I grow weary of continual “he said, she said” rhetoric. It’s a major part of why I’ve more or less tuned out politics, why I’ve even, to some extent, tuned out of religious and philosophical discussion recently. This is more of the same.
It’s interesting to me that the religious say this nation was founded on Christian principles and that secularists say it was founded on secularism. In truth, this nation was founded, in part, on religious freedom, granting each citizen the right to worship as they see fit. So it’s increasingly ironic that Christians and secularists alike continue to try to force their way of thinking on others via politics and strong-arm techniques rather than through the power of persuasion and one-on-one discourse. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, I don’t believe there is any room for anger, hatred, bitterness, and strife in the mutual pursuit of truth. And let’s face it – aren’t both sides looking for truth? Naturally, different people are going to arrive at different conclusions. People are going to disagree, sometimes even violently so. That, unfortunately, is the nature of humanity. It doesn’t make it right, of course.
I guess what bugs me the most when I hear this kind of dialogue being spouted in a public forum is the fact that so much of it is laced with anger and bitterness. I can understand, to an extent; frankly, I find my hackles going up everytime I hear someone harshly criticizing my own beliefs. It’s a natural reaction; no one likes to be told they’re stupid and foolish for believing a certain way. No one likes to be made fun of. But just because those emotional reactions rise up does _not_ mean that we should allow them to rule us and govern our reactions. Just because I’m angry and hurt at what someone said about me, whether directly or indirectly, does not give me the right to respond with anger of my own. Don’t you see? That just makes the problem worse.
“A soft answer turns away wrath…” Words to live by, folks. Do you hear me?