If I believe the Bible’s teachings that homosexuality is a sin, am I intolerant of homosexuals? I vehemently oppose abortion and believe unborn babies have a right to live. Am I intolerant of the woman who believes her so-called right of privacy trumps protecting the baby in her womb?
Homosexuality and abortion are no longer illegal in the United States. People can fornicate with whichever consenting adult they choose and kill their unborn babies because they don’t want to ruin their bikini bodies, at least during the first trimester. Although these acts are legal, they are immoral. I tolerate people who do immoral things. I tolerate people who hold opinions different than mine. I put up with them, and they should put up with me. I grew up understanding this is what tolerate means.
But in politically correct America the word seems to have taken on new meaning: acceptance or agreement. Intolerant is a buzzword akin to racist. People disingenuously toss it around to stop the discussion or confuse the issues or evoke shame. Our first reaction might be to deny being intolerant or racist, or to defend ourselves, especially if we go by the P.C. version of the word.