reject that which is so harmful to others by boycotting, while at the same time showing love for the person we disagree with? I honestly think so many Christians are against boycotts because they don’t want to sacrifice their comforts. But if Christ sacrificed his life for us, can’t we at least sacrifice our coffee, cookies, and theme parks? I think it’s sad that most Christians wont give up such trivial things, while our Christian brothers and sisters are sacrificing their very lives in other countries. The bottom line with boycotting is this: we shouldn’t support companies that have publicly stated that they will send our money to Planned Parenthood, and in effect fund abortions. How can a Christian defend willingly giving their money to a place that will funnel it to murder babies?? Would you do business at a place that you knew funded the Holocaust? Abortion is the biggest holocaust of our time and most Christians aren’t doing anything about it. Boycotting is the LEAST a Christian can do. Because here’s the thing….boycotting works!! More than 300 companies have quit funding Planned Parenthood because of our boycotting!! That’s millions of dollars being taken away from killing babies! Why wouldn’t we boycott when this proves how well it works?! Once again, we can boycott while at the same time “encounter” those we disagree with.


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