I’ve heard many people say that something like WWII or the Holocaust could never happen again. I beg to differ. If we aren’t all vigilant in protecting our own freedoms and everyone’s human rights, it very well could happen again. In fact, I am seeing frightening parallels to the German rise of Nazism in what’s happening in America today.
The Holocaust started with an idea—the idea that one group of people were superior to all other groups. The members of this group were supposedly smarter than others and physically superior to others; therefore anyone who was not a member of that group should be dismissed as irrelevant and their ideas silenced. That the silence would be permanent for millions was not part of the original propaganda. The people who bought in to this idea probably had no idea where it would lead.
No matter which side of the political spectrum you land on, the rise of intolerance in America is frightening.
Once intolerance is acceptable to anyone, the only question that remains is: Who is to be the target? Will it be those of another race, religion, sexual orientation, political party, hair color, ethnicity…? The real problem that starts wars, riots, beatings and violence in the streets is intolerance—the idea that those people over there don’t deserve the right to exist.
No matter which side of the political spectrum you land on, the rise of intolerance in America is frightening. Stories of people being beaten because they wore a hat supporting the President—or a T-shirt criticizing the President—should be frightening to all of us. The enemy is intolerance, not each other. If you are tolerant of sexual orientation but not religion, tolerant of race but not political views, you are intolerant. If you demand that others defend their point of view and shout them down when they try, you are intolerant. When you accuse rather than discuss, you are intolerant—or a prosecuting attorney (those guys are supposed to accuse).
To ensure religious freedom for everyone, people have to learn to be tolerant. Every religion in the world has some variation of “love one another.” It’s not a new concept. Isn’t it time we actually started doing it? We’re all in this together. There isn’t another planet we can escape to. Let’s make our country and our world a better place, one person at a time. Treat others with tolerance, respect and dignity. It’s just the right thing to do.