Talk with people who disagree

04 Jan

I’m at an independent (Christian run) coffee shop listening to someone talk about how religion is horse-**** (she’s said this extremely lady-like term at least 15 20 times in the last few minutes to describe people who disagree with her) and what idiots people are for wanting prayer in school or Christmas to be called “Christmas.”

Clearly she’s not thinking objectively and is speaking out of real anger and disrespect, likely in reaction to something negative she experienced. It also seems that she’s getting her impression of Christians from news stories who portray religious people as dolts, as I don’t know people like those she describes.

Her friend is listening and agreeing with everything, about how right they are, how ignorant everyone is who disagrees, etc.

As ignorant and inappropriate as the discussion sounds, it reminds me of a few recent gatherings of people equally like-minded loudly agreeing on political and religious issues, declaring anyone who disagrees to be an idiot. The attitude is identical.

We should be talking to people who disagree with us, not just those who will pat us on the back. We should have enough respect for people who differ from us to not refer to them as “full of horse-****” or use more church-friendly terminology to insult them as people. None of us are the standard for truth, and all of us can have our opinions refined and corrected if we’re willing to listen.

But we don’t listen. We’re more concerned with saying that we’re right rather than becoming more right by realizing we always have room for growth; we always have room for our views to be refined or changed altogether.

We’re equally as guilty and judgmental and derogatory to others – not loving our neighbors as ourselves – as the potty-mouthed woman in the coffee shop. We’re just slightly censored potty-mouthed people in churches.