Truth and Intolerance
By Hal Lindsey
In 2016, the US Civil Rights Commission issued a major report on religious freedom and non-discrimination. Martin Castro, then chairman of the Commission, added his thoughts. “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom,’” he wrote, “will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
That was seven years ago, but since then the report and Mr. Castro’s statement have become increasingly relevant. The idea that when Christian Americans say nice things, they are in fact speaking code for evil things, creates deep distrust and destroys civil discourse.
Mr. Castro assigned his own meaning to the words “religious liberty.” For instance, he called it code for “Islamophobia.” The opposite is true. Religious liberty means that every individual is free to embrace Islam, Christianity, or none of the above if they choose.
However, the freedom to choose does not mean that all choices are equal. Castro called “Christian supremacy… a form of intolerance.” I have never heard a Christian use the term “Christian supremacy.” That phrase seems to have been chosen because it evokes the idea of white supremacy — something that is antithetical to the Bible.
We do not choose our race, but we do choose our ideas. Islam and Christianity represent competing ideas and beliefs. The Bible and the Koran contradict one another in major ways, so they cannot both be true. “Religious freedom” allows each side to present its case, to which people are free to listen or not. One way or another, they come to a wide variety of conclusions.
We Christians must recognize that every human being is made in the image of God and that Christ died for each one. We love and respect individuals because of the One whose image they bear. They will make different choices about God, and we respect that, too. But the fact that we respect the God-given faculty of individual choice does not make all choices equal.
Does “Christian supremacy” mean that Christians see our beliefs as superior to other sets of beliefs? If it’s just that, then what’s the big deal? Everyone believes in the superiority of their own beliefs. They might be atheists, they might believe that God is unknowable, or they might believe in a pantheon of gods. But whatever they believe, they believe they are right.
If you are a Christian, walk humbly before God and man, but don’t be ashamed of being right. And don’t buy in to the silly idea that one belief is as good as another. The truth matters. Unlike any other religious text in the world, the Bible proves itself in thousands of ways.
It is not intolerant to say that two plus two equals four, and not five. It’s the truth. You have a right to believe that the answer is five, but that idea is inferior to the truth, and it will harm you in many ways. The danger is that children will come to see confidence in one’s faith as intolerance. It is not. We can coexist and we can respect others without affirming lies or deprecating truth.