Tom Bridgeland linked to a two-year old post of his own in the comment section under "Hierarchy of Thinking." Recommended. It connects somewhat with my thoughts about tolerance, which I had been mulling over on my walks already.
Sometimes defining things more exactly is important. If we don't think that gay marriage is wrong, then it is inaccurate to say that we are tolerant of gay marriage. We tolerate something when we don't agree with it, don't like it, or don't prefer, but put up with it anyway for some larger reason. We might just not want the hassle of disagreeing; we might believe that letting people do what they want is more important than interfering, or having the government interfere; we might wish to keep peace in the family, or the church, or the workplace, or the town; we might be trading off our opposition for something that people might oppose in us. Other reasons will certainly occur to us if we think about it. That is tolerance. It is clearer when we use the form "tolerate," which sounds at least a touch strained or put out, than in the modern uber-virtue of "tolerance."
You are not a Tolerant Person if you don't actually disapprove of anything, or find anything wrong. I don't mean that you can't be a Nice Person, merely that you will not have any opportunity to exercise tolerance.
Such people do not exist, of course. When we think something is really wrong, like preying on children, voting for Donald Trump, driving drunk, or having drums in worship, we treat it differently. We might choose to tolerate it, we might not. We might tolerate it in some circumstances but not others.
Conservatives make a big deal out of the idea that liberals - the tolerant people - are not very tolerant of opinions contrary to their own, which they consider intolerant. I would like to bypass that whole "I can tolerate anything except intolerance" discussion at present. You can find it in many places, and others make arguments on either side far better than I can. Or better than I'm going to bother to do, anyway.
Let's look at some day-to-day examples of who tolerates what, outside of the political and social questions. Loud music was mentioned. Every year some house within a quarter mile has a large party, with loud live music not to my taste until late at night. One year it happened 4 times in a summer. Also, there will be a few daytime parties or work parties a house or two away every summer with Rock 101 playing. Three houses up the street, there are dead cars in the yard, and a house gone into disrepair around the corner. There have been other examples of this at other times over our 30 years here. We tolerate this for a variety of reasons, but largely because it seldom lasts. Kids grow up, people move out. Life is too short.
Are people in cities tolerant of this? They can't easily afford to be. Life close together requires not only more rules, but more enforcement. Road offenses, such as driving too fast, jay-walking, parking out into the street a little too much, stopping and talking, kids playing games in the street. We think these things are wrong, but we have a lot more flexibility to handle then slowly or quietly. We tolerate them. I can multiply examples of things that happen at the school, over at the Little League field, at the village stores. People who don't know each other smile and talk in passing. They can afford to meet each other's eyes.
That may not be any moral greatness. We are less-inconvenienced and less-endangered by such things out here, so we aren't overlooking so much. Yet it deserves mention that people in cities are, by necessity or not, much more intolerant about such things. I am tolerant of their intolerance, because it doesn't affect me much. But I am not so tolerant of their claim that they are somehow the tolerant ones. In everyday experience the opposite is true.
I am also suspicious of this "openness to new experiences." There is something to this. The Big Five personality tests do pick this up, though it is defined a bit oddly. People from cities do travel to other countries more. However, this "travel" deserves a closer look. As Tom points out about flying between concrete canyons in the US, so also does this happen in travel abroad. They travel to cities, and to places that tourists go. Junior year abroad is not in a peasant village. Let's look at other groups that travel in more specific ways. People in the military. Missionaries and short-term help groups. Peace Corps volunteers. They see a great deal more of other people and cultures as they really are. Even international business, though that also involves cities and wealthy people, often involves seeing a side of a country that tourists don't.
Working at a hospital in NH, I have long encountered people from big northeastern cities who come here with a bit of disdain. Yes, we have these lovely mountains and vacation spots, but our cities just aren't as exciting. We're rather provincial. A Jewish friend from New York translated this for me thirty years ago: "They mean restaurants." It is true that they also mean people dressed up in exciting ways, and overheard music, and the opportunity to go to concerts and sporting events that are right there. The quick connections to everywhere in the world is romantically also in their imaginations. Yet his synecdoche was correct. They are not really open to all these diverse experiences. they don't like it when those experiences move into their neighborhoods. They like it when they can taste them and get out fast. They like seeing the swirl of evening gowns and food trucks and elaborate hats and hair, or expensive sneakers on poor people, or colorful costumes. They like the Disney-plus experience.
They are "tolerant" of other religions because they don't think they are wrong - not much more wrong than Christianity, anyway. They are not tolerant of other social views because they think those are wrong. They think tobacco, and sugar, and fats are wrong, and so are increasingly intolerant of them. They avoid old hymns, old technology, old literature, old foods - yes they are open to new experiences, but only new experiences. They are not open to old experiences.