Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States. There is little doubt that he is a brilliant person, but also a lightning rod for controversy.
In the pre-9/11 world, Clinton talked of tolerance:
“The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it. Between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past. Between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.”
All religions, even (especially?) Christians, have had extremists who pervert the message of peace and goodwill. Clinton calls them out in this quote. It is not the religion, it is the extremists.
Clinton also discussed sexual orientation:
“All America loses when any person is denied or forced out of a job because of sexual orientation. Being gay, the last time I thought about it, seemed to have nothing to do with the ability to read a balance book, fix a broken bone, or change a spark plug.”
So long as a person’s sexual orientation does not interfere with his or her ability to perform the job or succeed as a student, it should be irrelevant.
Finally, Clinton offers a summary on tolerance
“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”
We often forget that when we are cut, we all bleed red. When we cry, our tears are wet and salty. When we laugh at ourselves, we invite others to look at life just a little less seriously. And when we offer our hand in assistance, we can foster gratitude and respect.
We far too often forget that our common humanity most often matters more than anything that might separate us.
We need to remember better.