WHO IS REALLY INTOLERANT?

As reported in the Montana Standard, a Muslim living in Wyoming, wrote to a Montana owned ice cream company asking if they used pork in the gelatin used in their ice cream. Okay, legitimate question. The president of the company, admittedly tired after a long day, saw a map of Pakistan on this guy’s Facebook page, assumed he was posting from there and replied, without reading the whole posting, that the company doesn’t ship out of state or to Pakistan. While the answer was disingenuous, it was hardly racist or even particularly provocative. Nevertheless, the guy with the question decided to interpret the response as somehow being offensive to his religion. Worse, some friend of this guy sent a letter to the company calling for a boycott of their ice cream to “stand up to racism, ignorance and intolerance” and copied Montana reporters. Of course, this woman admitted she hadn’t bothered to talk to the prexy of the company who had sent the response. If she’d bothered, she would have heard him say that it was an honest mistake and that he had apologized to the guy on two separate occasions. And then the liberal media got involved with predictable results. After several days, the story was reminiscent of that old game some of us played as kids where you line up and the first person in line whispers something to the next person until the last person reveals what the first person supposedly said, which, of course, bears little resemblance to what was actually said. After several days, a flood of negative comments included a claim that the ice cream company is a “horrible company run by hateful people.” I believe in certain things just as you do. Sometimes, I may agree with you and sometimes I may not. Sometimes you may agree with me and sometimes you may not. As we know (or should), the First Amendment protects our right to express how we feel. And some of us believe that right should be jealously guarded. But while conceding that, we should use the right accorded us to express ourselves in a responsible manner. Unfortunately, there are far too many people wondering around in our society with a chip on their shoulders. They seem to take delight in finding offense at the most trivial real or even imagined slight. They seem to sit back and wait to pounce on any unfortunate person or organization that makes some remark or comment they see as offensive with no regard for the context or intention of the speaker. And most disturbing is their self-righteousness that prevents them from even considering forgivenesswhen it should be due. At a time when we’re struggling with Muslim extremists in the Middle East who are killing us, it is important to remember that like any other diety, Allah preached understanding, peace and forgiveness.

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