Respectfully Disagree

Photography by Ian Spence

You can hate anyone you want, and yell it at the top of your lungs in the wilderness, as long as nobody hears you. It’s perfectly legal for me to hold grudges, and loathe all that you stand for, but not to act it out. It isn’t the best option though, because someday if that’s what’s inside your head and heart, it will slip out in some unmeant way and that’s called discrimination. Coming from a background in the Christian faith, any topic remotely queer is touchy; strong dislike, fear, and occasionally outright hatred for the LGBT community are easy to find. I have realized that as far as the Church is concerned, it’s our duty to love everyone, even if I don’t agree with their lifestyle.

The nature of humanity seems to pull us always towards those who think similarly to us, and causes us to fear on some level, the unknown and that which is different from us. If it weren’t for this, would there be any discrimination? This should never be our excuse for discrimination, but merely an understanding of why it happens, and an aspiration for improvement.

The balance of tolerance between conflicting views is an everyday struggle in so many spheres of life, and the world sure hasn’t mastered it yet. What we can do is respect others and their choices, and conduct ourselves in a manner deserving of their respect in return. In this manner, you are free to believe the moon is made of cheese, or that the Leafs will win this year, and I am free to believe that homosexuality is wrong, and none of us deserve discrimination and mocking – save maybe occasionally the Leafs fans. I choose to respect all people, and hope you choose this as well.