Thursday Thoughts – Reverence

Today rounds out the 12 points of the scout law I have been using to fill the first 12 weeks of this new meme. The twelfth point of the Scout Law reads “A scout is reverent.”

Rarely do I discuss religion on this blog, and never do I evangelize. I don’t plan to change that today. Rather than look upon reverence from the perspective of the scouts, I’m going to take a different tack.

One thing that has bothered me for a long time is how people talk to, and about others, and this is particularly sore when it involves the beliefs of other people. If the religious right slams a certain group for their beliefs or behavior, this group is well within their right to be upset. The troublesome aspect comes when this group demands respect and the right to their own beliefs while at the same time denigrating and abusing the beliefs of the religious. That smells of hypocrisy.

People hold various beliefs for any number of reasons. Which beliefs are better? That depends upon who answers the question. I’d really like to see both sides of say, the gay marriage issue, debate the subject without hurling venom at the other side. This issue in particular seems to generate considerable hate.

I mean, one side of this debate claims to be enlightened while calling the other side Troglodytes. The other side claims to follow a man whose command is love thy neighbor while slamming their opponents to the status of second or third class persons. In reality, neither side typically handles the issue with grace.

I understand that many issues, including gay marriage, are deeply personal to a lot of people. A person’s faith is also deeply personal. One side often says the other is going to Hell for who they are. The other side often says only weak-minded people need a God. I don’t think either is true. A bit more tolerance in both directions would benefit everyone.

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