I recently had a Facebook “discussion” on the healthcare bill and what some people see as it’s infringement on religious liberty/freedom.
As an American and our fervent belief in “rights” and freedom and democracy, I have had and continue to have a difficult time accepting the idea of “Kingship”, and “submitting” to God. I will also freely admit that I have thought and prayed hard about many of the “rules” of the Catholic Church. I am a work in progress, and I figure I will still be questioning up until the day I draw my last breath. Only through my questions does my faith grow. But even when my beliefs are set and I know deep in my heart and soul they are true and right, when someone presents me with a differing point of view I listen.
I listen because I know that somewhere they have a valid point of view.
It may not be valid with the context of my beliefs, but it is valid to them and in order to respect them I have to respect their point of view.
That does not mean that I endorse it, but it does mean that I am giving them the freedom to believe what they want to believe. It means that I give them very human right to think and feel and make a choice on their own. It means that within their thought process I recognize that their point of view has been determined by something within their life – a teaching, an experience, an article. My thought is to get at why they see them the way they do. Everyone has something I can learn from them. Without listening to them I can’t learn. I may not change my position on things, but I that does not mean I have not tried to understand and learn.
Back to this friend with whom I was having a discussion. I appreciate the fact that she gave me her point of view. It reminded me that not everyone starts at the same point. I also appreciated her acknowledging that we were not trying to change each other’s mind and that we could remain friends even while agreeing to disagree. Having friends like that have helped me accept my own self-worth. They allow me to have my opinions and don’t mock me for having them.