Lately it seems I’m hearing a lot more complaints from people who feel that their opinions are not respected. “You can disagree with me, but you should respect my opinion!”
Let’s unpack that.
There are opinions, and then there are opinions. Some people prefer to live in the country, others in the city. Some buy only Toyotas, some only Fords. Chocolate or vanilla. Steampunk or blue jeans. These are opinions that one can respect, even if one does not agree.
But then there are opinions or beliefs which, if carried to their logical conclusion, cause a great deal of harm to a great number of people. Respectfully, I don’t have to respect those opinions.
When your opinion is that health insurance should only belong to those who can afford it, that causes harm to lots of people. When your opinion is that “black people just want all white people to die,” (besides being a bald-faced lie,) that causes harm to lots of people. When your opinion is that a border wall is necessary for the security of the U.S., or that Dreamers should be deported, or that we should nuke North Korea, or that gay and transgender persons are evil, that causes harm to lots of people. And when you slap the imprimatur of your religion on those opinions, that multiplies the harm caused to lots of people. And the justification seems to be that you’re only following the rules.
Jesus said to such people, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Elevating one’s understanding of the rules above the actual people who are affected by them is allowing people to be harmed just to prove a moral point.
I will be bold enough to say that allowing people to be harmed just to prove a moral point is pretty much the definition of evil.
There is one more point: People who hold such opinions generally believe they belong to the most exclusive club on earth – those who are going to heaven when they die. Belief in X allows them to go to heaven, and not believing in X sends you to hell. For such people to complain that their opinions aren’t being respected is the height of irony.
Yes, I’m on a rant today!