Persecutions to Come

“The only true spirit of tolerance consists in our conscientious toleration of each other’s intolerance.”

—S.T. Coleridge

Consider the unfortunate case of Prof. Thomas Klocek, whose story is one of many examples of intolerance recounted in D.A. Carson’s most recent book.  Klocek engaged in a brief debate with a group of Palestinian student activists at DePaul University in 2004.  He explained to the students that the word Palestinian was a term that properly referred to not one but several ethnic groups, and Muslims, Jews, and Christians, who resided in a common geographical area.  In addition, he objected to the students’ claim that the Israelis’ treatment of the Palestinian Muslims was no different from Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.  For his trouble, he was suspended from teaching duties.  After he sued the university for defamation, Klocek’s case was dismissed by the Cook County Circuit Court in 2009.

Once upon a time American colleges and universities prided themselves on their tolerance.  Today, though the word is often mouthed by academics, they seem to mean something rather different by tolerance than did their colleagues in decades past, something that increasingly resembles a new intolerance.  A professor...

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