The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Passion Twists Us

I had an unfortunate encounter with a "true believer" the other day. The event, the day, the time, none of that is important. The person's identity and gender, equally unimportant. What was important is that this individual had very strong views on abortion and was sharing them publicly in a venue not appropriate for such sharing. This person is stridently against legal abortion.

Sadly, this individual also is strongly against any human being who does not share the very narrow interpretation this person had adopted as his/her own. In a very few minutes, this true believer had managed to insult many friends of mine, family members, and all the Protestant denominations in a wide ranging series of gross generalizations extending far afield from the original topic. I did my best to remain civil while trying to suggest that not all of the information and assumptions about others presented were correct or helpful. However, when taken by surprise, it is difficult to be as clear-headed as one would like to be.

I have reached an age where I can no longer sit silently for the sake of polite society when one stomps so carelessly on others while following a certain point of view and position in society, especially a hot button issue like this. It is going to take some time to find just the right note or to determine when the best response might simply be to question the appropriateness of the discussion at that particular moment in that venue. The thing I found saddest in the situation is that this individual who so strongly supported life prior to an age of reason, seemed to have no support whatsoever for people who disagreed on this one topic once they could think for themselves.

I suggest moving forward, even when passionate for our position on some topics, that we work hard to respect the views and life experiences of others, listen to them, and see where we might agree, where we might actually be able to work together from those positions of agreement, so that we can strengthen society as a whole, understand each other more clearly, and leave behind the gross generalizations that so often lead to violence and injustice when left unchecked.

Wishing you all peace in troubled times.

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