At a recent conference on Tolerance, Vatican representative Bishop Mario Toso makes the following obviously problematic assertion:
Intolerance in the name of “tolerance” must be named for what it is and publically condemned. To deny religiously informed moral argument a place in the public square is intolerant and anti-democratic. Or to put it another way, where there might be a clash of rights, religious freedom must never be regarded as inferior. On the other hand, the issue of religious freedom cannot and should not be incorporated into that of tolerance. If, in fact, this was the supreme human and civilian value, then any authentically truthful conviction, that excludes the other, would be tantamount to intolerance. Moreover, if every conviction was as good as another, you could end up being accommodating even towards aberrations.
Seems like the last sentence contradicts the first bolded one. If every religion is as good as another, you could end up being accommodating even towards aberrations.
But I think it is obvious what we’re talking about here. Where a Christian’s right to hate upon a homosexual conflicts with that homosexual’s right not to lose job, house, etc., the Christian’s right absolutely prevails, or is at least equal. It’s not obvious that this ought to be the case. It’s also not obvious why the Bishop thinks this ought to be the case, other than to invoke the tolerance regress argument: If you criticize my intolerance, you’re intolerant.
If God isn't moved by direct prayers–oh Lord, please help me!–perhaps He will be moved by trash talking (via Washington Monthly):
Unhelpful for establishing the tone McCain sought in Davenport was the Rev. Arnold Conrad, past pastor of the Grace Evangelical Free Church. His prayer before McCain arrived at the convention center blocks from the Mississippi River appeared to dismiss faiths other than Christianity and cast the election as a referendum on God himself.
"I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons," Conrad said.
"And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day," he said.
UPDATE: I changed the title of the post. And pmayo has suggested that this argument functions somewhat like an ad populum: remind the Lord of Hosts that the consequences of his inaction during the current election may include his being the subject of interreligious trash talking.
In other matters, congratulations to Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize economics.