The Difference Between Tolerance And Approval

All right, then. I understand there are men who have not attained the healthy masculine nature I hope my son will attain. I don’t make fun of them. I don’t wish them ill. I count some among my friends. I extend to them my tolerance of a state that is at least a significant falling-short of a natural good. But it requires pretty serious reciprocity. For one, the rights of my son should be respected. No snares in his path, thank you. He should not have to suffer, by suggestion or invitation or public example or enticement or moral sophistry, any complication along his way to becoming a healthy man, able to love a woman in a healthy way. Mr. Madison and Mr. Unger live in the same apartment: they are roommates. The history teacher, Mr. Delvecchio, is 40 and unmarried. Well, some people are confirmed bachelors. And indeed they may be. The freedom-clearing presumption of normality ought to obtain.

—Anthony Esolen, “Tolerance and Reciprocity

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One comment

  1. I basically agree with Mr. Esolen. However, are we sure that Messrs. Madison and Unger are homosexual, rather than trying to be economical single men by sharing expenses. As for Mr. Delvecchio, maybe he realizes that not many women are attracted to a guy living on a schoolteacher’s salary. Speaking as a reasonably “well paid” schoolteacher who supplements his income with Chinese-English document translation and other “word work” nights and weekeneds, I have a little sympathy for my colleague Delvecchio.

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