Generic Tolerance. Is This Freedom?

There’s a Katy Perry song that caught me off guard when I actually caught the lyrics. I love when something secular hammers home a theological point or vice versa. It’s a lyric in her song “Roar”. “ I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.” Stop for a moment…this is truth. When you have nothing to guide you, it’s so easy to shoulder shrug your way through life, being led by whoever has the most heated argument or the most energetic explanation. You become a victim to other people who care enough to care. Most people don’t just embrace total falseness, there are usually bits of truth and goodness in any stance, so it’s easy to be convinced by anything when you don’t know what lens to view the world through or what your priorities are. Generic tolerance is not a moral stance. It is apathy. It is spiritual death. I know this, because it’s the stance I took in college, and I almost died…spiritually, emotionally, physically.

I held a great amount of shame in being Catholic. As if to say it out loud and to care about it was offensive to other people. To practice and care to practice made me a goody two shoes. I carried some of this with me from childhood, having few friends and feeling ostracized at my Catholic school for being “the Catholic girl.” I know I’m not alone here. But the problem is, where I went very wrong, where my soul aches and my heart breaks, is that I eventually decided I was sick of not having any friends. I wanted to fit in so badly and didn’t know how to incorporate the two. So I kept the Catholic part of me on the down low. But what happened was in my efforts to keep it under the radar, it went under my radar and suddenly, the things that mattered, didn’t matter so much, and the things I would never budge on, I budged on. 

I developed an eating disorder, anxiety and depression and eventually started having suicidal thoughts…I know this is not everyone’s story. Not everyone tanks this hard when losing their footing. But I did and I also know this – we live in a time where absolute tolerance is the only acceptable standard. This leaves our children nothing to ground themselves in. Anything goes, and here we are. Anxiety and depression are on the rise. Suicide rates among children and adolescents has sky-rocketed since 2008. This is a cry from the heart, from the voice of experience. I am now healing. I have become grounded. I am learning to care, and to care enough to care about what I care about…if that makes sense. We are not helping our children in giving them nothing to stand for or believe in. They are dying. Spiritually, emotionally, physically. It is time to take a stand. 

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