I have been reading a lot of C.S. Lewis lately and he often mentions G.K. Chesterton being one of the most influential people in his Christian worldview. This quote by Chesterton is spot on and particularly relevant in our society that holds tolerance in the same regard as we once did courage, temperance, honesty, and prudence.
Chesterton’s point is this: nothing is behind mere tolerance. There is no conviction or virtue that supports tolerance for tolerance sake. Tolerance says, “Keep to yourself.”, “Look the other way.”, “Don’t make a fuss.”, “Act as if everything is alright.”, “Don’t say what you are thinking and be ashamed of your thoughts.”, and most of all, “Don’t judge.” Who wants to live in a world where people merely tolerate each other? If we do tolerate each other, then let us do it out of obedience to that first and highest command — love one another.
I would rather have disagreement with someone who loved me than to be tolerated by someone with only apathy.