There’s a lot of talk these days about respecting beliefs. Particularly in the posts I wrote about organized religion, many chastised me, suggesting it was disrespectful of me, because I was not respecting people’s beliefs. They suggest that since beliefs are so personal and important to people, they should be off limits from discussion.
Let’s look at how crazy that idea actually is...
We are talking about beliefs that people don’t even know they have. Beliefs that teach them they are unworthy, even subhuman. Beliefs that cause them to live their whole life in suffering. Beliefs that direct them to kill themselves or murder others.
These are EXACTLY the kind of beliefs that should be questioned in the most aggressive way.
Now that brings up the issue of respect. Some have questioned the lack of respect I show some of these beliefs…
I show respect for the people who hold them. I show nothing but disdain for beliefs that are delusional, harmful or even evil. The truest sign of love you can show someone is being willing to call them on their stuff, and tell them the truth.
I respect your right to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. And if I really care about you, I will confront you if you still hold these beliefs when you are 27 years old. The truth is, many of the myths and superstitious still perpetuated by organized religion today make the Easter Bunny seem plausible by comparison.
The other big difference is that people who believe in Santa or the tooth fairy don’t feel the need to kill people who don’t. They don’t have murderous and suicidal beliefs about martyrdom either. At least if someone believes in an omnipotent Santa who’s making a list and checking it twice – their beliefs lead them to be nice instead of naughty.
Yet we live in such a crazy, delusional society today, that parents dissuade their kids as the get older from harmless beliefs like Santa and the tooth fairy, but still keep indoctrinating them with even more preposterous beliefs – which are actually quite dangerous to them and society as a whole.
If you have a harmful belief that holds you back from fulfilling who you are meant to be and you want that belief to be respected – this is the wrong blog for you.
If you care about someone, you will always tell them when they have a belief you feel is harmful to them. And if people care about you, they will do the same for you. That is real respect.