Thursday, August 09, 2012

Project 52 (32/52): On Tolerance (And Why Intolerance Shouldn't Be Met With It)

.:Project 52 (32/52): On Tolerance (And Why Intolerance Shouldn't Be Met With It):.

What. A. Dick.

I wanted to talk about Anna Banana and how she broke Derek Lorenzo's heart today, but instead, maybe I'll save that for some other time. I know this is all some not-really-viral thing PLDT has cooked up, but really, I feel for the kid.

Anyways, onto more timely things, seeing as we have discussion on the RH Bill, marriage equality, and yes, chicken. For a brief moment, we could have added that "Anti-God Bill" into the melting pot as well, and today's topic would have fit it, too. At every single point, when the militant liberals were calling out the behavior of the conservatives, the one and only point the conservatives would always harp on would be "one-way tolerance." Whatever that means.

See, what most people don't get about tolerance is that it, harkening back to my earlier post, is all about Walang Basagan Ng Trip. If two dudes of legal age want to marry each other, I say let them. If a woman who doesn't have money due to her economic status wants access to these newfangled condoms and pills CGMA has more than enough money to have access to, I say let them. These are simple and basic rights that should be afforded to everyone, and not just to people who have the money for it, or have the procreating combination of gonads for it.

And yes, I am neither gay nor sexually active, so that does underscore what I mean about "tolerance," not that I even disagree with these issues. While Chino Liao may joke that this reflects "hypocrisy" on my part, I think the more appropriate term would be "empathy." Not every cause I support needs to have a direct effect on my life.

In any case, I have been less concerned about not hurting the opposition's feelings lately, even if I don't count myself as a militant when it comes to these issues. I guess it's because over time, I realized that their feelings aren't really that important in the bigger scheme of things. The feeling they get isn't even a feeling of oppression, but simply a tinge of guilt that they misinterpret as oppression. I think they don't understand the meaning of the word when they use it.

You see, the doctrine of tolerance simply states that people can agree to disagree and in doing so, nobody gets hurt. For example, I like Shakey's. On the other hand, this friend of mine likes Pizza Hut. We agree to disagree, and every now and then, I will tolerate my friend and eat at Pizza Hut even if my preference is clearly for Shakey's. That's tolerance, since both choices are equally valid and my choice does not in any way affect her choice.

However, when you demand that pro-gay people tolerate anti-gay people, that relationship does not have the same implication. For pro-gay people to tolerate anti-gay people in the way anti-gay people want them to, they are being expected to be perfectly cool with anti-gay people stripping them of basic rights that anti-gay, presumably straight (Though not all the time.) people already enjoy.

So no, don't expect them to tolerate your intolerance, because your intolerance makes basag their trip (Did I really just write that? I apologize!), while you tolerating who they are in no way affects you at all. You don't turn gay hanging out with them, you don't have to campaign for their causes, and you definitely don't have to marry another dude, either. Tolerating them means you live as you normally would, and you let them live as they normally should. Tolerating you, on the other hand, requires them to tolerate being treated like second-class citizens, and no, there is no reason to tolerate that.

I especially like it when these people claim that they are being "censored" and their "free speech" is being impinged upon when they are clearly whining about the things that they already dislike, anyway. What they don't like is the fact that saying these unfair and discriminatory things actually has consequences, like, getting called out on it. People actually have to be responsible for the things they say? Who knew, right?

This whole thing about the RH Bill has also devolved into a very ironic group of people, specifically, the CBCP, whining that corruption, not population, is the issue. In church. By dragging kids and using them to make their point, as if they haven't used altar boys enough already. And then, they have Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is totally anything but corrupt, champion their cause.

So now, you have a bunch of people who collectively own the fourth largest BPI bank account in the Philippines, a default of goodwill and deference they feel entitled to, and having people say "hey, maybe their privilege to shove things down our throats shouldn't extend beyond their scope of power," and these rich, privileged, more than empowered, entrenched, and not even elected leaders claim they are being oppressed?

I remember the time Christians were actually oppressed. They were being martyred for their beliefs. They were being drawn and quartered and forced to renounce their faith. Nobody's forcing the CBCP to stop telling people to not have sex until they're married. In fact, in the general sense of tolerance, their intolerance is tolerated. They get to say it out loud, don't they? What they don't get, though, is that when people call them out for the idiotic things they have to say, that isn't a show of intolerance, but simply a consequence of them exercising their right to free speech, and their opposition exercising theirs.

Compare that to poor people who want to plan their families, but have neither the knowledge nor the money to. Well, guess what? The RH Bill addresses that. They can now make that choice, or they can adhere to what the church teaches, since hey, they made that choice after knowing what their options are.

In the end, that's all there is to it, really. Tolerance means that you allow people to live their life the way they want to, even if you don't like how they live. What it doesn't mean is that you do so at the expense of you living your life the way you want to. That's no longer tolerance, after all: that's plain martyrdom, except the Catholic church won't be canonizing you for it this time.

No comments: