Tolerance goes both ways

Lately, I have found myself not commenting on a lot of controversial topics. This is because I have Facebook friends who are on both ends of just about every debate these days, be it the HHS mandate, the election, same sex marriage, the Catholic Church in general, and now this Chik-Fil-A thing. I don’t want to offend anyone, and I know no matter what I say, someone is going to get upset or bent out of shape and try to convince me of their point of view. I’ll read and I’ll listen, because I think hearing opposite opinions is really important. It doesn’t have to change your mind, but it’s important to HEAR it.

Honestly, I think both sides of these debates are guilty of moments of mean-spiritedness. Recently, I saw a post where someone said that people who went to Chik-Fil-A the other day stood in line for that but wouldn’t have stood in line to volunteer at a food bank or a homeless shelter. I also have read some unnecessarily hateful things about President Obama and those who support him. Really? Do we need to say those things about each other? Do we need to say that if someone doesn’t share our point of view on one topic they can’t possibly be a kind, giving, generous person in other ways? That makes me sad.

My beliefs are my beliefs and for those who know me, yes, some of them have changed – or in some cases, been clarified or resurrected (pardon the pun) – since I joined the Catholic Church. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve decided they’re between me and God. I may discuss them with people who are like-minded, or I may not. It depends on what they have to say about the other side. I don’t want to be labeled based on what I believe about a single issue, or a single aspect of a particular issue.

I have people in my life who are gay, straight, liberal, moderate, conservative, REALLY conservative, REALLY liberal, who practice all kinds of different faiths. I have friends who think animal protein is evil and swear by low-fat diets. 😉 (You know who you are!) Are there topics that are simply off limits sometimes? Yep. Do I love them any less because we have a few areas we need to navigate gently? Nope.

I need to take my own advice, and…let’s all try to practice a little more loving kindness. Every day.

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