Years ago when I still went to the Conservative synagogue in my town I got caught up in talking with one of the more "progressive" guys there, an older man who always seemed to confuse income (he was a dentist) with intelligence. Upon discovering that I was not an egalitarian like all properly "enlightened" folks should be, he began to rant and rave. You see, I was a danger to the synagogue because I was running the junior services on Shabbos morning and someone like me might teach them things that were against Judaism as he understood them (did I mention that he was completely illiterate in Hebrew and openly stated that not having read the Chumash was no reason not to spout opinions about its contents?)
After a little back and forth, he came up with what he thought was his trump line: "I have no tolerance for intolerant fanatics like you!" he shouted in front of the morning crowd.
I didn't know what to say other than "You're intolerant of intolerance?" And, not getting the point he crowd "Yes!" as if a statement like his was actually meaningful.
The most recent post at Dr. J's blog got me thinking back to this anecdote. For those of you who not only like Jacob Stein but people who give him far more attention than he deserves, Dr J started a blog "devoted to the rebuttal and repudiation of the false religion propogated by Jacob Stein in his Jewish Philosopher blog". However, it seems that this isn't enough and now he's started branching out into frummie bashing. Well why not? Many other atheist/skeptic blogs sustain themselves on that poison (while simultaneously claiming that they're the victims of frummie persection) so why get left out?
The whole post is dedicated to his disagreement with the concept of separate seating at weddings. It seems he was invited to what he thought was a Modern Orthodox wedding only to be stunned to discover that there would be separate setting there.
He could have said "Well, I don't go for that so I wished them 'mazel tov' and skipped the event." However, that didn't appear to be the appropriate way to deal with the issue:
I think that this is really obnoxious, dumb, and inconsiderate. There is no halachic requirement for it, either. It is just the latest example of pseudo-frum heredi practices polluting the modern orthodox world. I find it offensive and primitive. It is saying that the men can't control themselves around women, and therefore keep the women out of sight.
Understand? Frum people who hold that separate seating are important are obnoxious, dumb and inconsiderate. Yes, it's their wedding. Yes, they're paying all the bills. Yes, no one is forcing him to attend and they thought they were doing a nice thing by inviting him. But no, that's totally wrong. Actually they're horrible people. How dare they think they can do something at their wedding that he disagrees with? Don't they have any sensibilities?
In other words, he's totally intolerant of their intolerance!
I wonder how Stein would analyze that.