Putting In The Asterisks

Via Sarah at Insty comes this thoughtful piece:

Yes, an intolerant minority can control and destroy democracy. Actually, as we saw, it will eventually destroy our world.
So, we need to be more than intolerant with some intolerant minorities. It is not permissible to use “American values” or “Western principles” in treating intolerant Salafism (which denies other peoples’ right to have their own religion). The West is currently in the process of committing suicide.

I’ve often pondered this issue. If we assume that the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact — by no means a certain assumption, by the way — then yes, of course we can attach asterisks to certain socio-political movements (e.g. Nazism, Communism etc.) which rely on the tolerance of the typical Western-style democracy (and in the case of the U.S., the tolerance entrenched in its Constitution), and use that tolerance to further their own brand of intolerance. As an example, note that a considerable percentage of U.S. Muslims support the idea of Shari’ah law as first an adjunct to, and then a replacement for the existing U.S. legislative system. And in the name of “tolerance”, or “cultural appreciation” (or whatever term liberals use to disguise “eventual submission”), we should allow such ideas to become not only acceptable, but accepted?


Here’s a little thought for the Intolerants to ponder. Even our Constitution is not written in stone; it can be amended — admittedly with considerable difficulty —  but there is nothing to stop a majority of members of Congress, and a majority of states, from creating an amendment to the First Amendment which says, simply, “except for [Islam / Nazism / fill in your brand of intolerance].” Here’s an example of such an action, a funny one but still one that is absolutely possible:

Our “group” here in the United States is one which supports tolerance. But if you think for one moment that we are incapable of expelling an intolerant sub-group, think again.

One of us is going to have to change their outlook and philosophy, and we’ve probably changed ours enough — or too much (which is what I think). Beware of mistaking gentleness for weakness, of tolerance for submission. Start acting like citizens of the United States, accept the principles of our Constitution, or risk losing your place at the barbecue. It can happen. Pray that it doesn’t.


  1. I’m not sure it’s necessary to amend the Constitution to prevent Nazis/Muslims/Whoever from committing mayhem. Mayhem is already illegal, murder is illegal and I don’t much care if the murder was committed because the other person is a Jew/Infidel/Trump-supporter or because the murderer caught the victim looking at his girlfriend’s boobs. You can THINK anything you like, but once you start acting on those thoughts in a manner which infringes on someone else’s rights the law should come down HARD on you.

    Yeah, I know it doesn’t always work that way, and to some people Muslim honor killings are just a cultural thing like putting up a Christmas tree. Such people need to be kicked in the slats for the betterment of humanity.

  2. When I hear “it’s their culture!” as an excuse for despicable actions by a group, I like to think of this quote:

    Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs

    Gen. Sir Charles Napier, India, 1851

  3. A lot of the Fist Amendment concerns should go away if we actually relied on the text of the First Amendment. Even granting that the phrase “Congress shall make no law” has passed into obsolescence, the key words concerning religion are “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. There should be no trouble allowing the Islamic idiots to exercise there religion, and then punishing the consequences of such exercise. You may burn widows if that is your custom. Our custom is to hang men who kill women.

    Hard on the first few widows (or ‘honor’ killings), but exercises consistently, it should bring about a certain evolution of behavior.

    Of course, to do that we would have to overcome the Liberal Progressive horror of being punished for the horrible consequences of THEIR worship (Communism).

    Guillotine. Liberal Nitwit. Some disassembly required.

  4. Mr. Kim duToit,
    Thank you for boiling down the terms “tolerance” and “cultural appreciation” to their essence in leftist-speak: “eventual submission”. I do believe I’m going to borrow that phrase.

    D.D. Eisenhower said, “The Bill of Rights contains no grant of privilege for any person or group of people to destroy the Bill of Rights”. I couldn’t agree more.

    You’ve really got a great blog here, and I’ve enjoyed your take on things for years in its previous incarnation, although I think this is the first time I’ve ever posted a comment.

    All the best,

  5. Found this on Teh Intarwebz quite some time back. I think it’s appropriate.

    “I will describe what I call the tyranny of tolerance. The tyranny of tolerance suggests that we have to be accepting of someone else’s point of view, but that they don’t have to have any tolerance for our point of view. So, tolerance goes both ways. The fact that we take a position and respectfully and thoughtfully articulate that position is not a judgement, it is just standing for what we believe to be true.” — David A. Bednar

  6. The fundamental problem is an attempt to create and exploit an asymmetry.

    From the level of root axioms, the price of admission to the respect and protection of your own rights is the acknowledgement and respect of those same rights in others. In other words, it is unreasonable to respect the claim of rights for one party who deploys them expressly for the purpose of suppressing them in others.

    To respect the rights of someone busily transgressing the rights of others is alleged to be a sign of an evolved society, which is a position that is a two edged sword. There is merit in that conceit, but also undesirable, exploitable consequences.

    This is also the foundation of the sadly obsolete concept of “outlaw” as an entity who, by their actions, have placed themselves outside the protection of the law, and are thus regarded as a general enemy of the public.

    I also recall to mind the sentiment that “I’ll meet you on your own premise”. If your premise includes respect for private property and individual prerogatives, then you’ll receive equal consideration. If your premises don’t include such matters, or they are constrained in some way, I’m not obliged to meet you at any higher standard.

  7. “Beware of mistaking gentleness for weakness, of tolerance for submission.”

    Problem is, the people who have been running things for some time have indeed been weak and submissive, and most of those people are still powerful in our system.

    It’s going to take some time just to move from “craven” to “neutral”, and only then can we start rebuilding some national honor. Worse, the current crop of near-Republicans seems perfectly happy at “craven.”

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