Letters to the Editor

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TAM: Exhibit shows Tacoma’s tolerance

Letter by Miriam Barnett, Tacoma on March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm with 32 Comments »
March 20, 2012 1:21 pm

As a recent citizen of Tacoma, I could not be prouder to live in a city that embraces everyone, regardless of religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The Tacoma Art Museum is setting an example for our city, state and nation by opening its doors to the “Hide/Seek” exhibit.

As a heterosexual woman who has been married for 32 years, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the richness of this exhibit. It is stunning in all the best ways – beautifully portrayed art with a social message that triumphs and accepts everyone for you they are.

I want to acknowledge the museum’s staff and board of directors. I thank them for showing courage and respect for all people by sharing the rich history of LGBTQ artists and art and, by doing so, putting Tacoma on the map as a city of tolerance and acceptance.


Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. sandblower says:

    Thanks for the great letter Miriam. There will be a few nay-sayers. We can tolerate them too.

  2. When no has no standards, tolerance is superfluous.

  3. When one has no standards, tolerance is superfluous.

  4. I’m looking forward to seeing the show, I’ve heard nothing but good reviews from the people that have seen it and nothing but whining and crying from those that won’t see it.

  5. HistoryFan says:

    Don’t confuse tolerance with acceptance.

  6. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Forced public display of abnormal principles is not tolerance or acceptance – it is an unwanted display of a cultures that are both unacceptable and abnormal!

  7. Frankenchrist says:

    When you’re unsure of your words you post them twice.

  8. 3rd pig…..at the risk of Godwinning this thread, your post could have come from the official catalog of the Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937


  9. Speaking of 1937, at what point do we collectively decide something should NOT be tolerated?

  10. LornaDoone says:

    At what point do we decide collectively that religion is not mandatory for all that those that subscribe to it should keep it to themselves?

  11. At what point do we surrender ourselves to a church and allow said church to control our lives in total?

    Personally, I say….NEVER.
    I say no one has the right to make decisions for me, on any grounds.

  12. At what point do we decide not to offend the Muslim community by publishing derogatory cartoons about their religious figures?

    When it’s dangerouss to our health.

    So much for artistic freedom.

  13. BlaineCGarver says:

    Since when did this become an issue of religion? I am not religious, and deplor this Hide and Seek the Sausage show…..

  14. Off topic much?

  15. Neither Lorna nor Kluwer answered my question but attempted to deflect. Still waiting.

  16. tellnolies says:

    Without bringing religion into it sozo, peoples choices should be left to them, provided they harm no other.

  17. sozo, since you said to me on another thread that you were not steadfastly against this exhibit, and you even have said that you might attend it, are you asking about the art not being tolerated, homosexuality not being tolerated or what?

    The letter writer praised Tacoma for its toleration in “religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity”. Is it one of those that you want an answer to on when it should not be tolerated? Or, is it an abstract question not related to this letter?

    I agree with tellnolies, and so does the Supreme Court in many of its decisions. For marriage, specifically, it has stated that states cannot have laws that restrict this basic human right unless the state can show it harms the individuals involved, harms others or harms our democracy. Harm, like tellnolies stated, is the key.

    No one has shown how gay marriage, homosexuality or this show harms anyone. So, yes, in America, at least the America of the Constitution, then toleration is the word.

    In Rightwingstan it might not be, but thank God we don’t live there (yet).

  18. TSkidmore says:

    You know “right or wrong” it does once again prove the Seattle Media wrong about Tacoma. We are so much more progressive in so many more ways then the Emerald City.

  19. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Skid- is that a contest Tacoma needs to be in? Why don’t we focus on the bulk of residents, not just the fringe?

  20. My question grows out of the knee-jerk use of the word “tolerance” to suggest an ideal to which we should all aspire. The religous zeal of those who insist that we all embrace it is tiresome. There are plenty of things we do NOT tolerate.

    As for the question of harm, while it may seem that homosexuality is a purely private matter and harms no one, I think in the long term it will, but please note that I think that the sexual conduct of many heterosexuals is equally harmful.

    Our culture has come to embrace a self-serving, and yes, hedonistic principle that is dangerous to all of us in the long term. Self-control and sacrifice are passe. IN MY OPINION. You are all free to disagree.

    I cannot leave religion out of the discussion tellnolies because for me, my religion is fully woven into my life in general. It cannot be compartmentalized, as it is the foundation upon which I assess and evaluate what’s going on in the world. I fully accept the reality that it has NO meaning for many, but it has great meaning for me. I would appreciate people being respectful and “tolerant” of that.

  21. soso, your question isn’t worth answering, which is why no one did.

  22. kluless, your response wasn’t worth posting, which is why you did.

  23. LornaDoone says:

    “As for the question of harm, while it may seem that homosexuality is a purely private matter and harms no one, I think in the long term it will, but please note that I think that the sexual conduct of many heterosexuals is equally harmful.”

    I think that an obsession with what any adult does in private is harmful.

  24. sozo, still struggling to reason why you asked the question about tolerance in this context. I could understand if it were a letter about the murder of 16 Afghanis or unprovoked shooting of a boy buying Skittles.

    The letter writer was specifically praising tolerance for “religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity” and this art exhibit in particular, not for criminal behavior or corruption, slugs in the garden or moss growing on one’s roof. I didn’t see anyone asking for tolerance of all things we might encounter or have to deal with.

    Is it hedonism in general or just the fact that some people find pleasure in sexual activity that you don’t think we should tolerate? If we shouldn’t tolerate something does that mean we should not allow it – make it illegal?

  25. I was simply posing the question, tuddo. I’m weary of people using the word, “tolerance” as a weapon against those who actually have boundaries in terms of their conduct and in terms of what they think society should tolerate.

    Homosexuality has been “tolerated” by most people for centuries. Of course there are those who have demonstrated reprehensible behavior towards gay people, and I do not support them in any way. THEIR conduct should not be tolerated. I’m in favor of prosecuting hate crimes.

    But tolerance does not mean affirmation, and I continue to maintain that the gay community is seeking the affirmation of society as a whole. Feel free to disagree.

  26. sozo – you, as a Christian, seek affirmation from our society for your beliefs. I think you should merely seek toleration.

  27. Interesting you should say that bBoy given that there’s a marked exhibition of intolerance in our society these days for, at least, a certain type of Christian. It doesn’t bother me as much as you’d think given what Christ said about the matter … that the world would hate his followers just as it hated him.

  28. Allow me to clarify. It doesn’t bother me all that much except when folks refuse to see it for what it is. I know my beliefs will be counterculture and I accept that. I get a bit worked up when intelligent people, such as you bBoy (in past threads)won’t acknowledge the reality of the social persecution of conservative Christians.

  29. One more note, to avoid a long run down the rabbit trail. I do not defend evangelical Christians who behave like fools and bigots, and I know there are plenty of them out there. They simply do not represent the lion’s share of believers and THIS is what I wish folks would recognize. Okay, I’m really done now.

  30. sozo, I have yet to see any persecution or even “intolerance” of Christians. What people won’t tolerate, however, is Christians imposing their religion on others.

    The rub here is that Jesus gave the Great Commission, so many Christians believe that they have the authority of God to impose their religion on others (which is not what Jesus said, but what many denominations believe). Their belief in the superiority of Christianity and of themselves is so ingrained that when their own intolerance and bigotry is not tolerated by others, they call it intolerance or an attack on Christianity or intolerance of them personally.

    They think that the USA somehow established Christianity as the national religion (the “we are a Christian nation” mantra) so anyone else has fewer rights than Christians and all beliefs outside the Christian are anti-American. We did not so establish and are not a Christian nation. Pointing that out is seen by them as an attack on Christianity.

    I tolerate your Christianity, and I think you do mine, even though we disagree about some things. However, I will not tolerate your trying to use your religious views to deny Constitutional rights like equal treatment under the law to people because you do not think they are following God’s plan. If you can give Constituional reasons why gays should not have equal rights, then I might agree with you, but so far no one has.

    Removing barriers and impediments to Constitutional rights is not “affirmation” of anything, except for affirming the Constitutionality of those rights.

  31. While I appreciate where I think you are coming from here tuddo, I think you mistake holding to one’s religious convictions with attempting to force them on others.

    As for this comment “I have yet to see any persecution or even “intolerance” of Christians” I would have to say you simply are not paying attention, or since it doesn’t affect you, you are unaware of how much it goes on.

  32. sozo, since there has not been many examples, if any, published, I don’t think I could have seen persecution in the US of Christians.

    Give me some real examples. Here are the ludicrous examples Christian blogs come up with. http://www.worthynews.com/1710-persecution-of-christians-growing-in-the-united-states and http://www.christianforums.com/t1512513-3/ to cite two of them.

    Most of these examples, like Supreme Court deciding some 10 commandment statues and presentations are OK but others are baltantly against the First Amendment, are about government establishment of religion, not persecution of Christians.

    If you do a search, you will see all of the blogs cite the same exact examples with no support.

    The alleged police incidence in Houston was fact-checked and no official record or police report was ever logged in. Urban legend?

    The murder of the minister cited as religious persecution was actually committed by a hitchhiker, not anything to do with persecution. Here is the real story about the murdered minister: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-09-23/news/9909230275_1_minister-burned-petty

    The so-called anti-religious tracts by the Madison atheist group were actually FAQ’s for children to take home to their parents about why handing out Bibles in public school classrooms during instruction time was being protested by the group. They were handed out on public sidewalks outside school grounds after the school allowed the Gideon Society to come into classrooms and hand out Bibles – a blatant disregard of the First Amendment.

    Now if you would point out places in Africa or the Middle East I would agree that there is persecution against Christians, but not in the USA.

    Note that all sites also say we are founded as a Christian nation and not a secular nation. Several of the examples they cite as persecution are people disputing that claim, so I guess I have persecuted Christians in the comment threads according to those blogs, since I heartily dispute our nation having been founded as a Christian nation.

    These sites will do anything to present false information about so-called persecution of Christians. And here I thought lying was against Christian morals.

    I hope you do better with supporting the claims of persecution of Christians in the USA. You must have plenty of examples seeing “how much it goes on” as you say.

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