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Article on tolerance and WoW


2xx1xy1JD

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This topic came up on an Ask Me Anything thread, but I'm posting this in Snark because I don't want to derail that thread any further, not everyone can post on AMA threads and because this article was so good that it deserves its own thread.

The article concerns protests against Women of the Wall, a group of women who hold monthly prayers at the Western Wall, wearing prayer shawls that are not typically worn by Orthodox Jewish women and praying aloud as a group. The author of the article is Orthodox herself.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/my-lesson-in-tolerance/ (not a fundie blog)

I particularly liked the way that she defines tolerance:

The true test of tolerance is how we relate to others who make choices that are deeply offensive to us, especially when those choices don’t prevent us from following our own beliefs.

Very true for all issues, not just this one.

I know that some people feel that tolerance is a bit of a dirty word. It's less warm and fuzzy than acceptance. I would argue, though, that it's an even more powerful concept. Tolerance is what we need when we reach the limit of acceptance - when yes, we may be offended, and we may not be able to dismiss those feelings, but we STILL don't deny anyone their rights and we have a framework in which we can co-exist despite disagreement.

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I saw "WoW" and thought World of Warcraft but I like that definition on tolerance too.

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Interesting.

I see the author's commentary of Noga as very intolerant initially, but liked the compromise.

I’ve read the objections to WoW’s perceived agenda. But as long as the women are praying, and not holding up signs or shouting protests, they should be left alone. We can all pray as we like while tolerating others who pray in ways we find different, inexplicable, or offensive.

I totally agree with this as it is written.

I predict though 2xx that the answers on this thread will be typically weighted toward one side :think:

The author is trying to demonstrate tolerance. The issue whilst far more complex than food does not demonstrate to me compromise. You have an implacable, in my view archaic group. Being challenged by an equally implacable group.

Demanding that others change their behavior, in order to show tolerance for our sensibilities, is the height of intolerance.

That goes both ways. Even when we do not agree. Compromise.

To live together in Israel’s complex, diverse and dynamic society, we must find a way to practice true tolerance.

As on the other thread I think that is key. It really is dynamic.

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I saw "WoW" and thought World of Warcraft but I like that definition on tolerance too.

Good to know I'm not the only one.

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Good to know I'm not the only one.

Well I did think it initially. As much as I adore WOW. This is a very diverse and fascinating subject for many reasons. It makes for really looking outside your own demographic and in the spirit of the article looking at tolerance.

Maybe just me. I may not understand but I want to try.

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That goes both ways. Even when we do not agree. Compromise.

But where do we draw the line? I was just thinking about this yesterday. I told someone I really want to move from where I live because of . They weren't convinced and asked if there were other reasons. I said yes, the people here. Their close-mindedness, bigotry, and their need to see everything black and white - if you're not on their side, you're on the other side, there's no in-between. That got me thinking: am I now considered close-minded because I don't accept their hateful speech? Should I let them say that all illegal immigrants and their US-born offspring should be deported back to their home country? (Or whatever else they like to say that offends me.) Then this thread showed up. Am I intolerant? Unaccepting?...... I'd like to think that I'm not those things. Even if some of the people I deal with just say these things, the fact is that they and similar types are trying to impose their beliefs on others because that's what they think is right. Should we let them do that because that's what they're comfortable with? Where do we compromise?

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But where do we draw the line? I was just thinking about this yesterday. I told someone I really want to move from where I live because of . They weren't convinced and asked if there were other reasons. I said yes, the people here. Their close-mindedness, bigotry, and their need to see everything black and white - if you're not on their side, you're on the other side, there's no in-between. That got me thinking: am I now considered close-minded because I don't accept their hateful speech? Should I let them say that all illegal immigrants and their US-born offspring should be deported back to their home country? (Or whatever else they like to say that offends me.) Then this thread showed up. Am I intolerant? Unaccepting?...... I'd like to think that I'm not those things. Even if some of the people I deal with just say these things, the fact is that they and similar types are trying to impose their beliefs on others because that's what they think is right. Should we let them do that because that's what they're comfortable with? Where do we compromise?

That's where I have no idea. When as you describe there is no recourse, no room for discussion. I can relate to bigotry. My only answer would be that in my country that took centuries. Compromise was a hard won battle. Very hard won. The only thing that worked in the end was compromise ie. Neither side was ever going to win.

Should you compromise when the other 'side' does not? The fact there are 'sides' shows that somebody at some time is going to have to.

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I am a formerly observant Jewish woman.......I have about as much tolerance for the ideas and practices of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel as I have for American Christian fundies: very little. Misogynist, hateful, anti-intellectual...nope, nothing redeemable in my view.

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The author learnt a difficult lesson, which is "People who are different from you aren't automatically harming you." However, sometimes people who are different from you do intend to do you harm.

Antifascists get this a lot. "Why don't you just let the SDL/EDL march? It's their freedom of speech, isn't it?" No, if their freedom of speech involves Nazi salutes, shouting "Allah is a paedo" and the police advising Muslim fellow citizens to stay indoors, I'm so not with that. Call me intolerant, but I don't like people pretending to load guns and fire them at me or people intimidating other people because those other people are brown.

Tolerance only goes so far.

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The author learnt a difficult lesson, which is "People who are different from you aren't automatically harming you." However, sometimes people who are different from you do intend to do you harm.

Antifascists get this a lot. "Why don't you just let the SDL/EDL march? It's their freedom of speech, isn't it?" No, if their freedom of speech involves Nazi salutes, shouting "Allah is a paedo" and the police advising Muslim fellow citizens to stay indoors, I'm so not with that. Call me intolerant, but I don't like people pretending to load guns and fire them at me or people intimidating other people because those other people are brown.

Tolerance only goes so far.

This. We should never be tolerant of intolerance. In situations which involve a denial of equal rights there should be no compromise. A compromise means there is still a denial of rights, just that the denial is a little less.

At the risk of Godwining myself, imagine this; the Jews during WW2 certainly didn't want to be rounded up and gassed. The Nazis did want to round up and gas the Jews. Suppose someone had come in and forced talks. What compromise would have been acceptable? Just round up a few Jews?

There are times when there can be no compromise, because that compromise still involves the denial of equal rights to others.

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Tolerance is not the same thing as compromise. I mean, the halfway point between "let's deport all non-white immigrants" and "let's respect the rights of all citizens" could be "let's deport half of the non-white immigrants", but that's not a principled stance based on tolerance.

JFC: Good point. Tolerating a choice or POV does not mean tolerating violence or threats of violence (including clear intimidation and harassment). IMO, it just means that rules against violence, threats, inciting violence and harassment need to be applied fairly and consistently across the board, regardless of how one feels about the views expressed. So, for example, the same rules should apply to both fascists and communists when they demonstrate, or give out literature.

Insulting a historical religious figure or deity can certainly be highly offensive - but it doesn't deprive anyone of their rights.

OMTS: Another good example of how there will be times that singing kumbaya and having agreement and mutual acceptance just isn't going to happen. You shouldn't need to compromise your views and opinions, even if someone else thinks they are harsh. When we discuss tolerance, then, the issue is: how do we have a practical way to respect everyone's rights, even when there is no respect for that person's views/lifestyle? If you express your views in discussions, fine. If you were to express them by (hypothetically) removing kids from religious homes, or sending rabbis to a gulag, that would be depriving them of basic rights and therefore intolerant.

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2XX, you make a strong point. I will try to explain a little.

I'm an atheist. I don't mind personally if people want to be rude about a religious figure. If they stopped in the high street and shouted "God fucks kiddies!" I'd find it very strange, but not automatically something I need to protest against.

However, they don't stop there. They intimidate people who aren't white who just happen to be walking along the street. They try to get permits to stand outside mosques because "Muslims are in favour of paedophilia".They do Nazi salutes, as I've said, and if you are visibly Jewish, you aren't their mate either.

Fash are really nasty bastards. Seriously, they are. They hate you if you are not white, Christian and right-wing. They'd hate you, 2xx. They hate everyone who isn't like them.

As for sending rabbis to a gulag, you had better argue with the tankies about this. :lol: For the record, I'm opposed to sending anyone to a gulag because they're religious. There are different types of commies, and we don't all hold the same opinions.

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But where do we draw the line? I was just thinking about this yesterday. I told someone I really want to move from where I live because of . They weren't convinced and asked if there were other reasons. I said yes, the people here. Their close-mindedness, bigotry, and their need to see everything black and white - if you're not on their side, you're on the other side, there's no in-between. That got me thinking: am I now considered close-minded because I don't accept their hateful speech? Should I let them say that all illegal immigrants and their US-born offspring should be deported back to their home country? (Or whatever else they like to say that offends me.) Then this thread showed up. Am I intolerant? Unaccepting?...... I'd like to think that I'm not those things. Even if some of the people I deal with just say these things, the fact is that they and similar types are trying to impose their beliefs on others because that's what they think is right. Should we let them do that because that's what they're comfortable with? Where do we compromise?

I don't think you are. You are saying that you don't condone their behavior and will not accept it in your life (and presumably standing up for your beliefs in your interactions with them, but still acknowledging they have freedom of speech. So you're tolerating their existence while still standing up for your own values.

I don't think tolerance=saying anything goes and anything is ethical. I think it's more about acknowledging that your values are YOURS to live by, not something you must make sure everyone else follows.

Hence the intolerance of social conservatives on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

But no, you're not being intolerant, although there comes the question of how one "tolerates" intolerance, which again for me goes into issues of freedom of speech, etc.

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I don't think tolerance=saying anything goes and anything is ethical. I think it's more about acknowledging that your values are YOURS to live by, not something you must make sure everyone else follows.

Hence the intolerance of social conservatives on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

But no, you're not being intolerant, although there comes the question of how one "tolerates" intolerance, which again for me goes into issues of freedom of speech, etc.

This is an excellent point and well said.

You can acknowledge another person's right to their views while still thinking those views are repellent.

When I was a teenager, I remember reading(or maybe I saw it on the news) about KKK rallies which were attended by counter protesters. There is no way to reach a compromise with racist supremacists but it made a big impression in my adolescent mind to see photos of black cops protecting cowardly men hiding their faces with white sheets. Society tolerated the KKK's right to their opinion and rallies. That doesn't mean that the KKK didn't face counter protest or mockery.

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This. We should never be tolerant of intolerance. In situations which involve a denial of equal rights there should be no compromise. A compromise means there is still a denial of rights, just that the denial is a little less.

At the risk of Godwining myself, imagine this; the Jews during WW2 certainly didn't want to be rounded up and gassed. The Nazis did want to round up and gas the Jews. Suppose someone had come in and forced talks. What compromise would have been acceptable? Just round up a few Jews?

There are times when there can be no compromise, because that compromise still involves the denial of equal rights to others.

Totally. Both yourself and JFC.

I suppose I was not thinking of that level of intolerance.

Compromise is just not a possibility when faced with active imposition of will on another as you described. The ideal is for that intolerance never to get to that level. Nice dream :cry:

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Read Sarah Tuttle-Singer's plea to people, after finding out about a woman being forced to the back of the bus by a Haredi couple in Bet Shemesh:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/lets-pul ... er-people/

To address some of the themes from another thread: No, I don't live in Israel. No, I don't want to use stories like this to demonize Israel. Yes, I understand that Israelis themselves need to figure out their own security issues. At the same time, I support everything Sarah says, and see her as someone who loves her new country and doesn't want it to be subject to thugs who think that they are the Jewish version of the Taliban. So, if I end up on a bus in Bet Shemesh next week when I'd really rather be at the beach, you'll know why.

Let's recap on tolerance folks:

If you get offended by what someone is wearing, dealing with it.

If a woman is on the bus, deal.

If someone is on the bus and dressed in extreme modesty despite 100 degree temperature, deal.

If someone sits next to you, no matter what they are wearing or what they look like or smell like, deal.

If someone doesn't sit next to you but chooses to stand instead, deal.

If people have such strong feelings about not rubbing up against someone of the opposite sex that they choose to run their own private single-sex buses, deal.

But if someone tries to coerce someone else on a public bus, just because they think that it's great to aspire to a "higher" level of modesty, then HELL NO, you don't get to do that by lowering your level of basic common decency and respect and following the law, and your supporters don't get to riot and cause damage and break the law either.

***********************************************************************************************

JFC: Just to be clear, much of what you were describing with fascist protests sounded like it would qualify as violence, threatening violence, inciting violence, or blatant intimidation and harassment, none of which should be acceptable. I'm quite aware that these are people to fear. Your example brought to mind the case of the ACLU representing Nazis that wanted to march in the Chicago suburb of Skokie, which is highly Jewish and had a number of traumatized Holocaust survivors. My point was just that rules need to be applied consistently - and that also means thinking about whether they could be used against your group (says the granddaughter of former Communists who had to operate underground because the Quebec government of the 1950s considered Communism to be so dangerous that you could get blacklisted or finding your property padlocked for simply subscribing to the wrong magazine).

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Well I did think it initially. As much as I adore WOW. This is a very diverse and fascinating subject for many reasons. It makes for really looking outside your own demographic and in the spirit of the article looking at tolerance.

Maybe just me. I may not understand but I want to try.

I really thought it was about World of Warcraft too. :embarrassed:

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To address some of the themes from another thread: No, I don't live in Israel. No, I don't want to use stories like this to demonize Israel. Yes, I understand that Israelis themselves need to figure out their own security issues. At the same time, I support everything Sarah says, and see her as someone who loves her new country and doesn't want it to be subject to thugs who think that they are the Jewish version of the Taliban. So, if I end up on a bus in Bet Shemesh next week when I'd really rather be at the beach, you'll know why.

That's a fabulous article, JD. Agree 100%.

but your last sentence? that's *exactly* what was being complained about. I understand why I do, I do, I do. But I think the objection expressed most strongly in the other thread was to outsiders who antagonize %&^*$holes, to get a rise, to affect change.... and then leave, with residents left holding the can. (and i know, that's obviously not what happened with the children and school etc.. )

Anyway. I'm not saying that's not something worth doing - I think it is. I think people need to stand up in the face of bigitory. That if you don't stand up, bad things happen. I can also understand why people who reside somewhere get real sick of the bigots, and the people that want change and would rather be left in peace with their head in the sand.

i do wonder about the best way to affect change - real change is always (always) domestically driven; it has to be. sometimes the imposed sticks (see for example sati in the raj) BUT there is always a strong domestic support that drives and engages with outside actors). maybe that's exactly what exists in Israel... anyway. just thinking out loud here :)

sorry; I don't mean to sound like I'm saying "you can't have a POV/agitate for change" in these situations. you can, and you must. if we can't be the people that we think we are, that we feel we have an obligation to be, then we're not achieving at life (and I think few of us ARE that person; i'm not saying we're all failing at life. rather; the closer we get to that person, the better - and it takes, for most of us, a lifetime to get even in the same plane of being). how we can *best be* that person though is such an interesting question... anyway.

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