Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tolerance in the Netherlands

English: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in V...

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week a Dutch independent foundation (SIRE) launched a new campaign. The campaign aims to create awereness of a increasingly intolerant attitude among the Dutch and promote a more tolerant attitude. For the people that are not so familiar with the Dutch language I have taken the main points stated on the website and translated them for the international audience.

Frequently asked questions on the webstite:

Has the Netherlands become more intolerant?

The Netherlands is known for its liberal and tolerant values. Unfortunately the past two decades the Netherlands has become less tolerant. On many aspects it is still a very tolerant country, however there are also disturbing developments.

23% of the Dutch would object to the building of an asylum center in their town.

Only 46% feels that East-Europeans should be allowed to work in the Netherlands.

Almost a quarter of the Dutch thinks that wearing a head-scarf should be forbidden.

A third is in favor of a prohibition of building new mosques.

I have ordered tolerance but have not received a package. Did something go wrong with delivery?

Tolerance is not in a package. It comes from within. So you can start using tolerance immediately!

If I run out of tolerance, what do I do?

What you should not do is get angry at everyone and everything. Tolerance does not deplete. It could be that temporarily you feel less tolerant. What works well is take a deap breath, count to ten and have a quick moment of contemplation. After that you can respond more calm and nuanced.

Where can I use tolerance?

Tolerance works always and everywhere. Think about where you could use some tolerance. Try it in a traffic jam, at work, on the internet, on the football pitch or on the train. You will see that it works!

Does tolerance have side-effects?

Tolerance has side-effects, but only positive ones. It might happen that people start to like you more, which gives you a busier social life.

Go to the Dutch Tolerance website


I can only compliment the foundation with this initiative and support it completely. Many developed countries are dealing with a multi-cultural society and the problems related to a heterogene population. The ability of mankind for diversity among race, belief, culture, political views and general values should be appreciated, not seen as a problem. A world where everyone thinks and feels the same way about issues would be quite boring wouldn’t it?

Is there something similar like this campagin in your country? Please comment and share the promotion of tolerant behavior.


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Filed under Europe

Women’s rights versus Religion

Another week in politics. Republican Richard Mourdock has this to say:

„Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”.

Commentators considered this controversial. No shit! This is not merely controversial, this gives me goosebumps. It is a prime example of how religion impedes women’s rights.

When do the religions of the world adapt to the modern society? When do religious people realize that science and technology are moving us forwards, changing the way we live? The knowledge, skills and capabilities we have obtained over the years drastically changed our way of living. The Bible is written by men, so is the Koran. Wise men probably, bestseller authors definitely. Women’s place in society is no longer only a slave of men and mother of children. They are as valuable to society as men. We have the opportunity to choose whether or not we want to have children, we have to take the responsibility to choose wisely. Getting children is not a requirement to avoid extinction, it is a decision to make by a man and a women. Together they are the foundation of our society. Not men. Not women. It is as if people forget that in order to get children you need both. Educate the world about contraception, about the wonders and hells of parenthood and keep the opportunity for abortion open.

In my opinion abortion is not a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not against it. I merely say this because it appears to me it is a draining event, having a significant impact on a woman, physically as well as psychologically. With contraception and proper education the number of abortions could be significantly reduced worldwide. But accidents do happen. Unfortunately rape does happen. I am glad that the women that do get pregnant accidently or forcibly have the possibility to choose whether or not they are willing and able to look after a baby. It is a good thing that the opportunity exists; the actual act will never be a good thing.

Soviet poster circa 1925. Title translation:

Soviet poster circa 1925. Title translation: “Abortions performed by either trained or self-taught midwives not only maim the woman, they also often lead to death.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Filed under Religion, USA