These are the days of bold bigotry, where factions of people are staking out claims to absolute truth while closing their ears to the opinions of others. This harmful trend is polarizing America into irreconcilable camps that cling subjectively to their beliefs while vilifying those who disagree. This fits the classical definition of bigotry: “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” It is time for boldly inclusive ideas to challenge bold bigotry by taking courageous stands on the issues of life while including others in the search for truth.
Political parties, religious denominations, philosophical groups, and other factions of society are often taking the approach that it is their way or the highway, so to speak. Being boldly inclusive assumes that truth is a reachable goal, and that the only way to establish one’s own beliefs is to enter a genuine search for truth, and then continue that search while being inclusive of the views of others. After all, others have something to offer you on your journey to full understanding. To shut others out is to shut down your journey towards truth, and slip from objectivity to subjectivity where only your views are acceptable. Bold bigots never grow because their tolerance rejects what is obviously in the hearts of all who truly seek justice.
The boldly inclusive approach challenges the status quo. Socrates was put to death because he had a view of justice that required learning through self-knowledge. He believed that an individual search for truth came from within oneself and should not exclude others. Martin Luther King, Jr. agreed with this concept of individual inquiry, while remaining open to and listening to the ideas of others. Both men believed in passive resistance because they believed they were acting as “a peaceful tension” in society in order to awaken it to the need to seek justice by including others. The prevalence of bold bigotry killed both of these men because the end result of bigotry is the rejection of any beliefs that do not line up with one’s subjective dogma. The society in which they lived rejected them for being boldly inclusive. Their boldly inclusive ideas challenged the bold bigotry of their time. These two giants would have agreed with Thomas Jefferson who said, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”
Jesus was boldly inclusive. Few would doubt that he was bold, for after all, the prevailing powers killed him for the same reason they killed Socrates and King. He was bold in His declaration of what He saw as truth, and like Socrates and King, He became a tension in a complacent society as he sought to lift it from its bigotry by imploring it to listen to others. He knew that only in this way would true freedom be found and justice served. On the other hand, he was inclusive beyond imagination. He fully and openly received the prostitute caught in the act of adultery. He chose Mathew, the despised tax collector and traitor to the Jews, to be one of His disciples. He reached out to the scorned Samaritan woman at the well in Samaria, and helped her find freedom for her heart. He touched the untouchables including lepers at a time when prevailing Jewish law had excluded these troubled souls. He was boldly inclusive by knowing Himself, and seeking to know and include others.
Some people and institutions are attempting to become that same tension that awakens society to the need to be boldly inclusive. The Guardian Liberty Voice publication seeks to provide a boldly inclusive platform of expression to a cadre of aspiring writers and editors regardless of socioeconomic distinction, political affiliation or one’s religious belief. Liberty Voice authors are permitted the freedom to express themselves to a worldwide audience totaling in the millions. They purposefully seeks to move away from the bold bigotry that some publications use as the foundation of their enterprise.
Liberty Voice is a voice desperately needed in a time of factionalism, where rules of civility are set aside, and intolerance is the norm. It seeks to challenge the status quo by becoming a tension in society. The publication boldly seeks justice by providing an inclusive platform enabling all voices the opportunity to find their audience. Like Socrates, King, Jesus and many others, the publication is going boldly where few are willing to venture. Perhaps they will ultimately draw positive attention to the notion that boldly inclusive ideas that challenges bold bigotry can win the human race.
Opinion by Lloyd Gardner
Edited by DiMarkco Chandler
Guardian Liberty Voice: About Us
Mizzrebelution.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/: Martin Luther King Jr. and Socrates were Similar
Top photo courtesy of David Liu’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Bottom photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License