Lewis Schlosser suggests that attaining a healthy, multicultural society comes in stages: recognizing privilege, identifying thoughts of toleration and then moving beyond tolerance (50). He says it’s not enough to be tolerant of each other but to develop the use of Universal Diverse Orientations which are much more optimistic ways of celebrating differences than simple “toleration.” McTernan (149) agrees but emphasizes that surpassing toleration is the starting point. Buddhist teachers paint good examples for the Christian world by standing away from tolerance and near individual diversity.
While a great example, I think McTernan may be jumping the gun. Buddhism has had a several-thousand-year head start over Christianity. To compare the two is like comparing a novice rower with an Olympic competitor. For now, especially in more rural areas of the United States, toleration is just now catching on. These little congregations, proud of their progress and scared of proven resistance to change, shouldn’t be criticized for dragging their feet just yet. It’s simply a semantic argument that dilutes the hard work of those who are knee deep in this kind of mud-trudging away to move toward inclusive language or more pluralistic doctrine. They are already fighting an uphill battle and I always appreciate scholarly patience when wheels are clearly churning.
I also wondered if using the UDHR for justification was worth the time McTernan put into his paper (128). Clearly the UDHR is a significant work and clearly it is ignored. We can point out 100s of human rights violations against Elenore’s model (the right to change nationalities being one of them), and it does little to the abusive power of proof-texting scripture. Though there are few articles in the UDHR that are actively respected, it never hurts to remind readers that it exists.
On the notion of flags, I am divided as usual when it comes to patriotism. Hoyt Hickman makes a valid point that the Flag Code puts the...