Sunday, 20 February 2005 - 3:11 PM GMT
From The Rise of Toleration by Henry Kamen (London; Weidenfeld and Nicholson; 1967).
"In the broadest sense, toleration can be understood to mean the concession of liberty to those who dissent in religion. It can be seen as part of the process in history which has led to a gradual development of the principle of human freedom. What should be is that this development has been by no means regular. Even the great English historian Lord Acton, for whom the evolution of freedom lay at the heart of history, was obliged to recognise that toleration has pursued not a linear but a cyclic development; it has not evolved progressively but has suffered periodic and prolonged reverses. The belief that religious liberty is an exclusively modern achievement is of course untrue, and it should cause no great surprise that some countries today are further from full liberty than they were five centuries. Attitudes are in any case conditioned by social and political circumstances, developing erratically according to their milleu, so that there is no inherent reason why a modern doctrine should be any more progressive than a distant one.
By giving due consideration to the social context of philosophies we come closer to understanding the contemporary significance of doctrines."
And yes, of course all other faiths are treated with equal sensitivity.
To me your evidence is about as flimsy as some 'outrage' column in the Daily Mail, except that I can't wipe my bottom with your blog unless I go to the trouble and expense of printing it out. Where did that ink cartidge go?