A week ago, I was down in Blenheim, staying at a friends house. While the family was out, a nice looking couple knocked on the door. After some confusion, it became apparent that they were representing their religion, and were there to discuss their morals and theories.
I am a very tolerant person, I welcome most opinions and don’t subscribe to the ‘get these religious nutters off my door step’ philosophy. While I am not in any way religious, I like a lot of the things religion teaches and I was thoroughly absorbed in their conversation about white collar crime.
When they offered me their magazine, I politely declined, and explained that I think they were doing a good job, and I agreed with what they said, but I had my own way of coming to similar conclusions.
The man then proceeded to start discussing his religion’s place in society… I thought he was trying to tell me how modern it is and how it may well have a place in my life. So when he said “in Wellington today, a group of Gay people are meeting with MPs” I initially assumed he was explaining how cool it is that a group that is traditionally somewhat persecuted, is now an openly accepted part of society.
It quickly became apparent that this was not the case, when he followed on with a statement about ‘moral decay’ in society.
My blood literally boiled.
On the spot, I was a dead failure. I made some weak remark about a person I know who is in fact gay, and how I was one of the people who fully supported this ‘moral decay’. And started in shock at these awful people who turned up on someone else’s doorstep to spread their hate.
People DIE from these opinions, they are sick and disgusting and it have no place in this country. Not only could he not even back up his ridiculous statement, on hearing my response, his only reply was ‘oh well, were all entitled to our own opinions.”
No. We are not.
We are not entitled to turn up to other peoples homes, their sanctuaries, and share our ‘opinions’. We are NOT entitled to talk for 30 minutes about our opinions then respond to any alternative opinion with such a lame answer. Any anyone who has any form of morals would surely feel sick at the thought of saying something that might be the final trigger to self harm for someone who struggles immensely in a world that may not accept them for who they fundamentally are.
The problem with the two people standing on my doorstep, is they arrived under the guise of sharing thoughts, but they will never be open to an alternative view. I gave them my precious time, and they demanded it without ever considering giving me theirs.
I dont know who brainwashed them, but given this man’s role as a pastor, I suspect he is well and truly carrying on the tradition and is currently building an entire new generation of unsuspecting bigots. What chance in life these kids will have is beyond me, as is the consequences of their words on the people around them.
I dont want to start a debate about religion. I am well aware all religions, and indeed all people are very different. I dont even think of this as a religious issue, as much of an individual’s complete lack of morals. What I want to know is how on earth do you combat this type of hatred in any form of meaningful way, when you are confronted with it?