This is a continuation of a conversation begun yesterday (08/18/12) on FaceBook.
You raise interesting points. I think I should address what I meant by "tolerance." Simple disagreement with others is within the realm of tolerance. You mention having been rebuked by those on the left for various beliefs you have had. I do not know the type of verbal exchanges you might have had. If they were on a level such that you felt punished for your beliefs, that is unfortunate. There are people from many views who will not allow someone else to talk once a "discussion" has begun. Whether the person who does so is left- or right-wing is irrelevant. I would say the person is not punishing so much as engaging in boorish behavior.
I have had interactions with people in similar veins, but the roles were reversed. In law school at IU-Indy one person would not allow me to respond to his assertions that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the 1980s economic surge. Another classmate cut me of repeatedly when I questioned the historical existence of Jesus. I did not see myself as punished. The views that I held hardly were popular in that academic environment. "PC" perhaps had different meaning at Georgetown Law Center. When I was on staff at Purdue (libraries, 1980-82; 85-86), Northwestern University School of Law (library, 1982-85), and IUPUI (debate coach/adjunct faculty), the political mood, if anything, was conservative. In undergrad at DePauw in the 1970s we were far more left-wing. No one of a more conservative bent was told to shut up. We simply argued/discussed/reasoned—sometimes drunkenly.
When I think of intolerance—now the opposite of that of which I wrote yesterday—I speak of actions taken against people and/or groups. I did not participate in the Chik-Fil-A thing. As I have expressed a couple of times, I tried their sandwiches and do not care for them. My choice is one of taste, not politics. Even then the actions taken by those people were within their rights as consumers. I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs National League baseball club. That might be an impeachment of my rationality. Also, though, it shows tolerance on my part. The head of the ball club (managing shareholder? Owner with the most shares of stock? I don’t know the proper term) is very right-wing. I did not abandon my loyalty to the team of which I have been a fan these many years; the team that has reached into my chest cavity and ripped out my heart more times than I care to remember; the team that holds the record, of any "major" sport," for longest time without a championship. I could have switched loyalties to any team (except the Yankees; they are evil). Instead, I am tolerant of his views.
The intolerance I have seen recently carried out by the Republican Party has taken the form of limiting the ability of people to vote. The Republican Party has tried to de-fund Planned Parenthood—and I know a lot of Republicans my age who were damned glad Planned Parenthood was nearby and available during their college years or else those Republicans would have had serious financial burdens placed on them in college.
You are right. There are intolerant people on both sides—and I do not like to say "both" sides, because it ignores the many sides that exist on issues. I will stand by my position, however, that the people on the right are more intolerant. I will post this on my blog "Civil Discourse Now." You can go to civildiscoursenow dot com and see what goes on there.
And one other thing: I didn’t base any part of my argument by reference to the Catholic Church and Georgetown.