Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV/1, 447
Friday, May 20, 2011
The End of Tolerance
The battle is between what is supposed to be good and what is supposed to be evil, but in this battle all parties-how can it be otherwise?-think that they are the friends of what is good and the enemies of what is evil. Therefore, quite contrary to the purpose and intention of those who take part in it, the more seriously this battle is waged, the more certainly it will lead to pain and tears and crying, so that at the end we have to ask seriously whether the upshot of it all is not a fresh triumph, not for a supposed evil, but for one which is very real. From this final result the theory and practice of what we call tolerance seem to be the final refuge and one which we have to discover again and again-a general lassitude to which men surrender for a time, only to break out again sooner or later in new dogmatisms and acts of judgment and conflicts and mutually caused troubles and well-intentioned wrongs.