Tag Archives: beliefs

[In]tolerance, which shoe do you wear?

When you put the shoe on the other foot The circumstances have reversed, the participants have changed places, as in “I was one of his research assistants, subject to his orders, but now that I’m his department head, the shoe is on the other foot.” This metaphoric term first appeared in the mid-1800s as the boot is on the other leg.

Do you ever have friends who you thought you knew well, only to find they completely cry foul at the core of your beliefs? How can you look them in the face knowing they have such darkness in their hearts? It isn’t easy.

I was once at a party with friends. And I don’t mean JUST friends, I mean soul-mates. We were bantering about, laughing, enjoying each others company. Then all the sudden, one person makes a racist statement that shocks you down to your toes. Then others join in. And it wasn’t something that just affected a 3rd party. It affected me directly being a minority. But they’re friends right? You give them the benefit of the doubt. So you let it slide off your back. You give them grace. But then they push more. They keep talking about it. And as someone who stands up for himself, I finally burst and said something. Well, they didn’t care for what I said because of their equally deep felt beliefs. It took me a couple months before I could love that person again. I don’t think I ever swayed their intolerant thinking. And it makes me sad.

I had a similar thing the other day. A good friend of mine posted something and I saw a comment directly below. Sometimes, curiosity gets the best of you and you take a tangent you should have never taken. I click on this person and I see vile statements against my own beliefs. I know life histories of several friends who have had poor experiences in childhood with their religious upbringing. Unfortunately, this came out very blatantly with this person. And then a couple of other friends “liked” and made statements to the same. I should have never traveled down that path. In fact, I’m trying to forget I ever saw what I saw. I won’t be able to look into their eyes the same again.

I do understand that we live in a mix of religious and secular society. And I strongly believe that anti-religion is a religion unto itself. Its much akin to many other isms (racism, sexism, capitalism, communism, vegetarianism). Many evangelize their disbelief in God or a higher power. They are so blatant in their memes and cartoons. They are SO blinded by their hatred. Yet I see the same people standing up strongly for their -ISM of choice. They protest and post things in support of this or that -ISM. They are strongly affected by the slightest micro-aggression against the little guy. Yet its quite alright to openly bash my beliefs. I am very amazed by their heartless attitudes. But I’m even more amazed by their hypocrisy.

saint – (sānt)noun
Def. – a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in heaven after death. A pervasive concept in Catholicism and other beliefs.
So many of my non-religious friends push away religion, but still adopt religious traditions. I would think if you were so against something, that you would refrain from celebrating something religious with us. St. Valentine, St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, even Mardi Gras…these all have religious connotations. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, even our calendar reflects religious views.
The terms anno Domini  (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin, which means in the year of the Lord.
Yet, in my social circles, this anti-religious fervor focuses primarily on Western Culture. Anything Western, whether politics, religion, or other stalwarts of society, are frowned upon. But anything different from us is accepted. Counter-cultural beliefs, often embraced in the halls of academia and founded during the civil rights era and Vietnam War protests, are what is pervasive in my social media feeds. Its like playing “opposite day” when we were kids. Its cool to be rebellious like that. The same anti-Judeo-Christian friends readily post quotes from Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. I appreciate their naivete in accepting the good in those beliefs. But what they don’t know is if they really studied and followed those beliefs, they may find them even more restrictive to Western Culture than what they hate about Judeo-Christian beliefs. And as whacky as they think Christians are, they readily accept what Taro cards, astrology, and the Universe tells them. They are as superstitious and ephemeral in their beliefs as I am. Yet they easily condemn me for what I believe.
Tolerance is a difficult concept to grasp. Does being tolerant only mean “for those who believe the same way as I do?” That isn’t tolerance.
If someone asks, I may share what I believe. If someone goes against my beliefs, I may tell them why I don’t believe that way. And I am definitely going to celebrate my traditions. You can’t take my Christ-mas from me nor its true meaning. I will give thanks during Thanksgiving. I will celebrate the New Year as 2017 A.D., the year of our Lord. My country is founded on “In God We Trust.” And if you are so intolerant that you want to rain on my parade, I suppose its your right to do so. We are all hypocrites in some way. Its because I believe we all have flaws. Nobody is perfect. But I would hope when you are bashing someone, that you would walk in their shoes and see clearly what you are doing.

The Great Rebellion

james dean

In my teenage years, I started to question what my parents knew. I was learning new things that I didn’t think they knew. I saw them as old and out of touch. We all do it at some point in our lives. We seek our independence and are tired of being told what to do. Even further, we try to take a different path away from our parents. We play “opposite day” with them to the nth degree.

If you look at society, this happens on a broader scale. Its the pendulum effect. During the Vietnam War in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, a counter-culture arose due to young men being drafted into a battle many didn’t want to fight. And then we saw men come home in flag draped caskets and fought against what was going on. Rock & Roll was taking off and that culture gobbed onto anti-war rhetoric. Eventually, these young rebels became professors and professionals in society. They began to teach our children, and those children teach our children today.

The days of Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best are long gone. Instead of embracing what is good and wholesome, we seek to deviate. Instead of embracing the beliefs of our parents, we seek unbelief or even other traditions that are not our own. Some decry our military and go even as far as to fight against our own country. We completely lose perspective. We see our police as the enemy, when they are the first people you want to see in a crisis of your own. It is so hypocritical. We become a lost society when we lose our values and core beliefs. Instead, we grasp helplessly at mysticism or superstition.

The rebel child in me eventually grew up. I went straight into the Army out of high school. I paid my own way through college and eventually graduate school. Me, a minority of minorities, and not exceptionally bright. But I worked hard to make my own way. I stood on my own two feet. I am proud of that. Eventually, I saw my parents as the wisest people I know. I still think that way. Their eyes have seen so much in life. I have been a leader in society and in my church. I have a mortgage to pay for and family to care for. I am concerned for the safety of my home and country. If someone came to my door, I would give them food. But I wouldn’t want them to live with me. I’m not going to let them camp in my front yard. I would rather they find gainful employment and become self-sufficient. We can’t have a society of people who are dependent. We can’t be a society looking for freebies, handouts, and the easiest way out. We should have a lot more pride in ourselves to allow that. We should stand our ground and not play the rebel. That is for the young and weak-minded.

All paths lead back to core beliefs and values. Rebels can’t win.