Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Equals/Unequals and Other Human Equations

It seems to me that people from opposite sides of religious, social, political, cultural, etc. issues should be able to disagree about things without being jackasses.

I'm sure that I'm as different from my progressive friends as I am from my conservative ones, from my devotedly religious friends as from my most un-religious ones. I'm sure I probably agree with many of my readers AND disagree with an equal number of my readers on subjects like abortion, gun control, gay marriage, whether Jesus is the son of God or just a fictional character, supporting the poor, affirmative action, euthanasia, stem cell research, etc.

Having different opinions doesn't make me a dick. Nor does it make you a dick.

It's how we treat each about the differences that becomes an issue.

I wish we could realize that just having differing opinions, even about vital, important, crucial, life-changing stuff, doesn't make ANYONE less a person. I'm still proud to have you as a friend no matter how you vote or what church you attend (or don't) -- just as long as you don't become a jerk about it.

I know as many jackass democrats as republicans as independents. I know as many jackass Christians as Wiccans as atheists as agnostics. I know as many jackass straights as gays, and pro-gay as pro-straight. And I've know just as many -- thankfully more -- wonderful human beings who are democrats, republicans, independents, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice, Christian, Wiccan, agnostic, atheist, NRA members, pro-gun control folks, etc.

The trouble is that so few of us can beyond our own worldviews to actually listen to anyone else who believes differently or see them as anything but an opponent.

I think for me it gets down to is what setting my filter is adjusted to. Am I walking around looking for the differences or looking for what we have in common? Am I searching for opponents or for fellow humans?

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