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Tolerance Towards Others Essay

1760 words - 7 pages

Tolerance, as defined in the dictionary, is a fair and permissive attitude toward those who race, religion, nationality, etcetera, differs from one's own. In today's society we misuse the word tolerance. In such examples as, I am very tolerable of so-and-so. So to emphasize the true meaning of tolerance, society should look at the events that took place in history. There has been no tolerance in races, religions, and other characteristics of human nature.In AD313 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great decreed toleration of Christianity. Twenty years later, Constantine the Great set the pattern of religious censorship that was to be followed for centuries by ordering the burning of all books by the Greek theologian Arius. After the emperor Theodosius made Christianity the established religion of the empire, the Roman government and the church began to persecute both pagans and Christian heretics who deviated from orthodox doctrine or practice. The pope was recognized as the final authority in church doctrine and government, and the secular state used force to compel obedience to his decisions. Books or sermons that were opposed to orthodox faith or morals were prohibited, and their authors were punished. Not until the end of the 18th century did the ideals of religious toleration become firmly established in Western civilization. This "toleration" of Christianity, ruled out the ability of people to be able to practice other religions. However, in 1636, Roger Williams purchased lands from the Narragansett, tribe. Together with a few companions he established the settlement of Providence and the colony of Rhode Island, naming the settlement in gratitude "for God's merciful providence unto me in my distress." The government of the colony was based upon complete religious toleration and upon separation of church and state. Here, Williams gave freedom of people to practice the religion of there choice. Why, in today's advanced society do we blame religions for acts of terrorism and begin discrimination against the religions. The example being use here is 9/11, and how the Islamic people were treated during the aftermath, and are still being treated. Religious beliefs are rarely tolerated in today's society.Elizabeth Eckford was one of the Little Rock Nine students. In 1957 nine black students desegregated Little Rock, Arkansas's Central High School, despite strong resistance by many white members of the community. President Dwight Eisenhower called out federal troops to enforce the desegregation and to ensure the safety of the students. Eckford was interviewed about her attempts to gain entry to the school on the first day of term in 1957; here is her response: "At the corner I tried to pass through the long line of guards around the school so as to enter the grounds behind them. One of the guards pointed across the street. So I pointed in the same direction and asked whether he meant for me to cross the street and walk down. He nodded 'yes.' So, I...

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