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Culture War Roundup for the week of April 24, 2023

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But then you’re doubling down on any self-segregation. It’s the same with black-on-black violence: targets are rarely chosen from the general population, but from those close to the perpetrator.

Plus, there’s a difference between accepting other interracial marriages and feeling such attraction yourself.

Fifty years? My brother in Christ, we’re talking about the whole Enlightenment.

Back in the good ol’ days, moral outrage was less likely to decide your fate than plague or starvation. As state capacity grew and the world shrank, maybe that became less true. By the time of the European Wars of Religion, a little intolerance was able to deal a lot more damage.

It turns out enshrining some sort of tolerance frees up surplus. Common cause to deal with the real enemy, perhaps, or simply peace for those weary of war. The philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries went to great lengths to justify cooperation instead of defection. Sometimes they even succeeded, for a while, until the incentives to defect piled up.

By the American Revolution, states professed a morality of high-minded ideals. These dominated because they gave a real, material advantage over states with low tolerance. America’s North was willing to tolerate both the moral evil and the political threat of the South, because most people involved saw the sanctity of the Union as more valuable. When war came, millions bled.

The next century saw America rise to power as a (relatively) unified bloc. The more dire an outside threat, the more benefit could be gained from tolerating those close to you. Other comments note how WWII made major strides in American race relations, since an African American was still no Kraut. Across the globe, this was the century of ideological alliances, a first, second and third world. And the first world, the one preaching Enlightenment ideals, was the victor.

Pope Francis said that a man’s gayness was less important than whether “he searches for the Lord and has good will.” That framing of tolerance has always been one of the great advantages of Christianity.

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

1 Corinthians 3:5.