This week I came across an article on ReligionDispatches.org by Cody J. Sanders entitled, "After Westboro: The Trouble with 'Tolerance'" in which he states that "radical hatred and violence--like that of Westboro and perpetrators of hate crimes--is never countered by tolerance, but instead by radical acceptance and embrace." In reflecting on Sanders' words, as we began to observe "a holy Lent," I thought of how Jesus was intolerant to the point of death--that is, he would not tolerate people's/our sinfulness (which often involves violence and hatred), but called them/us to new life and loved them/us (even the unrepentant). And he died never perpetrating the "radical hatred and violence" of his accusers, but instead loved them/us to the point of death.
For Christians who are being tolerated, herein lies the difficulty: we can never allow our intolerance of being tolerated to take on the form of hatred and violence. Instead, we must love our enemies; love them despite how wrong they are; love them even if their hatred and violence should overtake us. We must love them to death...and trust that therein lies the power of God to overcome hatred, violence, and even the grave.