Tolerance vs Respect

February 19th, 2007 at 5:09 pm by David Farrar

Simon Collins reports in the NZ Herald that in the debate over the draft National Statement on Religious Diversity, some non-Christian religions want more than “tolerance” of their faiths, but respect.

I would fight tooth and nail against that. Tolerance is exactly the right word. You earn respect, you don’t demand it, and to be honest the state has no business trying to tell me I should respect some or all religions.

I do not respect the Church of Scientology for example. I think they are mostly fruit loops. So why should I have to respect them. I suspect the PM may not be that keen on respecting the Exclusive Brethren either. Actually I think she fails the tolerance test also :-)

My fear over this draft statement is it will end up being an attack on free speech, and be used to shield religions from legitimate criticism. We should all keep a watching eye on where this goes.

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37 Responses to “Tolerance vs Respect”

  1. Stephen Judd () says:

    Well-said. David. Except where you say “the state has no business trying to tell me I should respect some or all religions”, better yet “some or all or ANY religion”.

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  2. Greenjacket () says:

    I expect the Human Rights commission to make a statement on how this demand for “respect” for certain religions runs contrary to certain basic human rights.

    Yeah right.

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  3. Greenjacket () says:

    I expect the Human Rights commission to make a statement on how this demand for “respect” for certain religions runs contrary to certain basic human rights.

    Yeah right.

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  4. Fred () says:

    Ok, how do I respect a religion whose modern holy book wants me dead?

    As always, some pigs are looking to be declared more equal than others.

    NZ is sure to comply.

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  5. Merv () says:

    “Joan Buchanan, a Canadian-born Buddhist now living at Orewa, told a pre-forum women’s meeting that she was appalled at how “non-welcoming” New Zealand was to minority cultures…. for example, she knew of six Asian Buddhist monks who could not
    get New Zealand residence permits.”

    Yep its vitally important that we have more buddihst monks in New Zealand – they can sponge off the new zealand taxpayer justlike another islamic scholar has been … maybe Miss Buchanan should consider moving back to Canada if she doesn’t like how things are here then

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  6. Oswald Bastable () says:

    I can toleraste quite a bit.

    I respect a hell of a lot less!

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  7. Carl Anderson () says:

    Meanwhile, “bishop” Tamaki thinks that anyone who disrespects our “state religion”, Christianity, is guilty of treason

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  8. Fred () says:

    T is an arsehole, but not in the same global class as Mohammed ……
    T’s saving grace is he doesn’t want to behead me or the kids.

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  9. Andrew Davies () says:

    “Tolerance is exactly the right word.”

    Even “tolerance” is sometimes used as a blunt instrument to attack freedom of speech and thought.

    “My fear over this draft statement is it will end up being an attack on free speech, and be used to shield religions from legitimate criticism. We should all keep a watching eye on where this goes.”

    Be sure of it David, that is exactly what it is. Watch for the weasel words to be slipped in under the radar at the last minute.

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  10. side show bob () says:

    So when will the Liarbour party manifesto be classed as a “state religion”?.

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  11. Idiot/Savant () says:

    What about “acceptance”?

    It’s none of the state’s business what religion people are. Instead, it should accept that there are people with different beliefs, who are going to differ on some issues, and leave it at that.

    “Tolerance” sounds like its a privilege. Acceptance makes it clear it is a right.

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  12. Stephen Judd () says:

    As long as it’s clear that what I’m accepting is the fact that people believe silly things, not the silly things themselves.

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  13. Rocket Boy () says:

    ‘I would fight tooth and nail against that.’ Gosh what does that look like? I assume you would have something grander in mind than blowing hot air on your blog site?

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  14. Fred () says:

    Note the weasel, Atiq et al have no requirement for the muzzies to respect the rest of the world….

    They assert, as an alternative view, that quotes from their homocidal Koran are….errr…wellll….

    Only quoted by bigots.

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  15. Mainstream () says:

    This is an entre, among other things, to abolish the prayer that begins the Parliamentary day. Coz it’s discriminatory.

    Then any reference to God in the National Anthem. It’ll go coz that’s discriminatory.

    So, when they’re off-camera/mic why do so many of the PC crowd invoke the name of Jesus when something goes wrong – as it often does and they often do

    Hypocrites!

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  16. Inventory2 () says:

    So Dear Leader will be forced to be tolerant to “chinless scarf wearers”, “extreme religious sects” and “faceless white men” (all direct quotes from senior Labour ministers) – seems to me Dear Leader is hoist by her own petard – yet again!!

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  17. johnmacc () says:

    Some religions don’t reserve tolerance, any more than they deserve respect. We should “tolerate” religions to the extent that they are themselves tolerant. So I’d not tolerate Brian Tamaki’s version of christianity any more than I would the wahhabi form of sunni Islam.
    And I agree with Stephen Judd – tolerance need go only as far as to accept with a sigh that some people are so dense that they want to believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden, or a master of the universe who wants a personal relationship with them and likes to hide in the ever shrinking gaps in our scientific knowledge.

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  18. thehawk () says:

    As an atheist do I get the same “respect” as a Muslim?

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  19. Psycho Milt () says:

    Most non-Christian religions come from countries that wouldn’t know freedom of speech if it bit their arses. On that basis it’s unsurprising that representatives of these religions might mistakenly imagine that a Western govt can mandate respect for their delusion. Fine – no hard feelings, but we do have to make sure our govt doesn’t start thinking they’ve got a point.

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  20. David Farrar () says:

    Idiot – I agree acceptance is okay.

    Rocket Boy – as it happens me blowing hot air on my blog has led to things such as Labour’s pledge card misdeeds being exposed in full page stories in major newspapers, so what you do may be hot air, what I blog is a targetted wind :-)

    But as it happens yes I would also lobby directly, something I am reasonably effective at.

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  21. The Ma't'ster () says:

    I respect anyone who can trick commoners to pay 10% on top of the taxes they already pay to support something which may or may not exist. Religions deserve respect for flying in the face of fans and shit and still managing to stick with shiny gleam. Amen.

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  22. The Ma't'ster () says:

    I respect anyone who can trick commoners to pay 10% on top of the taxes they already pay to support something which may or may not exist. Religions deserve respect for flying in the face of fans and shit and still managing to stick with shiny gleam. Amen.

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  23. Put it away () says:

    Rocket boy, please enlighten us on what stunning contributions you’ve made to furthering whatever causes you believe in. Something more substantial than “hot air” no doubt ?

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  24. pdq () says:

    DPF, you are quite right, we should not be required to “respect” nor “tollerate” vodoo that fills otherwise vacant minds. Why should I respect a religion much more than I would respect a Bridge Club or the local fire brigade? This is 2007 after all.

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  25. pdq () says:

    Woops, posted my pervious comment without dealing with the “tolerate” issue. We are all individuals with the capacity for freedom of thought. To suppose that we must somehow “tolerate” something we disagree with pre-supposes that we are prepared to surrender our capacity to think for ourselves.

    I for one have no tolerance for religion. I despise it because it seems to just be a means of influencing the thought of otherwise free minds. Christianity is a relatively mild version. Islam can be distorted easily enough that it becomes an extremely dangerous religion. The modern branches of Christianity are just about tithing and helping someone get rich while having a good time.

    If Government has a role its probably with the Commerce Commission, but it has no place telling us how we should feel about fairy tales or voodoo.

    I await the flaming.

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  26. Peter S () says:

    pdq,

    No flames from me.

    As a Christian, I disagree with your opinions about my beliefs, and your views on the freeness of my mind. If we were face to face, and had the time and inclination, I would be happy to enter into a vigorous discussion of our differing ideas. But I agree completely with your right to feel however you want to feel about religion, and to be able to express those feelings (short of inciting illegal activity of course).

    I think you have been honest about your level of tolerence. It also, to me, appears to be at a pretty healthy level.

    A truly tolerent person cares about nothing (and probably does not exist). Most people that cry out for tolerence from others do so because they have an unhealthy level of intolerence themselves.

    Views and opinions should be formed and built on the basis of convincing arguments and experience, not on the basis of government legislation.

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  27. gd () says:

    Agree with you Peter S Those who have to have a law demanding respect dont have a case for such respect You earn it It aint a dare I say it God given right

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  28. JG () says:

    pdq – totally agree. Well said.

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  29. Bearhunter () says:

    Religions of whichever hue are entitled to exactly the same amount of tolerance and respect from me as they show to me. So, they won’t be getting a great deal of either, then.

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  30. SPC () says:

    The proposed statement, is NOT legislation.

    It is of a project for those in this field to agree on. From the Human Rights Commission/Race Relations Conciliator/immigrant groups/religious groups/humanist-rationalists etc.

    It is about inter-group community relations building.

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  31. SPC () says:

    That said “common” human rights should be part of government legislation.

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  32. Fred () says:

    Hawk….no, it’s ok to kill your or your atheist kids anytime according to the Koran.

    Let’s pretend it doesn’t tho.

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  33. pdq () says:

    PeterS and gd, I am really impressed with your responses, and you both made me think about how I feel about religion. I sincerely do not believe that we should be required to respect it in any form. As so far as tolerance goes, maybe I should have more correctly said that rather than refuse to tolerate it, I simply choose to ignore it. Having been at the receiving end of “brotherly” guidance (take from that what you will) I struggle with Christianity. Islam is utterly lost on me.

    Peter, with regard to freedom of thought, I was really thinking about some of the more troubling parts of the world where education is a bit short, leaving fertile ground for religion to fill the gap for evil purposes.

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  34. Peter S () says:

    pdq,

    I always try to take the view that, if I can’t end a discussion without the respect of the other person, regardless of whether or not we end in agreement or and agreement to disagree, then there can only be two reasons. Either I have failed to present myself and my arguments in a way that is worthy of respect, or the person has a completely closed mind. There are very few people who have completely closed minds, so balance of probability means I have to be willing to accept responsibility.

    There is always the possibility of religion filling the gap in an education system for evil purposes. This is true for any ideology. Communism & Fascism made use of it, and even in NZ it would be hard to claim that the education system is unbiased when it comes to the ideology that is presented to our children.

    I do have issues, for example, with schools where the religious leaders teach things like the benefits of killing the opposition with suicide bombs.

    The flip side is that there are other religious schools where things like the “fruits of the holy spirit”- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodnes and self control are the things that are taught and regarded highly.

    Freedom of thought is a bit like navigating a ship. Two sailors might start a journey, and sail on the same bearing at the same speed for the same length of time. The fact that they arrive at completely diffent destinations is not a reflection on either their ability or navigation skills, it is governed by the point at which they start.

    Often the conclusions we reach are based upon the core assumptions with which we start, and these are often based upon our life experiences.

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  35. Nicholas O'Kane () says:

    pdq wrote ” for one have no tolerance for religion. I despise it because it seems to just be a means of influencing the thought of otherwise free minds.” The same can be said for ideology, culture, tradition and possibly other things.
    Johnmacc wrote “Some religions don’t reserve tolerance… We should “tolerate” religions to the extent that they are themselves tolerant. So I’d not tolerate Brian Tamaki’s version of christianity ” This not tolerating of groups like the destiny church implies them being banned. I’m not aware of the Destiny church calling for other churches to be banned. How tolerant is this? Secondly, once you start banning “intolerant” groups, you start going down a slipery slope.
    Personally I think that the statement does deserve to be looked at carefully. A basic right should be to be able to practice ones religon (whatever it is) so long as no-one else is harmed by it and no laws are broken. This together with all religons being traeted equally under the law (including maori religon) should reasonable basis for such a document.

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  36. bb () says:

    and what about tolerance vs. religion? can they cooexist?

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  37. N B () says:

    How can we judge the amount of tolerance or recpect a religion deserves. In Christianity on one side we have Brian T. who appears intolerant to the homosexual community and then we have prespretarian ministers that are homosexual, both from the “christian” religion. Some muslems are just like the rest of us others want to kill all who oppose their beliefs.
    We have to take everyone at face value and not judge them on their religious afilliations.

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