For a society that prides itself on its tolerance, and is so quick to throw the label of “hate speech”, I’m amazed at how intolerant people are of other people’s beliefs and faiths. In one breath, people talk about how we should get along, then, in the next breath, turn around and call people who have different beliefs stupid or ignorant. The mark of a tolerant society is one that can engage in proper debate. One that grants respect for those who take part in the debate. Instead, when presented with an opposing view point, people quickly start calling names as a way of dismissing the other person and their view. You don’t have to ‘convert’ to that view, you simply have to allow for it to exist.
And since when do we, as a people, persecute people who have deeply held faith? If someone wants to live a certain way because they have a conviction, that should be esteemed not ridiculed
Maybe it was comfortable for our developing minds to slap labels on people when we were in school: jock, nerd, prep… But we don’t need to do that anymore. You should try to understand all of the man, not quickly want to push them into a group for your own comfort. And if you don’t want to understand the man, then let him be as he wants.
Because when we do this as a society, or allow for this as a people, it will be incorporated by our government. So what label will they slap you with when they come to take you away and confine you? Druggie? Hacker? Pirate? Terrorist? Zealot? Because they will use that word to convince your neighbors that it was for their good that they kicked in your door, shot your dog, seized your children, and incarcerated you and your spouse (detaining you indefinitely without trial).
The only exception to this is my brothers and sisters in the military. When you are a soldier in the army that defends freedom, then you will die to preserve the right that someone has in this country to believe as they will and live how they like (as long as they don’t harm others). In the Army (and i’m certain the Marines, too), the first thing that happens to you is that you lose your freedoms. Then you lose your individuality. You lose your right to speak freely. You lose the right to do as you choose. This happens so that you can be properly controlled. But it also functions as a reminder to the soldier as to what we are fighting to preserve for our friends, family and countrymen.