I saw a “Coexist” sticker while taking my wife out to dinner last night. If you haven’t seen one of these stickers before, they use different religious and cultural symbols together to spell the word “Coexist.” I have a problem with this sticker, but not because I dislike differences. Frankly, I don’t have any trouble coexisting with people who look, act, and believe in ways different from me. While our similarities make us comfortable, I have found that our differences make life interesting. Imagine combining all the different ethnicities of humanity together like some huge Will It Blend? test. What would we look like? (And yes, I’m talking about intermarriage, not something that looks like bloody goo. Yech.) Since over half of the world is Oriental or Indian, the results of our thought experiment might probably end up looking something like a darker-skinned Michelle Saram. [Image 1] [Image 2] Michelle’s parents are Indian and Chinese.

I think I could live with that.

Jerry Jaspar sells the “Coexist” sticker he created at his PeaceMonger.org site along with other items. He admits that while it is tempting to make his site “all positive – all the time,” he just can’t help making fun of President Bush. But it’s OK for him to do that because as he writes, “You are NOT my president!” He’s all for peace, unity, and happy coexistence, but he doesn’t want any of those things with President Bush. Oh, and money. He certainly wants your money. By the way, that aroma you’re picking up is the fine scent of hypocrisy in the morning.

No, the problem I have with the “Coexist” sticker is that not everyone can tolerate differences; no, not even Jerry Jaspar. And it is this lack of tolerance of others that is the ultimate problem with this sticker. There is a large group of people, spread around the world, that has shown a distinct lack of ability to accept the differences of others. No, not all of them, but a too-large group has shown — in words and actions — that it has a problem coexisting peacefully with its neighbors, and instead demands that others change to conform to its ideals. I won’t point to any specific names, but I will give a short list of places where this lack of coexistence has been an issue, and close with a photograph that clearly sums up an attitude that suggests conquest over coexistence.

Here’s the list: Darfur, Thailand, Indonesia, Chechnya, the Balkans, and pretty much any part of the Middle East as it relates to Israel. And here’s the picture:

Intolerance

The “Coexist” sticker is preaching to the choir since it is directed, in English, to people who already tolerate and/or embrace differences. I will believe differently about Islam when I start seeing stickers that say تعايش in places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But until then, how can we coexist peacefully with those who will not coexist with us?

UPDATE (7/26/2011 1:35:00 PM): Updated the link to go to the April 7th, 2007 image taken from archive.org. Just to be clear, I haven’t met or spoken with Jerry Jaspar. I only have his words and products to go by.

Just as Islam is proclaimed to be the Religion of Peace, but isn’t, so the Democratic Party is proclaimed to be the Party of Tolerance, but isn’t. Today’s evidence comes from a post by user qrswave at the Daily Kos.

Imagine a world without Israel

Or is that not allowed?

Muslims, Jews, and Christians could live in peace without fear of mutual destruction.

There would be no more need for US AID or justification for Dimona.

We could bring down the Wall, send prisoners home, and families could be reunited.

We could dismantle checkpoints, open crossings, and pull down barbed wire fences.

There would be no more settlements or armed settlers because the people would be united.

We could replant trees and olive groves and rebuild battered cities.

No more suicide bombers or sniper fire, and no more dead civilians.

No more targeted killings and hell-fire missiles, or systematic demolitions.

Palestinians and Jews could live together and the world could address other issues.

What a simpler place this world would be

if there was no need for a Jewish majority – where there would otherwise be none.

Is it so hard to imagine?

Israel killed at least 23 Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday,including nine members of one family . . .

The air strike killed a local Hamas leader, Nabil Abu Selmeya, his wife and seven sons and daughters aged 7 to 19, medics said. His eldest son, who was not at home, survived.

A later Israeli air strike using two missiles killed at least five other Palestinians, aged 15 to 20, in central Gaza.

Evidently, yes. And I’ll be branded a terrorist for trying.

Are you a terrorist just because you are trying to imagine a world with no Israel? No, that won’t make you a terrorist. But if you are actively working to bring this about by indiscriminately lobbing rockets into Israel or becoming a “splodydope” in a packed Israeli shopping area just so you can go out with a bang, then you are a terrorist.

What is the point of imagining no Israel? Could it be that qrswave, along with millions of Muslims in the world, cannot live a happy life if there happens to be a Jewish state called Israel in existence? In case you’ve forgotten, here is a bit of perspective for anyone who believes Israel is the problem: the map below shows Israel, the only Jewish state on earth, in blue — surrounded by a sea of green Muslim states. So, who again is the problem?

A speck of blue in a sea of green

(Hat tip to Little Green Footballs.)

Let’s spend a little time talking about some real-life happenings on American college campuses. All of the following stories happened this year, and are documented at www.tonguetied.us. Let me take a moment to plug Tongue Tied as a great site for, in its own words, “carping about the excesses of clueless crybabies since the turn of the century.”

Christians Need not Apply

A Christian student group at Rutgers University in New Jersey has been banned from campus and stripped of its funding because it selected leaders based on their adherence to the Christian faith, reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The Rutgers chapter of the InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship was informed by Director of Student Involvement Lawanda D. Irving that it was being “derecognized” for its impermissible discrimination.

The group, as part of its leadership selection process, uses its ‘Basis of Faith’ as one of the criterion for selecting leaders. “Only those persons committed to the Basis of Faith and the Purpose of this organization are eligible for leadership positions,” the group’s bylaws say. [1]

Liberals are very tolerant of any religion, as long as it is not some form of Christianity. The ACLU will spend huge sums of money and time to fight to keep Christianity out of schools based on the misinterpretation of “separation of Church and State,” but liberals have no objections to California schools spending several weeks studying the Muslim faith.

My Free Speech is More Important than Your Free Speech

The same officials at the University of Houston who quashed an anti-abortion rally on campus last year welcomed a gay rights rally because it was a ‘university sponsored’ event while the former was a “student-sponsored” event, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Administrators likened the gay rights rally to a cheerleading or band practice and therefore permissible outside designated free speech zones, while the anti-abortion rally was student-sponsored and allowed only within the confines of the zones.

Benjamin Bull, a lawyer who represented the UH student organization that fought the university over the anti-abortion rally, called the latest decision a classic example of political correctness on campus.

“The university is almost Stalinistic in permitting government-favored speech, while banning government disfavored and politically incorrect speech,” he said. [2]

This is a great example of how school administrators use their power to promote their favorite expressions of speech, while doing whatever they can to repress others. And here is another example of liberals wanting to restrict the right of free speech against those with whom they disagree.

A Latino group at Glendale Community College in Arizona wants the administration to forbid a professor there from ever expressing his opinions on university web pages because he sent out an email saying the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA, is racist, reports the Arizona Republic.

MEChA also wants Walter Kehowski to apologize publicly for stating in an email that the group fosters racism by praising racial separatism. He was alluding to a recent Dia de la Raza event on campus.

“We believe in the First Amendment . . . in this case, the e-mails and Web page are clearly against the district mission of diversity and has disrupted our campus with the hostility that it promotes,” the group said in a letter to the Maricopa County Community College District. [3]

“And if thy right eye offend thee…”

Liberals are so very concerned about offending others. This can be taken to ludicrous extremes. Diane Ravitch’s book The Language Police shows this desire not to offend reflected in the way schoolbooks and tests have been rewritten. Here are six examples taken just from the first chapter.

An inspirational story of a blind man who climbed Mt. Everest was rejected by a bias review committee because it implies that blind people have a disability and are somehow limited by that disability.

A story from an anthology edited by William Bennett was rejected simply because the politics of the editor might distress fourth-graders.

A biography of the man who designed Mt. Rushmore was rejected because mention of the monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota might offend Native Americans.

An essay about the plethora of life in a rotting stump in a forest was rejected because it compared the stump to an apartment building and that might make people who live in apartments or public housing feel bad.

A story about a dolphin that guides ships through a treacherous channel was rejected because it shows bias toward people who live by the sea. Those who don’t live by the sea might be at a disadvantage, you see.

A passage about owls was rejected because owls are considered taboo by Navajos. A publisher decreed that owls should disappear from all texts and tests, so American schoolkids are now unlikely to ever read about them. [4]

But schoolbook contents are not the only place where people may be offended. An ad (http://campustruth.org/content/left_main.html) produced by a pro-Israel group shows the difference between the reactions of Israelis and Palestinians on the news of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th.

Mohammed Esam, president of the Islamic Society of Stanford University, said the ads were offensive and racist. “They’re trying to demonize a whole population,” he said. [5]

Never mind that the Palestinian people demonized themselves by publicly rejoicing at the news of the terrorists’ actions.

Yet another “offensive” action is the growing number of “Affirmative Action Bake Sales” taking place on many college campuses. During these sales, white males are charged more than white females, and blacks and other minorities benefit from even lower prices. These sales are being staged as a demonstration (and an effective one, I might add) of how affirmative action policies are blatantly unfair. Schools like Southern Methodist University, Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and the University of Washington-Seattle, among others, have hosted these bake sales. Almost universally, they are quickly shut down by college administrators. Damon Sims of Indiana University has the right idea.

“It is a freedom-of-speech issue. I know some schools have approached these events differently, but prior restraint is not something we would normally engage in,” said Damon Sims, associate dean of students. “This is one of the more significant social and political issues of our time. . . . It is exactly the kind of dialogue that should be encouraged on college campuses.” [6]

Diversity Uber Alles

A survey of political diversity at Ithaca College in New York found that of 125 professors who registered to vote at the college 93.6 percent did so as Democrats or Greens, reports the Ithacan.

According to the study, sponsored by student Republicans and the local Republican Party, only eight of the 125 professors on campus who registered with a political affiliation in the county describe themselves as Republican or Conservative.

Asma Barlas, an associate professor of politics, says she is a firm believer in diversity, but not the sort of diversity the Republicans have in mind.

“I do believe Ithaca College can do a better job of diversifying its faculty, most of whom are white males,” she said. “Not having a Republican on our faculty is not the only yardstick by which we can measure diversity.” [7]

No, Ms. Barlas, but it certainly is not the yardstick you care to use. But Ithaca College is not alone in its leftist leanings, so it is unsurprising that college campuses across the United States tend to be heavily liberal and Democrat.

Next time you get ready to write the check for your child’s college tuition, ask yourself if the money is going to a school that teaches your beliefs, or is stuck in the liberal rut of political correctness.