Respect is something I strive for in other people’s belief systems: if they’re different than my own or even within my own faith. I try to respect those of different faiths, as well as those who seem to have no faith, whether they be atheist or agnostic (it seems a growing number of people are).
Lately I’ve been bombarded by postings where people seem to degrade those who have faith in a religion or belief system. The underlying tone is people of faith are stupid (paraphrasing the inference). I have trouble with this. To me stupidity comes in degrading someone else’s beliefs, not from a person who believes something you don’t.
I understand there is a tremendous movement going on in backlash to the religious [often Christian] right (at least in the images being thrown at me). Maybe you find these belief systems oppressive to women, the poor, the lower classes. Maybe you think mankind has been fooled into belief systems through man-made power structures or in some way taking advantage of a human need to believe or belong to something. Maybe you believe in nothing but science.
Denigrating others however is not the way to live a life.
If you only believe in what can be proven in science (by others, since I doubt you’re doing this yourself), why create such hate material. If you believe the religious right has done you wrong, why attack with such vitriol. Show a positive path to your beliefs and lead by example.
I have many faults – sometimes those may even be beliefs. I try not to proselytize them onto those who do not wish to hear it.
Most of these messages are doing just that. They basically say: you’re an idiot of you believe in something. Believe in nothing like us, and you’ll be free.
You have every right to your speech. It’s all free. Please however consider how much hate you bring forth with you. Often, that’s the other underlying message I’m seeing about religion. In the end, that message becomes nothing but hypocrisy.