Monday, December 17, 2012

"...disrespecting my spiritual beliefs..."

Okay, this isn’t so much a concrete exercise in putting thoughts to paper as it is to put on display an example of something that has recently become more of an issue. That issue, to which I’m referring, is an off and on again debate with people who happen to be atheists. Not that I find anything wrong with atheism at all. My faith does not require that anyone else believes as I do, and in many cases, I’ve preferred the company of non-believers over the years. It really boils down to a matter of politeness and non-judgmental attitude. 
Anyway, this post is a copy and pasting of a brief interaction between a (subjectively) good friend and I. He does have the capacity to be a great friend, but as I distance myself from my formerly antagonistic and judgmental mindset, he appears to have embraced it more fully. Maybe it’s not that he has really embraced it, but he definitely has begun to pick the wrong battles and shown a certain obnoxious quality. 
Anyway, read on. This is but one example of many of discussions we’ve had over the years. Yes, I’ll not show the name, but for there are some closer friends that may be able to guess the name of this person. Yes, in this case he doesn’t chime in as often as usual, but it’s the most recent I have. If you think any of my words rude or inappropriate, then so be it. Without further ado:
*My Initial Post*
I have enough questions regarding God’s actions (or lack thereof), so don’t expect me to be able to answer your questions reserved for him.
*Their Response*
You really think some imaginary figurehead had anything to do with it? It was the actions of a whacko with a gun, that’s all.
Umm….Yeah. That I know.
Why do you feel compelled to enlighten anyone on the folly of their thinking? It was more annoying than pertinent. Also, read my post again. Did I blame anyone for anything?
Why is it so important that people accept your perceived truth? Why must I accept it? Do I cram it (my truth) down throats? I’ve said before that if I could stop having faith, I would. It would much easier to live without it. I am no more proud or happy that I have faith than I am for being white or hazel eyed. I just am. Lastly on the topic, if my resolute faith doesn’t appease you, move and ignore me.
I value diversity in friendships, even your unique brand, but, more often than not, you’re just plain rude.
Also, even if I was on the cusp of abandoning my “imaginary figurehead,” I wouldn’t turn to atheism based on your asinine example.
I posted another commented directed at this person’s example, and the example of others with whom I have dealt similarly over the years.
As much as Christianity makes me want to eschew religion, recent atheist interactions make me want to embrace religion with open arms.
The reply I received:
*Their Response*
good luck with that, hide your head even deeper in that cloud and continue to blame things on the boogie-man.
This has gone on for years. Different words, not always questions, but dialogue bordering on rude harassment. Some of you (my Facebook friends reading this) will likely know of whom I speak and also have no doubt that I speak accurately of this person. This is also reflective of more recent interactions between others and I concerning my faith or their non-faith. 
I don’t care if you have faith or don’t have it. All I ask is that we be excellent to each other, and display respect for another, not that we do either because the other deserves it, but because we are worthy of such. If you want someone to value you enough to learn from you, then live in an admirable way. Condemnation of one’s lifestyle isn’t going to earn you any admirers of the condemned lifestyle, that’s for certain. By not respecting a person, you’re only going to put distance between yourself and them. 
[Edit] I took the time to omit certain statements that would otherwise give the person away, and I collected everything into an easier to read paragraph format. Originally posted via a social media platform, I didn’t want to give too much away and have you hunt this person down, as I likely would have done were I the reader.
Final thoughts, I don’t want you to hate this person. I don’t hate them, even if I become infuriated at them from time to time. What I want to illustrate, is that even a person I call a friend, has no problems disrespecting my spiritual beliefs. That bothers me more than the people I don’t even know.

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