Difference Is Not Dissent

Just because someone’s point of view is different from your own, challenges your own, doesn’t mean they are fighting against you.

This is the hardest lesson to get through the minds of fundamentalists, who believe, for example, that if you hold views that don’t properly acknowledge the sole divinity of Christ you are anti-Christian or if you hold views that don’t properly acknowlege that transsexuality is a birth defect with a cure that you are anti-Transsexual.

Now, they know that they don’t want to have to properly acknowledge your beliefs, as that would be anethema to them.   But that doesn’t mean they don’t want you to properly acknowledge their beliefs, as their beliefs are true and perfect.  In other words, they violate the golden rule: Do not do unto others what would be hateful to you.

In a pluralistic society, the best we can ask is that people respect our beliefs and choices for ourselves, just as we respect their beliefs and choices for themselves.   If we don’t have to properly acknowledge their beliefs, they don’t have to properly acknowledge ours.

But for people who are too invested, every challenge can seem like a slap, and all too often that means they feel they have the right to pound back in ways they would find hateful if done to them.

Ah, The Golden Rule

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