Just a thought: on Tolerance and Christianity

If you were on campus today you probably saw the Main Event Carnival. I don’t know how you wouldn’t have—it was huge! There were booths and clubs for everything: academics, sports, nationality, sexuality, religion, hobbies. Everything! You’d be hard pressed to not find something you were interested in.

One club that is particularly near and dear to my heart is the Pussy Posse/Vagina Monologues. I’ve never been a member, but I’ve been to see the show every year and a former resident of mine (I advise at Totem Park) is coordinating the whole thing this year. I think it’s an awesome event for an excellent cause run by incredible people.

I was walking home from the Carnival with one of my current residents. We were chatting and she mentioned that she was interested in joining the Pussy Posse. The bright pink felt vagina had caught her eye.

Of course we started talking about how incredibly awesome the vagina monologues are and how sweet the vagina costume is. And then out of nowhere she insults all the Christian clubs that were at the Carnival. Literally, out of nowhere, she brings up those Christian clubs and says something rude about them.

I didn’t reply. I didn’t know how.

I am a Christian. I’m not a part of those clubs, but I have nothing against them. In fact, if I had more time I probably would be a part of one of them. I also happen to have some very good friends, incredible people, who are a part of those clubs.

Her comment took me aback because it had literally nothing to do with our conversation. We were talking about the incredibly talented, tolerant, intelligent people that run the Vagina Monologues. And it was as if she needed something to compare them to in order to show just how great they were. And she chose the Christian clubs.

I know that Christianity has played a role in a lot of atrocities, and that some Christians are ignorant and offensive. But what group doesn’t have people like that?

I imagine it takes a lot of bravery to stand at a booth that clearly declares you believe in Jesus; to approach students and ask them to join. And I bet you on our alleged liberal, uber-tolerant campus it’s even harder than it would be on other less “accepting” campuses.

Trying to make yourself seem more open-minded by insulting groups that you consider intolerant just makes you look like an idiot.

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Genevieve is mildly opposed to writing in the third person about herself, as it sounds rather pretentious and forced. But she will prevail. She likes books and curry and opera and that feeling you get when a professor compliments your writing/thinking etc. She is double majoring in English Honours and International Relations, which sometimes feels like the fast track to a nervous breakdown, but she loves it. She was raised internationally, and has no idea where she is 'from', but currently divides her time between Shanghai, Vancouver and the ever exotic Bellingham, Washington. She is somewhat intimidated by her fellow writers on Terry*, but she tries. If you like her, or hate her, or just want to read more, she also keeps a personal rant--er, blog at http://blogs.ubc.ca/genevieve/.