How do you stay true to yourself and be understanding of others?

The last few days I have watched several documentaries pertaining to political, religious and social issues in the United States. Each one of the documentaries was produced from a conservative narrative, of which I associate with more often than not. I stay true to myself and my beliefs on a consistent basis, all the while trying to be respectful and understanding of others and their beliefs. At the end of the day, who is to say one of the two sides of an argument is right or wrong?

Conservatives vs liberals, Christians vs Muslims vs atheists, or heterosexuals vs homosexuals, how can discern who is right and who is wrong? One side of the story wants the other to follow their truth and feel ashamed of their perceived wrongs. Is either side justifiably right? I have my truths, my beliefs, my values, my morals and my way of life I want to live by. I am believer of Christ, conservative thinking in nature and married to a beautiful woman. The world’s perception is that people like me are bigots and trying to proselytize people to conform to my ways. Granted, if I am to lead people to Christ I am willing going to do so. However, I will never force people to conform to my ways. Nor will I conform to other people’s ways I do not believe in.

The problem I see anybody facing today is how to be true to oneself and be respectful of others. In my honest opinion, one side of the argument does not adhere to that idea of tolerance. How can one person be true to themselves and still be respectful of others? One of the prime examples is the idea of marriage. I believe marriage is ultimately the God given right and blessing of the unification of one man and one woman. That is my belief, of which according to the American way of life I am entitled to. LGBT groups might call me a bigot and not agree with me. I most certainly do not agree with their definition of marriage though either. This doesn’t mean I am going to force them to conform to my ways. If they want to be partnered together and be married on their own terms, so be it. I do not care, but do not expect me to supporting of such action; similar to them not supporting my action of “one man, one woman only.” We are both entitled to our own opinions.

My biggest cause for concern is how one side or the other is being forced to conform to the other sides ways. For example, the Christian businesses that partake in marriage events choosing not participate in same sex weddings. According to man’s law, this is discrimination on a sexual basis. However, I could argue the opposite could also be discrimination by forcing one side to conform to the other’s beliefs or opinions on a religious basis. Each side of the argument is trying to stay true to themselves. What is wrong with that? Where is the common ground on being respectful to others, but not giving up your core values?

The same could be said for government employees not being able to endorse their belief in religion. I do not mean this by endorsing their religion by trying to proselytize others at the same time. Example, the high school coach who was fired because he knelt and prayed at the 50 yard line before every game by himself. He was staying true to himself only. He never said, “look here kids and fans, lets all take a knee and pray before the game.”  Why should he conform to the ways in which he does not agree with? One might argue because he is a public servant. Does that mean he is not his own person with his own beliefs?

My narrative is probably conservative based, because I cannot serve up examples and thoughts from the liberal views. Regardless, neither side should be forced to conform to anything in which they do not believe. If a wedding cake business refuses to accommodate LGBT wedding than so be it. Go look elsewhere and quit crying about it. If that business suffers due to that without any government interference or complete hatred towards them, then that is their own consequences of their own actions. To attack them and try to make them conform to your ways though is the same type of “discrimination” in which the original complaint was based.

Discrimination sucks do not get me wrong. However, who has the final call on what discrimination actually is? We have the government’s definition of discrimination and the laws pertaining to discrimination. Just because someone does not agree with your point of view does not mean that person is discriminatory. I would not attend or support a same sex wedding or a Muslim ceremony because I do not believe in either. Does this mean I am discriminatory towards each? No! I would expect the same from them if the tables were turned. I will not intently make anyone feel inferior or purposefully destroy who they are (that would be discrimination), but in the same manner I would never give in and give up who I truly am and what I am about.

My basis for these thoughts is not to support one side or the other, nor to provide insight into only the conservative narrative (i do not have my own supporting views from the liberal side obviously). My basis to find a way to be respectful of others while staying true to oneself. What is the bottom line? Taking from the example above: I say same sex is wrong, but LGBT say it is right. Who is right and who is wrong? Both? Neither? I believe both are right and wrong and neither are right nor wrong. Crazy train of thought, but it all comes down to the individual. What each person believes is both right and wrong to them and to them only. Another person cannot justifiably say another person is wrong/right if that is what the other person truly believes.

P.S.> I do not think there is a right answer to the questions at hand. Each person has his/her own beliefs and no one should ever have the power to tell them they are right nor wrong because that is what they believe in. For anyone commenting please keep in mind I do not wish to create a one sided argument in favor of one side or the other, nor am I chastising the side opposite of mine. Re-read the previous paragraph if you have. Also, lets not get crazy here and come up with examples such as one person believes it is perfectly fine to kill people for sport. Although that does fit into my narrative, the idea is to keep it simple in which no physical harm actually occurs. I am not sure there is a true justification for psychological harm in some of these events. One person might claim psychological harm for being fired from a job while another will just accept being fired and moved on. Physical harm, gunshot for example, is going to be similar no matter who it happens to.

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