Monday, June 18, 2007

Why Respect A Belief?

You know, I can see why we need to respect people. I do - and I expect them to respect me.

Respect is not like or love and I think it is what is meant when we say we ought to 'love each other'.

To me this means do no harm at the least and be positive in our regard of others and helpful where we can. Treat another well. Simple.

However, I do not, and will not be told to, respect people's ideas and beliefs. How can I? if I think a belief is stupid, silly or wicked, how can I lie and say I respect it?

On the other hand, how dare you demand that your ideas or beliefs be respected? Who are you to demand such a thing?

If you believe the Pope is infallible and a true mouthpiece of God, let that be your privilege to believe anything you want. You do not have the right to demand that I or anyone else join you in this belief. If we choose to ridicule this belief, we have that privilege.

Today it seems that people are willing to kill those who mock their beliefs or refuse to bow to them. It is these people who are committing the evil not those who reject the beliefs.

I think that eating only fish on a Friday, not eating pork or shellfish, dressing in certain clothing, not wearing certain clothing, not working on specific days, not eating during specific periods and many other such beliefs are stupid, ridiculous and silly beyond belief.

None of these things make you a better person and none of them make you any closer to God.

However, I respect your right to believe these things and to follow them. I do not respect the belief, obviously, and you do not have the right to force me or others to follow them.

World gone mad: now one way which beliefs are forced upon others. I enquired as to how (in London) the council run swimming pool was legally allowed to hold women only sessions when they did not hold men only sessions. the answer I was given fudged the legal issue. One reason though was this: that women of a certain religion were not allowed to swim with men so they needed these sessions!

This is an example of people forcing their beliefs upon others. If you want to believe something so daft, that is up to you, but do not force your ridiculousness upon others. How dare you dictate how others can live or behave just to suit your idea?

(The other reasons had nothing to do with religion but with 'women's sensitivities', not feeling comfortable around men!!! So these women only sessions are offensive to men, and offensive to women in that they demonstrated a belief that women are indeed emotionally weak and need protection because they are not adult enough on their own. Not to mention the offense caused to men by the acceptable, it seems, assumption that all men are a danger to women. Needless to say they do not have men only sessions for those of us men who feel vulnerable and uncomfortable around women nor for those men whose religious beliefs preclude being with women in such a circumstance. Interestingly, there are no 'children and guardian' only sessions, yet children are the group most needing protection!)

We are letting religious nutters destroy us. We have got into the stupendously stupid position of having to respect by law utter idiocy!!!!

Believe what will but do not force our schools to accept it, our workforce, our government. Keep your beliefs out of our daily lives. Keep them to yourself, live by then if you must, but do not take away the liberty of others to think for themselves and live as they choose and to decide for themselves.

If you want to believe unprovable ideas, fine. If you want to exercise your right to be stupid, fine.

Yet when you start to want your ideas forced upon others, it becomes evil.

And we must fight evil not bury our heads in the sand.

And once again, if we truly care for our children, we will protect them from this evil and not force our ideas upon them nor allow anyone else to. We must teach them how to think not what to think.


TracyKM said...

Wow, Colin, we are talking about this sort of thing in a Yahoo parenting group right now. About how if someone's religion was so fabulous, then why are you knocking on my door at 8AM begging me to follow you and be saved!
I like what you have to say about protecting the children here, and in an earlier post about feeding them "God created everything" and then 'taking it back' so they can learn about science.
I'm surprised your pool doesn't have family swim time. Ours is called "Buddy and Me" to be all-inclusive, LOL.
And yes, I am the short one with short hair ("Had a baby, must have short hair" hair do), holding the scowling 9 month old!
Still haven't heard back if your photo is Madoc or Marmora (I always got them mixed up as a kid too). Many small, isolated towns in Ontario have an authentic Chinese restaurant. I think it goes back to the building of the railways, once that was done, there wasn't much else for the foreigners to do to earn a living.
What are you knitting this week?

Yarnhog said...

Amen. When someone starts telling me that he or she is "doing god's will" or "doing what god says," I always wonder how this is any different from a schizophrenic acting on what "the voices" say. I do truly respect everyone's right to believe whatever the heck he or she wants. I draw the line at being asked to act based on someone else's beliefs.