OBSERVATION: STIRRING THE POT MORE. The intensity of our belief that we are right does not convert our opinions into truth.

by Michael Josephson on February 8, 2013

in Bullying, Choices, Quotes, Observations

Reading the letters responding to my comments on gay rights  I have found that many of the people who have expressed an opinion — whether for or against gay rights  – exhibit the same tendency (one that I find very troubling) to demonize those with contrary views. I think it is just as bigoted of those who agree with my position  to think that those with contrary views are either bad or stupid people as the view of those who oppose gay rights that those who support it have bad character as well as bad judgment.

I want to make it clear, I have great respect for those whose religious or other beliefs lead them to a conclusion that acts of homosexuality are a sin and it would be as wrong for me to treat this as an issue of character. Advocacy of ether position has no place in discussions about character but the willingness to respectfully hear and consider positions we disagree with does.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Ahearn February 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

The demonizing of one’s opponents in various social and political issues is pitifully all too common. The strengthening of my character, nurturing and lifting up my friend’s honor, integrity, and character is how I can hopefully live a more productive, Godly life. Our universal “Golden Rule” is so tremendously rich and full of opportunity for peaceful growth; how can we all embrace it more?
Our “willingness to respectfully hear and consider disagreeable positions” offers a HUGE ‘learning field’. Inspired, passionate educators such as Michael are a rare breed; whereby I hope the Josephson Institute’s succession plan for future sustainability is positively engaged. Planning Michael’s 100th birthday party in about 50 years can be on a parallel timeline !!! :):):)
If I may offer a final comment: “Human rights intends ALL humans”. NOBODY is expressly excluded; not even one of the Harbaugh family :):):) Our Declaration of Independance clearly states “ALL people being created equal”.

Reply

Michael Josephson February 9, 2013 at 8:32 am

Excellent comments – and that’s not just because you said nice things about me.

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Sherry McBee February 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

If we could live a compassionate life then neither side would criticize the other. Compassion is the key to so many of our fights in this country as we seem to keep splitting down lines so often now. I personally believe gays and lesbians should have the same rights as any other American and more importantly, in my opinion, any human. I feel compassion to those who’s hearts are filled with anger and judgements because they fear what’s different or what’s not deemed correct in their life. Living a life that is filled with anger, whether right or wrong is not a fulfilling life. However, those who respond to them in anger are no happier than the “judgemental” ones. They too judge and in anger call them stupid. As a great teacher once said, “anger is like a hot rock, the one who hangs on to it is burned”. I wish judgements about others choices, whether to support or denounce gays and lesbians would end now and compassionate discussions could take place instead. Compassion is hard to find at times in your heart but should always be present and practiced freely. Compassion will allow your heart to view that person who feels differently about you with understanding not contempt. Compassion doesn’t mean you agree but it does mean there is no hatred or anger in your response. It’s what our country needs now. Certainly needs to be taught to our children.
Thank you for discussing this matter Michael and bringing such touching, inspiring and courageous clips to our attention.

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Michael Josephson February 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm

You are welcome and thank you for your remarkable posts on the subject. Thank you so much for participating.

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Sherry McBee February 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I apologize Paul for not referring back to what you said, which was excellent. I meant to simply co tiniest your view and Michael’s a bit further with the characteristic I believe would end these nasty debates. Your comment was spot on.

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