Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Two Thumbs Down
I totally get the admonition to avoid talk about religion or politics - - at work, or at home, or with friends, or with family, or with strangers, or . . . well, I totally get it. Most of the time there are differing opinions. That is good. This is America. We have the right to our opinions. We have the right to express those opinions. We have the right to be passionate about things we believe in.
Where the problem arises is when those expressing the differing, passionate opinions don't listen to the other viewpoint. Listening doesn't mean that you have to change your mind, or that the person offering the opposite viewpoint is going to use some dark magic to persuade you to believe what they believe. Sometimes listening is just the polite thing to do.
Expressing your opinion doesn't mean you have a right to be rude, or to yell, or to be condescending. Expressing your opinion shouldn't be an opportunity to argue, or to create contention. It should be an intelligent flow of opinions, back and forth. It should be respectful. And therein lies a big problem. A majority of people are not respectful when it comes to expressing their viewpoints. Some people believe that they are superior to those with viewpoints other than their own. That in my opinion is arrogance and ignorance.
I don't really like to talk about politics, anyway, even though I am interested in the election this year. I know how I'm going to vote. I know who I want to win. Period.
I am passionate about my religion. And if you ask me about it, I will be more than thrilled to talk about it and answer questions. I will not normally bring it up out of the blue, though. I will, however, stand up for it with passion and will not allow people to disrespect it - - no matter where I am or who it is.
But, yes, I totally get the admonition - - talking about politics or religion? Two thumbs down.