Before I begin, let me say that I am guilty. Yes, I've been over-emotional and hot-headed about a topic or two in the past. I've debated with intensity and harsh words. I admit it! Now, on to what I wanted to talk about: protesting others.
I just read an article about a group of atheists who are believe their civil rights were violated because their graduation ceremony contained prayer. As someone who does not believe in the conformed religious myself, but rather a spirituality of things, I don't always want to hear prayer either. I have friends who are extremely religious. When we have dinner, one NEVER prays out loud, but simply bows his head and says what he needs to before eating. Others insist that I hold hands and bow my head along with them. I'm not sure how productive that is, as I am always irritated and thinking not-so-pleasant thoughts the entire time. I appreciate the fact that my friend who prays silently values MY beliefs as well. I respect his prayer and wait for him to eat, but sit there quietly. Couldn't the same have been done at the graduation? I know they didn't want the prayer, but for all the others that did, it made them happy. It didn't hurt anyone. Listening to something you do not believe for approximately one minute is not the end of the world.
I believe in human rights and human equality. With that comes the belief as well that if it is not physically or emotionally damaging to one party or the other, why does it need to be argued so hatefully? For example, gay marriage: This is about two people loving each other and wanting to make a solid commitment. These people are required to pay the same taxes, which pay for roads and schools; pay into the same social security, abide by the same laws while driving, etc. Yet, they are denied the same rights as two others who happen to be different sexes. That is damaging.
Now, the Westboro Baptist Church is another story. They protest funerals for crying out loud. They believe that God hates "fags" (as they call them) and "fag-enablers" and therefore has punished the world. Acts of Mother Nature, such as tornadoes, are claimed to be God killing for peoples' sins of gay-support, among other things. I simply see them as acts of Mother Nature. I have no desire to stand outside of their church and protest. I simply choose to believe differently and act differently. If they want to hate gays, fine. But, their actions are emotionally damaging. That is what I have trouble with.
Many people think that because I argue for human rights and human equality, as well as asking others to not "shove religion down my throat", it is because I myself am intolerant. That is actually far from it. I have NO problem with how you THINK or FEEL about a particular subject. I do have a problem with actions of such being forced upon others. There is a definite difference. If I posted as much anti-Jesus sediment on Facebook as others do in the positive "God will save you" way, I'd have all sorts of people pissed off at me. So, I tolerate and scroll through. And if it is excessive, I simply hide their posts from my view. I want to be respectful of what they believe, but I will never respect discriminatory actions. And that is what happens when we mix religion and politics. They should NOT be mixed -ever.
Ok, maybe this is rambling and a bit all over the place. Every time I try to make more sense, I seem to have another hundred things pop into my head to talk about in support, but now, too many...must...stop...focus....uuuuugggggghhhhhh. lol
All I want is this: THINK what you want, FEEL how you want, but try to be mindful of what you DO.