Sunday, June 26, 2005

Welcome readers

I can't know who you are, but according to the little Feedburner icon I have picked up three "readers." For a long time there were none, then one. A couple of times two, then back to one. I figure whoever it was tired of my views on a few things. I have long ago left behind worrying about finding agreement; tolerance is all I hope for.

Regarding tolerance, I see a gesellschaft-gemeinschaft continuum. At one end tolerance is the very edge of endurance, at the other tolerance manifests a deep, almost protective respect. Somewhere in the middle is a kind of indifferent acceptance.

There is no clear way to know where anyone's attitudes fall. For example, a Christian's viewpoint of Jews can range from affectionn and respect (A Roman Catholic priest told me when I was going to a Seder that we Christians were "little brothers" to God's chosen people!) to neutral indifference to mean-spirited anti-semitism. Homosexuals in a new environment prepare for attitudes tolerant in the strictest sense of the word which are just stiffly-controlled compliance with the expectations of PC behavior. Later they may also discover they are as comfortable and accepted as any other group standing under the umbrella we call "tolerance."

Our politics has been poisoned, I'm afraid, by a notion of tolerance that weighs heavily toward the ugly end of this continuum. Every day I hear talk shows and read blogs that seem to be moving the center of gravity closer to that edge. This is not a "left vs right" phenomenon. The extreme recent remarks on the part of both Democrats and Republicans are a case in point. So, too, is invective about the war. If I happen to see the words "excuse me" or "I'm sorry," I get ready for sarcasm rather than courtesy. The nuanced thought is as hard to find as an ivory-billed woodpecker. Mention the word "abortion" and discover that most people cannot discern the difference between what is legal and what is moral. The notion that they might not be congruent is as alien to most people as the mysteries of astrophysics, yet they have no problem breaking speed limits or intentionally not reporting taxable income.

In any case, welcome to my small world. I am old-fashioned enough, and Southern enough, to cope with constructive civil disagreements. But like anyone else, I get a lot of satisfaction from stroking as well. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm still here Hoots along with reading Cat's antics.