The story of the Trojan horse is probably more fable than history. But the imagery of hidden dangers in seemingly innocent things is very real. As I listen to politicians and watch the election unfold I see the very real threat of the Trojan horse in words and in practice. When I was a practicing therapist I would try to get my clients to let go of bitter emotions and resentment but I had to be careful of my terms. I had to be careful of words such as ‘forgiveness’ because that carried the connotation of letting people ‘off the hook’ for doing bad things. So I had to be clear that the misnomer of the present use of the word ‘forgiveness’ was incorrect. It had nothing to do with the other person but had a basic root word meaning similar to the word ‘breath’. So our word ‘forgive’ was actually a personal action allowing ourselves to ‘breath again’ by removing obstacles in our way. But because the word ‘forgive’ has become so encrusted with religious overtones it now has taken a word which includes the idea of release the other person who committed the offense. This is not the true meaning of the word. Thus power has been hidden in a word that was never intended for that word to carry.
I hear words such as ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ being bantered around like some sort of mantra for the righteous. I hear people talk about how we are supposed to be ‘tolerant’ of others and to ‘accept’ people of different beliefs. Somehow if we are not accepting of everything and everyone then we are the problem and we are racists. But there is nothing wrong with having a standard. I am an American. I believe in the American way of life. As an American I accept that we in America have a long history of believing in God and Christianity. I accept that in America we have a long line of people who live off the land and eat meat. We grill pork, beef, and just about everything that does not move too fast to catch. We like to be left alone to live in peace. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with having a standard that says I will accept others as long as they allow me to live in peace. There is also nothing wrong which says that I will not accept others who want to come into this country simply to destroy my way of life. I will not accept others who want to come into my country to try to harm me or my family. There is nothing wrong with my not accepting ideology that is contrary to the history of my country or that tries to demand how I think. There is nothing wrong with saying that I will not tolerate anyone trying to force their life style on me. I do not know that anyone has told anyone that they cannot live as they choose. I do know that there have been many times that people who have tried to force their lifestyle on others were told to back off.
If I am a racists by demanding that people who want to burn down the shops of hard working people be arrested and held accountable then I will accept the label racists. If I am a racist because I demand people not to block the freeways where people are trying to get to work, get home, get to needed medical attention or simply trying to make a living then I will accept the label racists. I refuse to feel pity for people to block on and off ramp who while standing in front of speeding cars gets hit and injured and thus get called a racist then I will accept that label. If I am ‘intolerant’ because I do not want terrorists in my country masquerading as refugees then I will accept the label as intolerant. If I am intolerant because I believe that someone who is shooting at innocent people should be shot back at by good people carrying guns then I will accept the label as being intolerant. There is nothing racist nor intolerant simply for having a brain, having a standard, and having common sense!
The power of the story of the Trojan horse is the idea that hidden threat and dangers can be inside of seemingly harmless items. The words ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ are innocent enough on face value. But, when we start using them as blanket terms where common sense and standards are removed, then they carry dangers of unbelievable nature. It would be foolish to accept a box of vipers inside a nursery. It would be foolish to tolerate poison to be mixed in orange juice and left around children. It is equally as foolish to expect people to accept thousands of people who are from the same countries that have been trying to kill us to come into this country without knowing who they are and what is their intent. These words are now being used as weapons against people who simply want to be left alone to live in peace. These words are now being uses as a moral standard saying that if you are not ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting ‘of everyone and everything that you are not a good person and are evil in nature. If that is what it takes now to want to keep America safe, my family safe and myself safe, then I will accept the label of intolerant and un-accepting. Any so called political leaders who want to demand that we accept everything and everyone and to tolerant any and every behavior has just rejected any basis for calling them a leader. They are fools and ignorant and only have themselves in mind and the destruction of my country at heart. My biggest question as I listen to people talk today is wondering when people are going to wake up and actually start thinking again. There is no such thing as total acceptance and total tolerance. Somewhere something must become unacceptable and intolerable for life to continue.