"Tolerance" letter-writer intolerant himself


I would like to respond to the May 2 letter of Jay Ernst-Fernandez (" 'Infidel' pleads for religious tolerance"). He expressed extreme indignation that the Wildcat published a letter in which a student expressed her belief in Jesus Christ. The basis for his indignation is a concern for religious freedom and lack of tolerance among those of different viewpoints.

He states that he thinks, "more toleration and respect is necessary." Mr. Fernandez, you are not calling for respect and toleration but for mindlessness. How can anyone "respect" another's viewpoint if he is not educated as to what that viewpoint is.

Respect and toleration for a viewpoint from one who is uneducated about that viewpoint is of no value on an individual or social level. This type of toleration is at best a whimsical emotion without a solid foundation. I propose this is what your toleration is, Mr. Fernandez, since you feel exposure to and education of a viewpoint is an infringement on your rights.

A genuine desire for toleration would seek an understanding of diverse viewpoints through learning about the foundation upon which those viewpoints are held. Mr. Fernandez, where do you suppose such a world could exist where people refuse to educate themselves about the roots of others' beliefs but instead base their decisions on a gut feeling?

Oh, I forgot you and I are living in it. There is no greater lack of respect and lack of toleration for different viewpoints than ignorance. I want to thank you for your letter, Mr. Fernandez, becuase I have been guilty of this ignorance and seeing it in another person has given me a greater desire to increase my understanding of others through an education that comes from listening to their viewpoints. I thank you for your's.

Julia Jurgens

Biochemistry Junior

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