Toleration–allowing freedom of expression–has no logical limits. In religion it includes ritual, which is action as well as words. But does it include burning the country’s flag? Law in the United States says yes. What of behavior onstage that many consider obscene? Or sacrificing animals for a ritual purpose? Facing such questions, reason shrinks back and is mute. Nor is this all. The facts compel us to make a distinction between Toleration, a public policy useful to the secular nation, and tolerance, the very rare individual state of mind that “lives and lets live.” When found it is decried as “lukewarm,” “latitudinarian,” “Laodicean,” “lacking in principle.” Words beginning with l seem indicated for the charge; the human intellect is imperialist. In spite of the occasional, perfunctory “I may be wrong,” all assertors defend their position like wolverines their cubs. And they can defend the defense by saying that all social progress depends on the aggressive promotion of right ideas, theirs.
Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, 273.
It is also interesting to read Barzun’s treatment of Oliver Cromwell, which is far more charitable than that of, say, Winston Churchill.