I was driving home from work and happened to catch Chuck Colson being broadcast on the Focus on the Family radio program. I didn’t catch the whole show, but the parts I heard had one or two interesting points. For example, did you know that Christianity is inherently hostile to the idea of religious tolerance?
Naturally, Colson didn’t come right out and say anything quite so bold. I was driving, so I couldn’t write it down verbatim, but as best I can recall, it was pretty close to this: “When a nation turns away from the truth, it turns towards tolerance.” He even repeated it for emphasis. Christianity makes “truth claims,” and so (according to Colson) is unpopular in secular society, which idolizes tolerance. America (according to Colson) has turned away from the truth (by which he means Christianity) and the practice of religious tolerance is just that much more evidence of America’s guilt.
Breathtaking, isn’t it? As if tolerance were not the astonishing virtue that enabled different ethnic and religious groups to work together to make America the mighty nation it is today. As if freedom of conscience were not foremost in the minds of our Founding Fathers, who came here largely to escape from the Christian nations of Europe and the religious intolerance ingrained in their governments. As if religious freedom were not the primary goal of the First Amendment.
Notice too that Colson is redefining “tolerance” to mean “refusing to acknowledge the truth.” It’s not that men ought to leave one another free to follow their own consciences in regard to matters for which there is no objective verification. That would mean admitting that Christianity is not a proven fact, and Christianity is undeniable fact because–well, it just is. And tolerance is simply an excuse to repudiate God’s truth. No wonder Christians so eagerly embrace religious intolerance. Tolerance is just a way to turn away from the Gospel, just an excuse to continue sinning your way to Hell. What conscientious Christian would want to practice tolerance?
Colson has a point. Christianity is inherently hostile to tolerance. Tolerance means giving heresy just as much respect as the genuine Gospel, and there’s just no way that can be anything less than a mortal sin, since it inevitably lures large numbers of people away from the truth and into perdition. You can either support Christianity, or you can support religious liberty. You cannot support the one without perverting the other.
And that’s precisely why everyone who values his or her religious liberty needs to work and vote and do whatever they can to make sure Christianity is never (or is no longer) allowed to infiltrate our government and our laws. Sure, Christians can hold public offices, as our Constitution says. But we need to watch them like a hawk, because if they’re going to be faithful to their religion they need to subvert our constitutional rights.