"Toleration" is not a dirty word.
Some of my conservative friends applauded the meme below. Such applause is ill-advised. Toleration (tolerance) in a pluralistic society such as the one we live in is essential if we are to live together peaceably, something we are obviously not doing at present. Archbishop Chaput makes two claims below. The first, that tolerance is not Christian is, if not obviously untrue, not obviously true, and I would have no trouble showing that tolerance, properly understood, is akin to such Christian virtues and attitudes as patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and the like. My present interest, however, is solely in the second claim, or rather suggestion, that a commitment to toleration includes a commitment to the toleration of grave and known evil. This is a mistake that many on the Right make. It shows a failure to understand what toleration is.
“Toleration” is not a dirty word, and that to which it refers is a beautiful thing, the touchstone of the classical liberalism of the Founders. The Founders knew history and knew of the religious wars in which people literally tore one another apart in conflicts over religious practices and beliefs. Thus they enshrined religious liberty —which includes the liberty to have no religion — as a high value in the First Amendment.
Essential to toleration is a tripartite distinction between (a) beliefs and practices consonant with the prevailing orthodoxy, (b) beliefs and practices at odds with this orthodoxy but tolerable by its adherents, and (c) beliefs and practices that are intolerable. (See here.) If you understand (c), then you understand that toleration has limits, and that Archbishop Chaput has gone off the rails.
For a deeper understanding of this topic see the following two Substack articles: