The world is broken on extremely fundamental levels. Consider a trio of pieces that have been published this week. Bret Stephens Monday in the WSJ:
…Europe decided to make a fetish of its tolerance for intolerance and allow the religious distempers of its Islamist communities to fester over many years. That’s what happens when you sanctify political tantrums, explain and appease them, refuse to name them, try to look away.
Victor Davis Hanson on Tuesday in National Review:
Unfortunately 21st-century American college graduates are the least educated in a century. Declining test scores illustrate this. Grade inflation and a therapeutic curriculum reflect it. The furor over implementation of BA exit exams suggests it. And employers lament it.
Universities went feral and broke their social contract. If campuses can no longer educate students, then why should they be exempt from the norms that the rest of the population must follow?
Campuses claim they are left-wing, but in fact they are no-wing: just fascist, authoritarian, infantile — and incompetent.
Missouri and Paris have something important in common. Both represent the inability of primary social institutions to defend themselves. American institutions of higher learning are beset by an intellectual anarchy that is eroding their reason for being. In the Middle East, unchecked anarchy has caused millions of refugees to flow into a Europe incapable of handling that crisis and now reeling from its vulnerability to terrorist attacks on normal life.
Imposing an alternative moral order on crucial institutions may be the fruit of political victory, but at some point the imposers should be held to account for the consequences of their morality in a world of practical life.
That is one extraordinarily ugly picture. And the common denominator seems to be a confusion of love and tolerance.
Is it loving to “tolerate” your young child’s desire to touch a hot stove? So why is it loving to tolerate it when your college age student decides to experiment with substances and sex? In the name of tolerance, or more likely shame, we have allowed the out-of-wedlock birth phenomena that we forced on the African American community in the early days of our nation to become normative when we should have taught them better. But perhaps we have stumbled on the key – our tolerance is born of our shame.
We all did things we are ashamed of in our youth, but rather than repent of those things, we decide to “tolerate” them in the next generation, hoping they will learn better naturally as we did. But how is such tolerance really loving? How is it loving to sit by idly and watch someone make a mess of their lives and force them to repeat the difficult process of growing out of the mess that we went through?
It is because, I think, we are more worried about being loved than we are loving. We want the violent Islamic immigrants to love us so we tolerate their violence and allow it to fester.
Love engages, it does not tolerate. Love that tolerates is just cowardice in disguise.