In Spain, during and after the Civil War, the concept of "Santa Intolerancia" - Holy Intolerance - was developed. It has been cast aside because it was applied, it has to be said, scandalously. But conceptually, it feels like an area of theology ripe for development.
What should our attitude be towards a government which tells us that gay couples can adopt children and bring them up? Intolerant, but in an intolerance imbued with Charity. What should our attitude be towards a government which tells us that non-Catholic families should not only be allowed to attend Catholic schools as of right, but that the school can't ask the parents to sign a document accepting the nature of the school to which their children will be sent? Intolerant, but in an intolerance imbued with Faith. What should our attitude be towards a government which tells us that abortion should be liberalised? Intolerant, but with an intolerance imbued with Hope.
These thoughts are inspired by Fr Dwight Longenecker's posting on "Tolerance and Tyranny", a short meditation on what the Pope means by "the Dictatorship of Relativism". It strikes me that in the West our inculturisation to the secular world has come to mean accepting tolerance as a supreme virtue. Fr Dwight quotes Chestertom: "Tolerance is a nice word for indifference and indifference is an elegant word for ignorance".
I have taken this far further than Fr Dwight probably would want to go, but I think that the time for a bit of properly theologically founded Intolerance might be a better response to what my friend Moretben (from http://theundercroft.blogspot.com/) described, in another place, as what certainly feels to me like "an attack on the Mystical Body". My first thought was that the Scottish Cardinal's statement that he would simply ignore the SORS legislation, and wait for Catholic adoption agencies in Scotland to be hauled before the courts, left us open to a government "divide and rule" policy. I'm beginning to think that I was wrong, and that he has got it right: let us be wholly intolerant (and "holy intolerant" - let's not make the Spanish mistake) of attacks on our core beliefs.