To make one point clear off the top: I believe that everyone is free to choose their actions. I also believe that people are accountable for their actions. Having said that, I know I have opinions and beliefs that are different from others, just as they have opinions different from mine.
What bothers me, and is the point of this blog, are the inconsistencies in society.
Here is what triggered me thinking on this subject: Mitt Romney is running for President of the United States of America. I'm not going to bring up politics or discuss his policies. But almost without fail, every article about him has to mention that he's a Mormon. For the record, so am I. And therefore, all sorts of things are brought up in the media about the Mormon church, which, by-the-way, is a nickname for the true name: The Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints.
When I lived in Connecticut, I faced all sorts of questions about my religion. Some of the comments / questions bordered on harassment. Examples: How many wives do you have? Can I see your magical underwear? Did you have to shave off your horns when you left Utah? One person went as far as to say I was prejudice against gay people because Mormons believe it's a sin to commit a homosexual act. Had I personally done anything or said anything to demonstrate any sort of prejudice behavior? No. It was just because of my religion that this person made this assumption and comment about me.
Another thing I found disturbing was when Romney was running back in 2007. There was a local paper in Connecticut that was very "liberal" (their word, not mine) which ran a very negative article about Mitt Romney. Their main issue with Romney? Because he was a Mormon. They went as far as to print the "damning evidence" against Romney. What was this evidence? It was a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World released by the Mormon church in 1995 which states that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Also recently in the news is the story of Roger McDowell, pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves who was suspended because he made some anti-gay slurs towards some fans. There was an outcry at his behavior, with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation calling on the Braves and Major League Baseball to take "real disciplinary action and send the message that anti-gay slurs have no place in sports."
Do I agree with them? Yes, absolutely. I believe verbal attacks on anyone based on their beliefs shouldn't be permitted.
However, there is a difference between slurs and stating your beliefs on something.
The Mormon church made it very clear in its support of California Proposition 8 in what it believed in. Yet, it was amazing how many verbal attacks were made against the church for supporting it. Which brings me back to Mitt Romney. I'm going to find it very interesting to see the comments made toward him and the church from people who don't share the same beliefs.
It boils down to this: can you verbally or in print attack someone and state your beliefs at the same time? Yes. Can you state your beliefs and not verbally or in print attack someone? Yes.
In other words, just because I don't agree with you, doesn't mean I hate you or am out to get you. At the same time, if I feel strongly enough about something, I'm going to do all I can to support that belief. But for heaven's sake, if we disagree, let's use tact and keep it civil.