Intolerance in a Tolerant State

Most days in the lab if I’m not at the bench doing experiments I’ll listen and/or watch Huffingtonpost live. It’s an interactive form of the website where there are multiple panels throughout the day on various topics such as politics, sports, the economy, entertainment and education. There have various guests ranging from professors, politicians, civil workers, etc who give their opinion and expert advice. They pick their panelists based on their relevance to the topic at hand. For instance if the topic is about people who are graduating and not being able to find job they might have a guy who has an engineering degree working at Starbucks on a Google hangout while he’s at work.

Yesterday the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed (along with 2 other Americans) in a terrorist attack on a U.S. Consulate. While I had some down time I logged onto Huffpost and came across an interesting conversation about how Islam is viewed in this country. As I read the live interactive chat room a comment stick out to me.

Islam is a cancer. As evidenced by this incident.

This comment is so ignorant. Yes the people who bombed the consulate were Islamic extremists but you simply cannot blame the actions of a few individuals on an entire religious sect. Islam is a prominent religion worldwide and to denounce it in such a way is cretinous.

Whatever happened to tolerance? In a country where the Constitution is revered you would think freedom of religion would mean a little more to people. The actions of extremists must not go unpunished which is why I commend the dispatch of two warships to the coats of Libya.

If we were to blame the religion of every extremist on their acts then we would have been burning Bibles after Timothy Mcveigh blew up that building in Oklahoma City. We didn’t because most Americans see the world through rose colored glasses where the only religion that matters is Christianity. We rebuff anything that is remotely different from us. We scoff at the notion that anyone doesn’t like America as if that’s impossible.

I love America just as much as anyone else. I’m afforded freedoms here that I would be able to enjoy few other places in the world. What I don’t like is intolerance towards others. I expect more from people. I know that expectation will lead to disappointment but that’s just the way I’m wired.


16 thoughts on “Intolerance in a Tolerant State

  1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

    Although I tend to not be a flag waver I consider myself to be really patriotic. With that being said there are more than a few things I don’t like about our nation but the lack of tolerance is way up on the list. It all stems from a lack of focus on the bigger picture and a failure to take an introspective look at one’s self. I used to be shocked at how many of us fail to just take a step back, shut up, and see something through someone else’s eyes for once. The severity of the problem rises and falls through time but it is usually a constant within the comment sections of news organizations.

    1. Ms. Bridget

      Ughhh. I’m always amazed at the ignorance I see in news media comment sections, and I really shouldn’t be. Can this many people really be so hateful and ignorant at the same time? The worst thing is, they have no idea. Scary!

      1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

        Outside of the ignorance and hate spewed in comment sections the worst thing is how fervently these nuts cling to their wonky version of the “truth”. Now a days I just read the stories and keep it moving.

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        yea i usually don’t read the comments section but the chat room at huffpost live is usually pretty good about stuff like that. there’s a 10-20 second lag time because ppl check the comments first. don’t know how they let that one slip through.

    2. madscientist7 Post author

      and you know the crazy thing is that a lot of americans will cry out in a heartbeat that their freedom to practice their religion is being denied. ummm can you be shot in this country for carrying a cross or bible? are your churches being bombed? are you denied basic human rights for being Christian? if you can’t answer yes to those questions then you need to shut the fuck up.

      too many people think this world starts and stops within the borders of these 50 states. i’m tired of it.

      1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

        I laugh my ass off when people come with the are on Christianity non-sense. If this is in fact happening I never see any real evidence of the carnage.

        “too many people think this world starts and stops within the borders of these 50 states. i’m tired of it.”

        This is kind of why I make an effort to stay away from both Fox and MSNBC. (although MSNBC isn’t nearly as bad as Fox… Not even close) I’ll take my info from CNN International and BBC America due to the lack of slant. It’s a big word out there but Americans usually ignore it.

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        BBC wins every time in my opinion. every time. this is why i’ve also started watching huffpost live. there seems to be (at least surface level) a lack of an agenda.

  2. Brooke Holmes

    Any expectations that man can and will do better is breeding ground for disappointment. Intolerance is sickening. I’m guilty of it. However, in the last few years and through training in the mental health field I’ve come to learn to treat people as individuals. We can’t blame the whole for the ignorance of a few. Great post!

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “I’m guilty of it. However, in the last few years and through training in the mental health field I’ve come to learn to treat people as individuals”

      i’m glad you could take a look at yourself and see that and makes strides to try to change that about yourself.

  3. Lioness Rising

    Riots are happening all over the Middle East because an American pastor decided to make a “movie” where he painted Islam as evil. The last time he pulled a stunt like this (Burn a Qur’an day) 3 Americans died because of retaliation. He has put so many American lives in danger. I interned abroad in the foreign service and I have several friends abroad now who will hopefully be future Ambassadors. I know some folks who were in Egypt when the Embassy there was attacked, so it strikes a cord with me when I see foreign service members put in danger because of irresponsible actions of an American. And that post did not have MSG (Marines) probably because of the danger levels, so there was no one too protect them 😦
    I am tired of people hiding behind Christianity to justify their own hatred and stupidity.

    1. Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

      The attacks were all-around bad situations. I heard a story on NPR yesterday that said the attackers got their info via a jacked up news source (Obviously, there are crappy Internet sources all over.) that said many Americans watched this “movie” to commerate 9/11. This is a prime example of what happens when bad information gets out to the public. I loved the fact that Gen. Dempsey, the Joint Chief of Staff called the preacher and told him to chill the f**k out the other day.

    2. madscientist7 Post author

      this pastor is the worst. i don’t understand how you can claim to preach the word of God and just spew hate. God isn’t hateful. Jesus isn’t hateful. this is what happens when religious heads disguise their personal opinions under the cloak of religion.

  4. gemmieboo

    great post.

    unfortunately, many ppl are intolerant (though some cover it up more than others) and many ppl boast their intolerant views. i dont really know how to combat this.

    i dont think this is entirely an American problem – clearly there are other parts of the world that are just as hateful and intolerant of American ideals and possibly Christianity. the problem is America is a “super power” and therefore we feel ENTITLED and allowed to hate anything that does not celebrate us in our awesomeness.

    i pray for America just as much as i pray for other parts of the world. im glad that i was not raised to be hateful, resentful, or intolerant. i see the beauty in Islam, when others see evil. i can celebrate cultural, religious and national differences, while still having pride in and appreciation of my own. and if nothing else, my children will be the same.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “i see the beauty in Islam, when others see evil. i can celebrate cultural, religious and national differences, while still having pride in and appreciation of my own. and if nothing else, my children will be the same.”

      all of this!!! i agree. although i was born, raised and practice Christianity i have much respect and admiration for Islam. you can celebrate yourself and your beliefs without attacking others. its very possible. what a lot of people fail to realize is that Islam is the third biggest religion in America. so in fact you’re not only condemning foreigners but Americans.


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