We’d Better Give Up Tolerance

We’d better give up tolerance, a well-known religious expert believes. Roman Silantyev, head of the Center for Geography of Religions at the [Moscow Patriarchate] Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, urged the public to give up the term tolerance.

“Tolerance is the term which recently society has been trying to fill with a new sense of meaning; but the word failed to comply with expectations in the sense of tolerance to evil and destructive pacifism,” he said in Cheboksary at a round table conference, “Tolerance as Imperative in Dialogue of Civilizations, Cultures, and Confessions.”

Silantyev said he visited a youth camp in September 2010 where a lecture on tolerance was delivered. Participants “trained to use the Internet” told him that they had looked up the word tolerance and found that it was a medical term meaning a diminution in the physiological response to disease. Thus, “the most tolerant of us is an AIDS patient who has no immunity to anything at all.”

Tolerance has a Western origin and is a great step forward compared with racial theories, concentration camps, and apartheid, but compared with peace among peoples inherent to Russia it is a step backward,” Silantyev believes. According to him, “Europeans have no reason to teach us tolerance. Moreover, we should teach them the right patterns of peace among peoples and religions.

“The propaganda of tolerance seems irrelevant while the Western tolerant and multicultural society is in collapse, and even European leaders refer to the failure of this model,” he noted. Silantyev urged the public to give up this term “as there is no practical benefit in its use.” F

Source: Interfax (http:www.interfax-religion.com), 23 November 2010. Reprinted with permission.