The internet is a wonderful thing. It (social networking and blogging specifically) has given EVERYONE a voice, let us all be heard (which in turn, can also mean that nobody is heard over the sheer volume of information being thrown at us) but I have been seeing so much hypocrisy and righteous indignation lately that I feel the need to add my voice to the crowd and "get it all out" (with maybe a side of my own righteous indignation thrown in for good measure).
I understand that people are passionate about their beliefs, and certain issues; homosexuality, religion, politics and animal rights (among others) are always hot button issues. I get that. I'm a passionate person myself and know how strong feelings can influence your thinking.
However, I don't see how people don't understand that hate begets hate. Every time. EVERY time. It takes so much away from your cause when you shun a certain group because one of their members did wrong. Or when you casually make a "joke" at the expense of others. Or when you are so judgmental and close minded that you can't even hear another opinion, even if it is well researched and thought out.
If you're wanting equality (and rightly so) then your loudest argument can't be that you deserve equal rights because of how much better you are than the oppressors. This has been an awful trend that I've noticed appearing on a lot of LGBT equality sites. Supporters of homosexual marriage have my support until they start attacking heterosexual marriage, spouting off divorce rates, infidelity rates, and examples of failed marriage. I could be more passionate about this issue if I, as a married Christian woman, wasn't feeling attacked on message boards and support pages by the countless "anti-bible" messages out there. There are a huge number of Christians who believe in the bible and also support homosexual marriage rights. You'll lose us by constantly belittling us because other Christians cite the bible as their reasoning behind discrimination. HUMAN BEINGS are flawed... not just certain human beings. You deserve equal rights, but you deserve them because you are EQUAL, not better.
I'm a Christian who supports homosexual marriage, so if you haven't deduced it yet, I lean towards the left politically. This in itself makes some peoples heads spin, as they assume that Christian=Republican. To be honest, all Christian values can't be found in either political party. I have found that those who
spread hate and intolerance in Jesus' name the loudest are the ones who
live the least like Him and are only using Him to promote their own agendas. Yet those of us who don't hate... those of us who believe in and try to practice Grace... we are lumped in with the extremists simply because their voices are louder than ours.
I saw a friend post something on Facebook today about a vicious act done to a kitten by members of a religious group in order to intimidate an ex-member into keeping quiet. She opened her post with a blanket statement insinuating that religion was foolish. Now instead of being appropriately outraged by what some crazy people did to a poor defenseless animal, some of my emotions (and brain power) went to being mildly annoyed at her pointless statement. Religion did not make these people behave that way... altered brain chemistry did. It could have been a motorcycle club that committed this heinous act, or even a girl scout troop, but it wouldn't have been a shared love for bikes or cookies that drove them to it.
When you're passionate about something, by definition you believe strongly in it. If you believe strongly in something, you naturally will want to sway others to your side. All I'm saying is that you'll bring the biggest amount of support to your cause if you embrace all open minds and listening ears without throwing stones (purposefully or not) at people who could be great allies for your cause, simply because they are different.