Dear Senator Boxer:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steven, I am a resident of [you know where], and I currently hold the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America program. In order to complete the 'Citizenship in the Nation' merit badge, I must identify my state's senators and mail one of them a letter; I chose you. However, this letter is not merely the outcome of some obligation to ascend the ranks of Scouting: it addresses the misconception of tolerance.

It is frightening to realize what tolerance has come to mean. To the modern American, tolerance is shutting oneself up and making sure not to tread on anyone's toes by professing what one believes. Supreme Court rulings have not helped disprove this interpretation, and, as far as the contemporary American is concerned, all is well as long as long as no one makes waves. I give you the dictionary definition of 'tolerance':

"The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others."

One cannot stress too emphatically America's misconception of tolerance. True tolerance is listening to one's opinion - which exercises tolerance on the part of the listener - and being free to disagree and provide one's own opinion in due time - this exercising tolerance on the speaker's part. Though many would rather not think of it this way, tolerance, the capacity for and the practice of recognizing and respecting one another's practices and beliefs, is a mutual act. Knowledge is gained by the acceptance of new ideas, not through propaganda or selective information. Because of this new definition of tolerance, those in positions of power in America in - order to appease the majority's whims - are stripping Americans of their rights. In the name of tolerance, tolerance has been outlawed, and intolerance has emerged in its stead.

As a representative of California, a person of authority, you can foster change in America, and for that reason I appeal to you to see America's current definition of tolerance for what it really is: a means for the majority to rid their country of those whose ideas they despise. Understand that the very reasons for America's foundation are being hacked away in the name of tolerance. I ask you to help because you can.

I thank you for exercising tolerance in reading this letter; I hope to exercise it in return when I receive your response.

Awaiting your response,