Apologies if you came here today looking for funny; I promise to entertain you next time.
I read a quote earlier this summer that really stuck with me: Be tolerant of those who are intolerant, for they are confused.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, especially with all the news out of the states surrounding the RNC and DNC. At times, it seems like the regular news has been punk’d by the writers of The Onion; I can’t believe some of the foolishness that comes out of these politicians (and certain news networks that shall not be named).
It’s really easy for me to get into a condescending and hateful place, especially when the vitriol reaches beyond the ridiculous and goes into cruel. In the past, I have found myself guilty of being as harsh towards them as they are to others, something I try to curtail on a daily basis.
We all know the fundamentalists on both sides of the debate — and it isn’t pretty for anyone. Screaming at me about how there is a god is just as ineffective as screaming at me about how there isn’t one. Protesting outside an abortion clinic and telling people they’re going to hell makes you look just as bad as getting into fistfights defending your right to choose.
This isn’t to say I don’t embrace a healthy, grown-up debate. I will gladly explain why I believe what I do, and listen to you. However, when the conversation wanders from an exchange of ideas to an attack, I will end it then and there. As a relatively left-wing atheist with ideas many think are “out there,” I assure you, I have heard it all before. In the past, it would’ve been very tempting to start slinging mud, but in the end what does that accomplish? Neither party changes anyone’s mind, and everyone ends up dirty.
So no, thank you. I will try to take a different road. In the inspiring words of the late Jack Layton, “love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” I would add my own, not that I would improve on his message, but because this is my space after all: kindness is better than hate, so let us be kind.