Saturday, April 09, 2005

Respect

There seems to me, to be a lack of respect among some of the more zealous Christians against those whom they disagree with. (I too have at times not been respectful of those I disagree with. Sometimes personal hurts tempt us to withhold respect, but we have to work to overcome those.) Lack of respect is displayed in anger, in spurious accusations, in mocking, in a lack of understanding, and in the carciature of those who are of the opposing viewpoint.
Now someone may have a fair attitude and yet argue against someone unfairly by misrepresenting them. Oftentimes the opposing person or group will be ridiculed, labeled and dispensed with, ignored, or written off.
I think in many disagreements the issue is a difference of perspective, and that a little mutual respect would open eyes to the possibility that the argument is not as substantial as it is made out to be.
Even if there is some substantial issue to war over, respect is called for. A lack of respect presents three dangers. One- it causes a person to underestimate the opposition. Two- it steals opportunities to better understand the opposition. Three- it risks popular support by opening up a person to accusations of unfairness and even hate.
A group that does not respect those it opposes loses it's next generation because of number one; it sounds foolish and becomes unconvincing because of number two; and it becomes a turn off, fairly or not, because of number three.

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