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O'Doherty correct on tolerance issue

I thank Ian O'Doherty for his excellent column on the finer points of Western tolerance (Irish Independent, January 28). However, I fear the logic and arguments put forth will be lost on the people who should be listening hardest.

Lifting their heads out of the latest 'Caring together' self-development pamphlet, these people should invest in the realisation that it's OK to celebrate and practise one's dogmatic beliefs (obviously only when those beliefs don't lead to the condemnation of someone else's). Over the past number of years (a decade or two for argument's sake) the same interfering do-gooders in our society have embraced blind, blanket ignorance.

In rushed attempts to step away from Catholic Ireland and take our place as a vibrant and advanced example of 21st-century life, we've opened the floodgate to this mish-mash of caring, sharing, lovey dovey gibberish that supersedes any other right, freedom of expression or common sense.

What's worse still is the hard edge that constantly presses against this movement. The equally militant, bigoted and perpetually unhappy of our 'marginalised' groups croak about inequalities in our society, a society where you can walk into any pub in Dublin any night of the week and find a plethora of diverse and interesting people mingling without the world imploding.

No one would suggest that this country is a perfect melting pot, a utopia; far from it, but there is a core of educated, cultured people who should be commended for their laissez-faire attitude to personal beliefs.

The institutionalised 'let's not offend anyone' attitude allows those who cry the loudest to reap concessions from a populace of bleeding hearts, while the rest of us go blue in the face pleading for sanity.

As Ian O'Doherty rightly pointed out, the course of tolerance is strictly one-way . . . but you're not allowed say it. That makes you a racist

s mulligan

Irish Independent