Friday, February 27, 2015
Respecting the Other
As I alluded to in a recent post ("The Root Causes of Terrorism"), learning how to respect the beliefs and practices of others is necessary if we're to live in a world relatively free of violence and civil strife. However, respecting the other shouldn't be confused with political correctness. I've witnessed many mainline Christians feign respect for the beliefs of minority religious groups (e.g., a belief in angels and the efficacy of prayer) and then turn around and make fun of the beliefs of Mormons, evangelicals, and conservative Catholics (e.g., a belief in angels and the efficacy of prayer), evidently believing (incorrectly) that members of minority religious groups are incapable of noting such hypocrisy. Respecting what others believe doesn't mean never disagreeing with what they believe. Rather, it means affirming those beliefs that we share, while at the same time criticizing those with which we disagree with without making fun of those who hold them. In other words, it’s one thing to be critical of beliefs one disagrees with, but it is quite another to make fun of those who holds them.