I may be taking a risk posting this, but I need to get it off my chest. When it comes to political and religious aspects, I don’t let it within 5 inches of my laptop but it has to make an appearance at least once. Remember those wise words your parents once said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? And, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated”? I do. Yet, I still see grown adults getting into internet fights on Facebook and Twitter, insulting one another all because they can’t agree on something. Need I remind you that you are arguing with a complete stranger you will probably never meet that is on the other side of world? So why bother?
Let me tell you a little story. Back in 2011, I studied abroad in London and it was one of the best times of my life. I took a Religions course because even though I never grew up with a religion, I was always intrigued by them. I found them interesting because of the different traditions and customs each religion contained. We learned Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. We spent two weeks studying each religion – their way of thinking, their prayers, ancient texts, cultural customs, geography, everything under the sun. We’d then go on a one day field trip and meet up at their place of worship.
This is how I got to explore London on my own so much. Sam didn’t really have classes that allowed him to meet up in different areas of the city, but I had three courses that did. I learned the tube system on my own, followed directions from map quest and would meet my classmates. We attended a Jewish temple, a muslim mosque, a Buddhist temple and many others. We sat in during their worship, sang songs and danced with them, and we followed their rules. For example, in order for us women to enter the muslim mosque, we had to cover our ankles and wrists, and wear a scarf/shawl around our heads. We then got to ask questions to the men and women in charge of the place of worship about their religion.
I loved every minute of it. I got to do things I’ve always wanted to do but probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to if I hadn’t taken the course. Every place I went to, I felt comfortable and welcomed.
It’s pretty obvious to state that some people use their religion for good while others use it for the bad. They either appreciate it or abuse it, and it’s like this for every religion. Even today, I still hear negative comments about muslims when in reality, they are not the bad people, it’s their separate groups that abuse their power. Terrorists and muslims are not the same people. I’m aggravated that I feel the need to even write that in this post.
What has actually been bothering me ever since the news about Caitlyn Jenner are both the non-supporters and the supporters. I support the LGBTQ community 100%. Most of my friends do too. I used to be offended and appalled when I’d hear someone say that they don’t support them at all, but I’ve grown. Not only do I have some friends and family who support the community, but I have many friends and family who don’t, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s their right isn’t it? This is America.
I, however, do not have respect for non-supporters who insult and berate those in the LGBTQ community as if they are anything but human. Same goes to the supporters who treat non-supporters in such a manner. Anybody who uses social media to voice their opinions loud and clear is bad news. Scrolling through my news feed makes me feel like a fish out of water – it’s suffocating and uncomfortable, regardless of whether or not I agree with you. It’s fine to voice your opinion, as long as you’re not condescending and stating that if some of us don’t agree with you then we are inconsiderate idiots.
Just like in religion, there are different groups of people when it comes to social interaction and politics. There are extremists under every category known to man. And I’m not talking about this left wing and right wing nonsense. For example, I don’t think I know one person who enjoys having someone shove their beliefs down their throats. It makes you feel stupid, uneducated, and belittled. As much as I love studying religion, I’ve never been okay with someone telling me how I should think and behave as if that is the only way.
Well, to those supporters of the LGBTQ community who call non-supporters “conservative assholes”, or “Christian freaks that are ignorant and need to be educated”…I’m sorry, but you’re being ignorant too. Just because someone doesn’t support lesbians, gays, transgenders, etc. does not make them bad people. Those who silently and politely state that they don’t believe in it are actually nice and decent people. In this day and age, we are preaching to never judge someone and use stereotypes, but nobody seems to realize that we are doing the exact opposite.
You can’t just change someone’s mind simply because you say it’s right. It’s just like when someone tries to convert you to their religion; it doesn’t happen at the snap of their fingers. Insulting them is not going to make them believe in it any better or faster. Why would you make someone question everything they have ever known to be true simply because you don’t believe in it? What right do you have to take that away from them?
The LGBTQ community certainly has a long way to go when it comes to respect and living their life as they wish. Sure, there is and probably always will be that one asshole who throws things at them, calls them freaks and assaults them. But please, don’t mistake that ONE asshole for the whole group of non-supporters. The people I know who don’t support the community would never do such a thing.
You want respect for your beliefs? So does everyone else. But using insults to get your point across doesn’t make you or the very thing you support look good or welcoming.
So please, all that I ask is for everyone to put down the torches and pitchforks, acknowledge your beliefs and support because they are your own and your right, and move on. There is no need to butt into other peoples business and lives if they choose not to support what you support. Put your love and passion into your belief, hug it, and be active with it. If you enlighten others with that passion, wonderful! If you don’t, that’s okay.
Please, let’s just treat everyone like equals and the human beings that we are.
And finally, please do not diminish religion entirely because some people in this world give it a bad name. Religion is what makes this planet so special. It helps people, and allows others to bond. Why can’t everyone co-exist?
Just remember, even though I support the LGBTQ community, and your FB or Twitter post screams it from the mountain tops, but with a coating of insults to those who don’t support it, and vice versa, you are insulting me as well. Those are my loved ones too.
If I’ve made you angry, here is a picture of a seal pug:
Hopefully you will still want to be my friend!
Side note: Any insulting comments on my blog will immediately be tossed in the virtual trash. This isn’t Facebook.