Critical Thinking

The Intolerance of Religion in a Tolerant Society

This episode is part of my podcast series DEAR ATHEIST… If you prefer, LISTEN NOW.


Modern society is now led by a worldview that is beyond atheism and beyond agnosticism (Council for Secular Humanism).  The more enlightened secular humanism has emerged to lead the masses towards peace, joy and hope, exploring all possibilities, closed only to the belief in God.

According to Wikipedia, secular humanism is a philosophy or life stance that “embraces human reason, ethics, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the basis of morality and decision making.”  One of the major tenets or principles states:

“We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.” (

Another fundamental principle is the belief in “the cultivation of moral excellence“.  I think there is a need to understand the definition of tolerance and the definition of excellence, so that we can fully grasp the scope of these tenets, as they do appear contrary to a dogmatic mind.  A dogmatic mind is one that is “inclined to lay down principles as undeniably true” (Google), and is the mind of people of Faith, who hold to a fundamental belief in God.

According to, tolerance is “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own.”  Excellence is defined as “the fact or state of superiority“, leading us to seek an understanding of what is superiority.  Quite simply, superiority means that something is higher, better…which means other things are inferior, worse.  This requires an ability to judge and to discriminate between what is better or worse or, in absolutes, what is good or bad.

Therefore, can excellence and tolerance truly co-exist equally?  Secular humanists feel that their superiority is their ability to live with the tension of the two…striving towards excellence, yet tolerating (while rejecting) inferior worldviews.  However, people of Faith, who are prone to refute the existence of dual opposing truths admit that to truly pursue excellence, tolerance must (at times) give way!  We are not afraid to call a spade ‘a spade’.

Christians are clear in what we consider wrong or right, good and bad.  We have the Bible which guides our beliefs, much like secular humanism have their Affirmations of Humanism.  According to our holy book, we boldly take stands against abortion, sexual immorality, homosexuality, murder and so on.  We are able to take those stands, while still extending love and compassion to those who commit sin.  Our slogan is “hate the sin, love the sinner!”, just like our God hates our sin and loves us passionately.  If, at times, we fail to practice what we profess, the problem is with our humanity and not with our Faith.  The mere fact that we are able to identify and judge sin for what it is makes us intolerant in their eyes.

However, Humanists cannot seem to proclaim anything to be absolute, and in their promotion of tolerance above all else, they will never achieve the moral excellence they profess to strive for!  They live in a duality of conflicting views, and are prone to “doublespeak”.  They utter with one breath that they will fight for your human right to hold your religious views, and with the other, they campaign, connive and seek to overthrow the foundation of that fundamental right!  It is like a so called friend who says to you: “I love you, brother, and I will always fight against any threat to your right to life.  But you know, if you willingly give up your life, the world will be a better place!”  Basically, die already!

They can’t come right out and attack your right to your religion, because that would go against their tolerance mantra.  However, they seek to persuade you, trick you, bully you out of your faith, which they undermine as inferior and ignorant.  Consider this tenet from their Council: “We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.” (my emphasis).  I looked up the word denigrate, and according to Google, it means to “criticize unfairly”.  WOW!  For a philosophy that is built on fairness and justice, that is quite a contradiction.  Yet that is what so many atheists do.  While Christians preach to build faith, atheists criticize to destroy faith.  An act that is equivalent to hurling rocks at someone’s residence and saying: “We’re not trying to make you homeless, we just want to destroy your house!

To fully grasp the dichotomy that is the dual belief in tolerance and excellence as equals, you might want to consider the case of a school.  Would you really want to send your child to a school whose slogan reads “Towards Tolerance and Moral Excellence“?  Wouldn’t you be a little concerned that they may be confused?  That they would not be able to hold to any moral standards, because of their profession of tolerance.  And if you were an advocate for tolerance, wouldn’t you be concerned that they would be pushing their “superior morality” on your children, who you wish to remain open to all views?  It doesn’t add up.  It would be a school divided against itself, and really in no place to lead or teach your children!

The truth is that, in all their doublespeak about religion, their rejection of it is fundamental in their beliefs and practices, and thus, they CANNOT tolerate religion.  Yes, the war has not been declared officially.  It is still very much a human right.  But, all you need to do is read their literature, and you will know that they are well on the way of making that right a thing of history!  Take for instance, a blog post I read yesterday called Eradicating Religion.  The title alone says it all, but when you read it, you will see that the masks have fallen off, and there is deep hatred against any belief in God.  In another post that linked off one of my posts making these same claims, another Atheist boasts about his readiness to defend believers against true religious persecution.  The double speak is so blatant there, as I pointed out in my comments.

A characteristic of narcissism is to make the victims believe that the abuse is all in their heads!  That is exactly what secular humanism is doing to people of Faith, as they undermine and attack our beliefs with their “superior wisdom” and “tolerant affirmations”.  Indiscriminate tolerance doesn’t work because a house divided against itself cannot stand.  You can’t exercise your right to depravity, while I also strive for moral excellence, and think that we’re equally right.  Justice (as another professed ideal of secular humanism) is not tolerant.  They refuse to comprehend that being intolerant of sin and evil doesn’t make one unloving!

Within their camp is a diversity of views ranging between compassion and selfishness. The only thing they are truly united for (or agree on) is the elimination of God and the belief in Him.  I’d rather they would just come right out and say it, and stop pretending that we don’t know that the jig is up!  Quit the doublespeak, politically correct mumbo jumbo and come right out with it!  You think my right to religion stinks!

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20 replies »

    • Thanks Elihu! Tolerance is the real myth, because if tolerance was truly the order of the day, the prisons would be empty. Secularism just wishes to hold the power to what is morally wrong and what is legally wrong. When religion is eradicated, as they all wish, we will be the outlaws, and our faith in God will be what is morally wrong!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I noticed you used the old Christian standby of “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” I fail to see how our desire for tolerance is really much different than your slogan. I support those who are religious even if I don’t support the religions themselves.

    Personally, I think many of religion’s effects are detrimental to people and to society. Granted, it does have its good points, but none of these are mutually exclusive to religion or to a belief in a god (as seen in much of what Humanism does). Also, while I think religion does its share of harm, I think it would be worse for the world if we forcefully tried to eradicate it. This is what is meant by striving for excellence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jon, I thought you would say as much as the Christian slogon “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is equivalent to your doublespeak, but here is the difference:

      Christians boldly stand on what we call sin and condemn it as abhorrent. Our desire to be liked can never override our ability to speak the truth about sin. We openly say that we would like to see the end of sin and actively work towards that end.

      But Humanists (Atheists in particular), who find belief in God so abhorrent as to devote endless hours attacking it and seeking to eradicate it within society, can hardly come out and speak honestly about it, because they want to be politically correct and seen as tolerant. They would rather hide behind pleasant speech than admit that they would support a move to abolish religion. That’s what you do when you say, I’ll fight for your rights, but then attack those same rights with your unfair criticisms and campaigns to devalue our beliefs.

      I don’t mind that you feel that way. Just be honest about it and what you’re doing and would like to do to rid the world of religion, so we can all know where we stand. We can’t have honest dialogue until you are honest about your stance.

      But if you truly tolerate religion (meaning you believe it is equal to your life stance of Humanism), then tolerate it. Accept its existence without trying to ‘denigrate’ it!

      For example, I tolerate Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. I don’t devote whole articles criticising their beliefs or visit their blogs attacking their beliefs. I don’t campaign for their religious practices to be overturned. I respect that they believe in their sacraments and need to practice their beliefs, the same way I need to pray to God, and would feel persecuted is anyone tried to ban prayer! But if anyone asked if I agree with them, they would know that I don’t and why. That is tolerance. It understand the value people place on their religion, while still rejecting it for themselves, without attacking it like it was cancer!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christians boldly stand on what we call sin and condemn it as abhorrent. Our desire to be liked can never override our ability to speak the truth about sin. We openly say that we would like to see the end of sin and actively work towards that end.

        You say that this is the difference, but I would say that, replacing ‘Christians’ for ‘Atheists,’ I could say the exact same thing. I think the effects of religion are largely detrimental to both the individuals and the societies. I openly speak of that, and I openly say that I would like to see a day when religion either disappears entirely or at least in any sense of public importance. I think I see the effects of religion in much the same was as you see the effects of sin.

        Also, while you say that atheists hide behind pleasant speech, you also talk about how forcefully we attack Christianity. I’m not sure I see how those can fit together. I believe you once took issue with me referring to the effects of religion as being “vile.” (I believe that was the word used.) I don’t think this is exactly hiding behind pleasant speech, and I do feel that I have been honest about my views.

        As for what I “would like to do to rid the world of religion,” I have said over and over that I have no desire to actively pursue this. Yes, I would very much like to see religion fizzle out on its own, but forcefully eliminating it, or just suppressing it, is not the way to do it. I like to have the conversations because I like to make people think, and more importantly, I appreciate those who make me think. If I am convincing to someone, great. If not, so be it. Better yet, if someone convinces me that my views are wrong, I consider myself fortunate to have learned something.

        Finally, you refer to a tolerance of religion as “meaning you believe it is equal to your life stance of Humanism;” however, would you apply that same definition when you say you tolerate Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism? I doubt that you see those as being in any way equal to your own beliefs. I would wager that you see them as patently false and capable of producing a great amount of harm for people (both in this life and the one to come), yet you respect the right of these people to believe as they deem fit. I would also assume that you would draw the line on their right to believe once it crosses over and becomes harmful to others (as in the atrocities carried out in the name of Islam). This is essentially how I view all religions and it is what I consider to be tolerance.

        Also, out of curiosity, I’m wondering if you feel you are tolerant of atheism as well. I noticed you didn’t include atheism, but I didn’t want to read between the lines and make assumptions.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jon,

    The definition I used in my initial comment on tolerance is wrong. Tolerating something doesn’t imply that you believe it is equal…only that you accord an equal right to believe in something other than what you believe. That is what I meant to say. According to the definition I used in the post, it means to have a ‘fair, objective and permissive attitude” towards the thing you may not necessarily agree with or value. With that made clear, I do have a tolerant attitude towards other religions, including Atheism, because I know that I do not have the right to control what someone else chooses to believe, as I expect they will also respect my right to my religious beliefs.

    I do agree that there is a line that is crossed when those beliefs threaten the health and safety of other people, who may not necessary believe the same things. As a humanitarian, it is concerning for me that people use religion to justify a lot of awful things not limited to genital mutilation, war and murder. No one has the right to kill anyone because of their beliefs. That is why ‘tolerance’ as a value system doesn’t work. It’s actually kind of condescending (because by definition, the thing you tolerate is inferior or unfavourable). However, you can be understanding without being tolerant. We can understand how a psychopath is able to cause immeasurable harm to others, without tolerating it. We can understand that socially it is hard for school children to keep from experimenting sexually…but we certainly don’t need to tolerate it. That’s where the legal system comes in, and discipline and parenting comes in.

    What we tolerate or endure are the things that we are powerless to change (like waiting!), because if we can change them to be more positive or favourable, why would we not want to change them? Why would we put up with it, or approach change timidly? Can you see what I am saying here? So it is a contradiction to say you tolerate something that you’re actually not tolerating by your actions, whether civil, aggressive or not. Water cannot claim to be tolerant because it changes the nature of everything it touches, whether it is a slow drip, a gentle stream or a powerful waterfall. Atheism is similar because, whether it is a slow drip or criticism, a stream of arguments or torrent of a campaign that undermines religion, the impact is still the same…just different degrees of damage.

    Can you tell me how you can actually tolerate something you consider to be vile? Would you tolerate cancer in your wife? Would you not resist it and fight it with every ounce of your being? Your pleasant speech is the speech you make about fighting for my religious rights, not wanting me to be homeless, while hating my religious guts and throwing stones at my house! I hear “vile religion” and I hear “defend your right” to it, and I just can’t make sense of it. Respect my right to it all you can, but don’t lie that you will do anything worthwhile to actually defend it (which implies that you don’t want to see it go)!

    My point is that the word tolerate has been abused! It certainly cannot be used alongside moral excellence.

    Thanks again for reading and commenting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • some valid points that are interesting to ponder. I agree with a fair amount of what you said. However, if you feel that the word ‘tolerate’ has been abused, perhaps this is a matter of semantics. Would you find it more consistent if I were to say that I respect your right to your religious belief even if I don’t like the belief itself?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent! I would totally prefer that. Words are powerful, they are not unimportant. Every politician knows that. That is why there is such a thing as political correctness. The wrong word can start a war, and the right word can mask true hate.

        Even that word ‘respect’ can be inspected. But, I understand you much better when you say you respect my right to my opinion, than when you say you tolerate it.

        This is progress. Thanks!


      • I don’t disagree with the larger point, but I would still argue that we approach this in much the same manner. If it would be better for me to say that I respect the right than to say I tolerate it, wouldn’t it likewise be more appropriate for you to say that you respect the rights of other religions than to say you tolerate them. I’m not opposed to tossing the word ‘tolerance’ for the sake of this discussion, but I think the argument would apply to both of us equally. If you base morality on your religious beliefs, you can’t quite say that you tolerate a religion that you deem morally inferior to your own.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re absolutely right. My tolerance for other religions is limited. But tolerance is not an ideal that I exalt above all else, like Humanists do. My religion compels me to be intolerant of a lot of things (meaning not to put up with, but contend against) that are contrary to my fundamental beliefs. I appreciate that other religions have the same challenge of not being able to fully tolerate my beliefs either.

        You can see it this way… God is not tolerant. Not even remotely so. In fact, God is much like the water I described, but more in a purifying capacity. He comes in and changes everything! Anyone who claims to believe in God will manifest this same spirit. God doesn’t put up with evil, but works to make everything come into agreement with Him.

        So I cannot profess to be a tolerant person, the way you are inclined to. But what I can profess to be (or rather strive to be) is understanding, loving, patient and considerate. I can be all these things without being tolerant.

        As much as I am unable to change (or control) what others believe, I comport myself respectfully and I endure (or tolerate) their different views, but given a chance, I would certainly act to change that and bring them into agreement with what I believe to be true.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Ufuomaee, you seem to be at an impasse with the thought-process of secular humanism (SH). Likewise, I love the SH and respect them as people, but their doublespeak about tolerance is incompatible with reason. SH lives in a state of intellectual bigotry. That’s like spending all of your resources defending your own grave.

    Great post, as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘They will never achieve the moral excellence they strive for,’ you write.

    Correct. Impossible without a standard, this is why God’s word is despised, because of God’s unbendable absolutes. Atheism is the religion of fools. Yes, without apology, it is a religion, as in devotion to a cause. Atheists are religious people, much to the chagrin of themselves! What irony.

    Great post btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your contribution, Colorstorm. I do agree that it is foolish to say there is no God, with all the evidence of creation to the contrary. When they finally accept that they too are practising religion, then we can expect a more honest relationship!


      • The conversation will always be there, not sure about the honesty part 😉

        Absolute truth demands absolute honesty. And at the end of the day, I think it is not a matter of God in general………..but of Christ in particular!

        After all, He is the Truth, as well as the life. And then there is that other way……….. All the best U.

        Liked by 1 person

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