San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type

Law & Religion


It might seem perverse to ask whether liberals can or should be tolerant. Liberalism is about liberty, surely, and liberty means freedom for people to say and do—more or less, to be sure—as they choose. How can liberalism be liberal if it denies people that freedom: at least, if it denies that freedom more rather than less? Even the word “tolerance” seems weak, if not inapt, for this. Liberalism, you might think, positively prizes and champions freedom—that is, people saying and doing what they like—it doesn’t merely tolerate it, as it were grudgingly. There is an oddly off-key note, duly mocked by South Park, to such a thing as the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance, with its faint echo of Hollywood personages giving each other Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards....