Lately, a group of Christians have been campaigning against the Ontario government’s Bill 13 and TDSB’s curriculum guidelines on sexual orientation. A whole fury of thoughts has bombarded my mind (and I recognize that there are many sides and viewpoints).

One issue that I’m wrestling with is between tolerance and evangelism. Tolerance (as I’ve seen it inferred) is the acceptance of another’s viewpoint as equally correct. At some level, there is a societal “norm” of what viewpoints are seen as the standard and which should be accepted. Yet all viewpoints, whether we recognize it or not, is into evangelism i.e. pushing one’s agenda to change another’s mind. Sometimes, we allow “evangelism” to happen in some venues and not others. The easy one is religion. Who am I to tell you that Jesus is the only way to God? Who says that your religion is true and mine is false? Typically, evangelism in religious contexts is seen as arcane and (sometimes) inappropriate. Yet in other venues, whether politics, academics, etc., evangelism in this sense of pushing a specific agenda is not only acceptable but is the objective (i.e. I want you to change your mind to accept this agenda). However, I don’t believe you can so neatly separate religion (or whatever belief/lifestyle system you adhere to) from any other public forum.

Thus there is this tension (at least for me) between tolerance i.e. accepting another’s viewpoint as equally valid as mine vs evangelism i.e. trying to change another’s viewpoint so that it would be similar or more align to mine. (Yet my hope is to look for the Truth, not just a particular aspect or a segregated “truth” or even one where all angles are equally acceptable, but to discover who God is and what he is aiming to teach us.)

I recognize for many this is a contentious issue and I also recognize that my thoughts on it are not fully formed. Yet I’m wondering who’s willing to “tolerate” this and who will attempt to “evangelize”.

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