Something about Something
It’s no secret that I am not a religious person. I don’t label myself an atheist either, mostly because for me, going down that road was more disabling, filled with more anger and frustration, than walking a Christian path. I prefer to let people believe or disbelieve whatever they wish and expect the same courtesy. Still, I am often willing to listen to friends and family when the offer reasons or examples of what they believe, because I am interested in things of that nature. I learn a great deal about those I care for and value the connection those sort of conversations offer.
It is difficult however, for me to listen to or accept political arguments based solely in religious dogma, not because I think the person offering one is deluded or dishonest. In fact, I am convinced they completely and honestly believe in God, in their particular religious tenets.
The difficulty- More often than not, the argument requires a shared understanding of God, and a mutual belief in source documents. If I do not believe in the divinity of the books of scripture, then using them in an attempt to persuade me will be extremely difficult.
A particular verse of scripture might be word enough for some, and the exhortations of spiritual leaders may inspire people to do good and wonderful things, but they aren’t convincing to me. I am glad they bring some people happiness and surety, but they don’t move me the same way.
Our belief or disbelief has little to do with the actuality of anything. Because of that, arguing that God did or did not say something wont sway me. I need some evidence, reasons that I can understand as to why I should hold one point of view or another. We are not omnipotent, and while our personal points of view might align with a particular fact from time to time, that does not validate a belief in any world view as acutely accurate in all cases. All of us are wrong from time to time. We all hopefully learn and grow from our mistakes.
To be clear, It is not someone’s faith that bothers me. I love and respect too many people of faith for that to be an issue. It is only when someone consistently insists that I must respect and accept their faith as a valid reason for constant disrespect of what I hold dear, that I take issue.
In short, calling something an abomination is not an argument, it is an insult. Saying, “I don’t believe in gay marriage” is not an argument, it is irrelevant, and not a valid reason for creating public policy.