Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prejudice or Simple Disagreement?

We seem to have reached a point where we are incapable, as a culture, of differentiating between Prejudice (which is bad) and Differing Opinions (which is fine).

I do not have to agree with all the choices of those around me - how they raise, feed, clothe, or teach their children. The company they work for, their stance on the legalization of drugs, the AHA, gay rights, abortion, or Common Core.

Neither does anyone have to agree with me.

But I am getting worn out on all the outrage associated with topics too numerous to list here. And everyone calls Prejudice! Bigotry! Hatred! Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! Until the ability to live together and have civil discourse about our opinions, beliefs, and/or code is destroyed.

People have the habit of saying that history will sort it out. Maybe. It will certainly decide the "winners" and "losers" of any given argument. (Keep in mind that doesn't mean the winner is necessarily right.)

But the picture is only complete if ALL of the voices are heard.

I detest name calling. Hatred makes me cringe. I hurt when I hear people claim to believe in God and lash out at others in His name. That is prejudice.

But so is calling me a Bigot simply because I'm a Christian. So is deriding my choice to stay home with my children as backward or ignorant. Silencing me simply because you don't agree with me is prejudice. Attempting to discount my opinion because of where I'm from, my gender, my skin color, etc...that is prejudice. 

Don't like me? That's ok.

Don't agree with me? That's ok, too.

It should be fine for me to disagree with you as well.

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