“I’m not prepared to tolerate the missing 400 cartoons! How have we got to number 762 so quickly?!”
quite right richard… i have now corrected my error (no doubt brought about by wishful thinking on my part!). :-)


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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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48 Responses to 362

  1. A S Hodel says:

    “Sometime I’d like to experience some of this tolerance you say I haven’t got.”
    — Student editorial in our college newspaper.

  2. jonbirch says:

    sounds like an interesting read. is it?

  3. A S Hodel says:

    It was; she wrote it a few years ago (maybe more than a few), but I thought she expressed very well the intolerance embraced in the name of tolerance.

    I’ll have to see if I can find an archive of it somewhere. It was in the Auburn Plainsman http://www.theplainsman.com/ . I don’t find the article in their on-line archives.

  4. yesuvia says:

    There should be a limit to everything, even tolerance.

    Unlimited tolerance is, well, good, but is it not true that all good things can be abused?

  5. marcus says:

    “if you tolerate this, then your children will be next”
    said The manic Street Preachers in their song of the same title – not sure what it was they envisaged being tolerated but it strikes a chord that to tolerate some things may lead us to a point where things are worse because of such tolerance.

  6. subo says:

    this one relates to a bee in my bonnet, I seem to see the commandment to love each other scattered through out the Bible, and the kind of love this is explicitly spelt out.

    this love is to be accepting, giving space to each other, sharing but not over-writing. loving each other for the different people God’s made us to be.

    and yet there are some differences that are not accepted?

    have I picked up the wrong book? I’ve got a copy of the NIV, The Good News, The King James and The Message, and yet I still find the justification for acceptance on condition of …. is not there.

  7. Matybigfro says:

    mnn i’m not sure i’d relate tollerance and love as at all related

    infact we tollerate that which we hate

    and for me love is to embrace not accept or give space.

    How can we best love a paedophile?
    Should we tollerate or accept the acts of a certain few of those in Zimbabwe or should we act against it in love?

  8. youthworkerpete says:

    We aren’t called to tolerate, we’re called to love, and that sometimes calls for intlerance.

    Jesus didn’t tolerate psricaical hypocracy, and he didn’t tolerate the sellers in the temple. If he did the same today most people would say “leave them alone, they’re entitled to their own (all be it biggoted) opinion”, or “don’t b so hard on them, they’re just trying to amke a living, they’re not hurting anyone”.

    Personally, I don’t think we’re becoming a tolerate nation, I think we’re becoing apathetic. We can’t be bothered to have a strong opinion on anything anymore.

  9. youthworkerpete says:

    I’m not sure what I did to the word ‘Pharisaical’ – but its an impressive typo.

  10. jonbirch says:

    great comments! i am very intolerant of loads of things! i often put them in my cartoons… a way of doing my bit to turn over the tables, tho’ sadly not as righteous as the main man in the temple. amazingly though, he was tolerant of his own murder… ‘forgive them, they no not what they do.’
    i think subo’s comment stands as a reminder of the context in which all things should be expressed… in love. even if love leads to anger and action.
    oppression, bullying, injustice and greed are just some of the things that i am intolerant about… even though i may have succumbed to each at different points in my life.
    i also am intolerant of the intolerances of others sometimes. especially when that intolerance leads to any of the above, which sadly it so often does!
    homosexuals, different religious convictions, different races…etc,etc… all examples of people give a good beating up by intolerance throughout history.
    there seem to be two types of intolerance, a good one and a bad one, we almost need two words to express the difference.

  11. DrNick says:

    The thing is, and I oten find this, I agree with the message I just don’t agree with the way its being delievered!

    As has been pointed out tolerance is the lowest of all virtues (in fact I’d go so far as to say it isn’t even a virtue) and can lead to people getting hurt really badly (like the teachers used to say, if you see someone getting bullied and ignore (tolerate) it you are as bad as those doing the act.

    However there are right ways and wrong ways of doing things. For example the woman caught in adultery, Jesus wasn’t tolerant of what she had done, but he let grace shape his response and, well you know the story. Same thing with the Samaratian woman at the well…

  12. youthworkerpete says:

    Hmmm – Dr Nick, you have me thinking… are tolerance and ignorance so similar?

    I think the way ‘tolerance’ is used by the media and politicians, maybe yes!

  13. Becky says:

    Words like tolerance, peace, and justice (and one could also argue evangelical and Christian) have been so missued that we need to find new terms.

    Like you Jon, I use satire to lambast those things that I do not tolerate. I “try” to follow Jesus (man do I fail all the time) and if you look at his ministry, Jesus didn’t tolerate anything or anyone that separated people from the love of God but he loved them anyway. I have a real problem with the latter bit.

  14. zefi says:

    If I steal, and you say it’s ok cos you wanted to practise this tolerance thingy, it’s obvious that you do not love me.

    If your kid kick other people’s kid(s), and you look the other way cos you wanted to practise this tolerance thingy, it’s obvious that you do not love your kid.

    Subo, you are justified on the condition that you have faith, that you repent. And don’t you even dare to say that to have faith and to repent is “work.”

    Jesus did not say to the lady, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on continue to sin.”

    People kept promoting *tolerance* as if it’s the thing we’re lacking, but I suspect that it is *respect* that is missing from the picture.

  15. Chris F says:

    Is “Christian tolerance” an oxymoron?

    It shouldn’t be. Of all faiths ours should be able to hear other points of view without fear.

    Being Christian does not = being nice. But we are all so nice, me too – I have been nice when I should have simply been honest. Jon’s cartoons are not nice – all credit to you!

    God is tolerant of my hardness of heart and slowness to understand; but he is not nice, he beckons onwards and often has to yell at me “open your eyes, stop being an idiot!”

    We do no-one any favours by just being nice. We have to believe in what we believe in, not to exclude others but to invite them to be included. Because whatever the evidence to the contrary in my life, I really do believe in the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ and continue to stake my life on it; and I want to include others in the adventure of faith

  16. Richard says:

    Hmmm… That’s all very interesting, but I’m not prepared to tolerate the missing 400 cartoons! How have we got to number 762 so quickly?!

  17. sarah says:

    When tolerance is patience, trusting in God that he’ll one day make all things good, it is a beautiful thing.

    `Tolerance` is used by the world as a protection so that we can do whatever we want – we must be tolerant, and behind that new ideology I’ll do whatever I like than you very much. We’re all individuals and it won’t hurt you. And if it does, too bad.

    But Jesus’ tolerance was patient.

    My tolerance for paedophiles is that I don’t want them shot, although I do want them punished and reformed (this is a personal example).

    Sas x

  18. sarah says:


    The way you said what you said to Subo was hurtful.

    Sas x

  19. jonbirch says:

    hmmm… i am not tolerant. i agree with zefi that ‘respect’ is missing, but you can be tolerant of someone but still say to them stealing is wrong (although i’m not sure stealing is always wrong when there are no gleaning laws in place). i disagree with zefi in that very often i see tolerance is most definitely lacking when it should be exercised. mostly people tend to be intolerant of things that don’t go their way or use it as another excuse to be judgemental.
    tolerance is or isn’t a virtue depending on what it is you are tolerating.
    the term tolerance is ambiguous.

  20. jonbirch says:

    just like to say zefi… one thing that should be tolerated are the views of others on this site… we’re all working stuff out here… and what subo said was very loving and i believe contained wisdom… it expressed something very important that we would all do well to follow when responding to each other. i love your comments very often and i like the way that you express yourself. but in this case tolerance should have been exercised. otherwise people will not post here for fear of judgement and we don’t want that. :-)

  21. subo says:

    it’s curious how this discussion is unfolding, I agree there is a huge difference between loving each other and loving some of the bad things that people do. I find Jesus always seemed to be more interested in people’s lives than in the labels used to define them.

  22. jonbirch says:

    ‘I find Jesus always seemed to be more interested in people’s lives than in the labels used to define them.’
    that’s a very good point indeed!

  23. youthworkerpete says:

    Jon – your comment on stealing and gleaning above is the most profound thing I’ve heard/read in a long time!

  24. yesuvia says:


    It didn’t sound hurtful from where I’m saying it.

    If it *sounds* offensive, I apologize.

    But also, do remember that when it comes to reading text, we sometimes interpret something not as the author intend it to be, because of the lack of visual.

    Can you not read what I wrote while having an image of a brother in Christ who tries his best not to offend, is friendly, and sometimes *voice* things out jokingly?

    Well, you don’t know me personally, and perhaps it’ll be hard to imagine, but do try.

    And I’ll try my best to make my comments sound as plain as possible with no hint of offensiveness next time.

  25. yesuvia says:

    And Jon, it’s a privilege to be able to lurk here.

    I apologize if what I wrote sounds like I’m flaming.

    I’ll be extra careful with the tone of my sentences before clicking the submit button next time.

  26. Lori says:

    Y.W.Pete said in #9: “I’m not sure what I did to the word ‘Pharisaical’ – but its an impressive typo.”

    Indeed, it was a thing of beauty. :-) Also, I thought your comment in #8 was very wise.

  27. jonbirch says:

    hey yesuvia! no worries! you’re right, it’s easy to misunderstand. don’t go changing… i truly appreciate your input… i tend to use the smileys quite alot myself so people know when i’m ribbing them or whatever because i’ve offended people myself without meaning to before now. thanks for coming back on this. it’s a privilege having you around too. please be as passionate as you like in the future… everyone else is! :-)

  28. jonbirch says:

    hi youthworkerpete. it’s always bothered me that people are really down on stealing while the need to provide goes astray somewhere. i know we have certain social benefits, but sometimes peoples lives get so messed up they even fall outside of those… and then there’s the expectation in our cultures to acquire stuff, which adds even more pressure. i think the old testament law takes all of these kinds of things into account in a way we don’t. instead some talk of ‘trickle down’ as a way to appease their conciences or give a bit to charity.
    a man in prison the other day said that for the rest of his life all his meals would be provided and he would not have to worry about the bills etc. too sad that outside of prison if you are in strife you do not get the same kindness afforded you.
    so i say, let’s get gleaning back on the agenda!
    i think a cartoon might be appropriate! :-)

  29. zefi says:

    Ops, yesuvia is yours truly.

  30. steve says:

    No, I don’t hate you
    Don’t want to fight you
    Know I’ll always love you
    But right now I just don’t like you

  31. steve says:

    Jesus was pretty intolerant of the spiritual leaders of his day. Matthew 23:13-15.

  32. DrNick says:

    So Steve I’m not the only Reliant K fan here…

  33. steve says:

    Hey DrNick. I cant help it, my kids listen to them. Infectious stuff and good for the soul (Dinner and a show!)

  34. jonbirch says:

    it’s okay zefi… i worked that one out. blessings. :-)

  35. jonbirch says:

    steve… he certainly very often was.
    and who’s reliant k? sounds like a rapper.

  36. davem says:

    On the point of Jesus “going after” the Spiritual Leaders of the day, I find it so interesting how much of a part people’s attitudes have to play. Jesus tended to show more love and compassion to those who were humble, who knew what they did was wrong, who were just looking for a path through life, whilst when Jesus dealt with the Pharisees, he tended to be a bit more harsh, humbling them and demonstrating how they were no better than the sinners whom they judged.
    (PS Sorry for making the longest sentence in the world. Try not to read it out loud, or else do it in bits. Otherwise you face may turn blue.)

  37. sarah says:

    Yesuvia/ Zefi,

    Apology accepted. I do like what you have to say. We all have to be a bit careful how we word things though, as we don’t have the visual – that’s why emoticons are so good!


    Sarah x

  38. steve says:

    Hey Jon. Not exactly rappers. RK are a bunch of pop-american punk/rock kids from Ohio.

  39. steve says:

    As I see it Jesus was ruthless with them and they hated him for it. Little evidence of humbling.

  40. AnneDroid says:

    What an interesting thought provoking discussion. Shame I’m so sleepy my thoughts are barely provokable tonight!

    It’s such a complicated issue isn’t it? Sometimes we’ve to turn the other cheek, which can mean tolerating treatment we don’t like and other times we’ve to stand against it… Sometimes we’ve to speak prophetically on moral issues and other times we’ve just to love the sinner and leave the Holy Spirit to do the sanctifying bit. And both are in the Bible.

    Every day in my work I meet prisoners who have done really appalling things.

    I’ve got to:
    – tolerate them. In fact I’ve got to love them. I find this surprisingly easy, evidence undoubtedly that God must be working in me after all (despite my very frequent, even daily, despair on that one)
    – NOT tolerate what they’ve done. I’m employed to offer them support but I emphasise it’s MORAL support and supporting them doesn’t mean saying “yes, yes, yes, poor you” all the time. I’ve got to gently challenge their (sometimes very twisted) thinking!
    – be intolerant of any prejudice anywhere, except when at the same time I must:
    – be tolerant of ANY prejudice when it’s directed at me on account of my faith!!

    Oh I think I’ve made my brain even tireder now… That seems awful complicated.


  41. steve says:

    Just read an interesting blah on tolerance. Claims that tolerance used to be related to individuals and their rights. Has changed to be about what I can or cannot say about my claims to truth….

  42. jonbirch says:

    interesting, steve, many words do that over time. as a species we do like to make things complicated! :-)
    ‘…RK are a bunch of pop-american punk/rock kids from Ohio.’ should i listen to them?

    hi davem… don’t worry i can still breathe… just! :-)
    i wonder whether jesus said things to humble them, but their pride led some the way it did against him. jesus, being savvy, would have known they’d be out to get him. i reckon a few (who may not actually get in to the bible) would have been humbled… the young ‘simeons’ of jesus’ adult life as it were. i like to hope so. i like to think that not all the priest were jumped up and self important.

    annedroid. it is fascinating hearing examples from your work. i think you’ve said very well what i’m trying to get at and demonstrated the complexity. at the end of the day though, what you’re doing is loving people and demonstrating that in as many ways as befits the need of the individual. thanks for sharing. :-)

  43. sarah says:


    Well done for doing the work you do.

    Living for Jesus is paradoxical at the best of times.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, we’re with you.

    All the best,

    Sarah x

  44. sarah says:


    The priest who came to see Jesus in the dead of night – Joseph of Aramathea – he wasn’t jumped up or self-important.

    Sas x

  45. sarah says:


    I want more stuff like this. Brothers and sisters making music without brow-beating themselves, without calling themselves worthless sinners. Just being how we’d be in real life- how we are on this blog.

    More power to ‘em.

    Thanks Steve

    Recommned any others?

    Sas x

  46. DrNick says:

    I reckon you’d love Reliant K, they’re not scared to challenge and poke fun and their albums are a mix of serious (Such as Never Underestimate my Jesus) and rather more ‘unique’ (such eas ‘I am Lion-O’ a tribute to Thundercats!).

    I love Christian bands that aren’t afraid to challenge the norm, such as Casting Crowns and Todd Agnew (you should hear Todd’s song ‘Least of These’ its fantastic!)

  47. sarah says:

    Jon – I meant Nicodemus, but you knew that!

    J of A was a good egg too. Looking forward to meeting him.

    Sas x

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