Friday, November 13, 2009

The True Meaning of Tolerance

From the Washington Times:

Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director whose about-face on abortion prompted her to resign her job, says she's gotten flack for her decision from an unexpected quarter: her own church.

Now she is facing a different kind of music at her parish, St. Francis Episcopal in nearby College Station, the home of Texas A&M University.

Whereas clergy and parishioners welcomed her as a Planned Parenthood employee, now they are buttonholing her after Sunday services.

"Now that I have taken this stand, some of the people there are not accepting of that," she told The Washington Times. "People have told me they disagree with my choice. One of the things I've been told is that as Episcopalians, we embrace our differences and disagreements. While I agree with that, I am not sure I can go to a place where I don't feel I am welcome."

The U.S. Episcopal Church has one of the most liberal stances on abortion of any mainline Protestant denomination and is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), which supports legalized abortion.

A former longtime RCRC board member, the Rev. Katherine H. Ragsdale, is the newly installed dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, a seminary in Cambridge, Mass. She is famous for making a 2007 sermon in which she termed abortion as a "blessing."

[Abby Johnson and her husband] made St. Francis their home. They were confirmed Episcopalians, and their daughter, now 3, was baptized there. A photo on the front page of the church's Web site,, shows her seated at the right end of the front row, holding a girl dressed in pink. Her husband, dressed in an orange shirt, is to her right.

"Chief among our values," says a statement below the photo, "are service, tolerance and understanding of the people and events that God has put into our lives."

Now the Johnsons are "reconsidering" their membership. Another Planned Parenthood staffer who was a member of St. Francis has not attended since Mrs. Johnson made her new views public a month ago.

"I know Planned Parenthood told her to not have any contact with me nor attend the same church," she said.

Rochelle Tafolla, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas, said the employee had chosen freely not to attend St. Francis because she was concerned about encountering Mrs. Johnson.

Nothing here should surprise us. When the polical Left uses words like "tolerance", "free speech", and "democracy", it is in favor of these things only to the extent that they advance it's agenda. But once it achieves power, it can be as intolerant and authoritarian as the most avid reactionary.

I apologize for the light posting. I have been uncharacteristically buried in work, and can't promise when I will have sufficient free time to resume regular posting. Your best bet is to add me to your RSS reader (how does this work?) or google reader (which loads all the blogs you "follow" on blogger). That way, when I have new content, you'll get it.


newt0311 said...

intolerant and authoritarian as the most avid reactionary.

A common misconception. The kingdoms of the late 1800 (ie. authoritarian kingdoms) were by todays standards, unimaginably libertarian.

A king sits in his capital and does not have the time, resources, or the inclination to worry about what his subjects are doing outside. A modern bureaucracy on the other hand...

Trumwill said...

I hardly see the actions of this church as being "authoritarian" in any meaningful sense. Disagreeing with someone is not excommunicating them or banning them from the church. Especially when, in cases like this, she chose the church in part because of its abortion platform.

Separately, Episcopal churches tend to vary pretty wildly. There are two Episcopal churches in "Gemini Falls", where we hope to relocate. One brags on their website about having a black lesbian outreach director and some work with Amnesty International. So I looked at the church just out of town and it had none of that (but they lacked a full-time pastor). Meanwhile, the urban church in "Colosse" had a pastor who lambasted Muslims and abortion week in and week out. Most fall in between those extremes.

By most accounts, College Station is a conservative town and Texas A&M a conservative university, so I would imagine that she'll find herself a new church (in or out of TEC) soon enough.

Ferdinand Bardamu said...

"Your best bet is to add me to your RSS reader (how does this work?) or google reader (which loads all the blogs you "follow" on blogger)."

Dude, Google Reader IS an RSS reader - the only one out there that's worth using.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Two things:

(1) Yes, the left-lib definition of "tolerance" and "free speech" remind me very much of Montoya's and Fezzini's exchange in the Princess in the words don't mean what the libs think they mean.

Then again, that is assuming that the left-libs are just mistaken in their use of the words "tolerance" and "free speech". I do not believe that they are mistaken...they deliberately use these words as doublespeak code for condonation of left-lib approved lifestyles and condonation of left-lib approved language.

Lifestyles, attitudes, or language not approved by the liberal left are not tolerated and/or are promptly squelched.

(2) The "mainline" protestant churches have become colonies of the wider Church of Liberalism, joining public schools as vehicles to transmit liberal theology and worship the God-State.