Pat makes a really good point here. Well, actually he makes a couple dozen good points, but he makes one exceptionally good point. It’s morally good to be intolerant of some things — racism, sexism, homophobia, violence against women, etc. We often toss “tolerance” around in political punditry as if it is a universal good, and anyone who doesn’t tolerate everyone around him is a bad person.
It’s just not the case. In fact, we can say that people who tolerate some evils are themselves bad people. How many times have we heard stories of parents who knew their children were being abused but did nothing to stop it? Do we think them good people for tolerating child abuse?
Similarly, it is morally good for us to be intolerant of many aspects of the religious world. The Catholic Church covering up pedophilia rings? Absolutely intolerable. Killing people over cartoons? Absolutely intolerable. Female genital mutilation? Absolutely intolerable. Teaching children that the world is 6000 years old and that there was a global flood? Absolutely intolerable.
Pat Condell represents one side of the diverse non-believer strategy I mentioned last week. We need people like him to voice the anger and intolerance many of us rightly feel towards so many believers. We need to pass this message along and repeat it as often as we can. Tolerance is not a universal good, and intolerance is often the morally correct thing.