Friday, 21 July 2017

Reaching out

First let me explain why I’m about to write what I’m about to write.

Here I wrote about watching the television program “Murdered for being Different”.

In writing about that I mentioned:

A thing that I take away from this is a renewed personal commitment to engage with people that I see as being different from me whenever that is possible. To not make assumptions about people without taking the trouble to get to know them.

And also to do what I can to make it safe for people, so that there is no need to hide. For, if we hide, then it may seem as though the idiots win. But when idiots win, we all lose. Idiots included.

Soon after that, here,  I mentioned a comment about my experiences  at Sparkle 2017.

This comment led me to an article entitled “Only Homophobes Will Make It To Heaven And All Non-Homophobes Will End Up In Hell”.

I believe that it’s important to challenge people that express these kind of opinions and beliefs.

From what I can see, if they had the chance then some of them would be more than happy to pass laws which resulted in the persecution and even execution of a whole lot of people that have different opinions about life than they do.

I get this feeling from the article that I just mentioned and also other such as this one: “Children In Britain Are Being Sent To Clinics To Be Told That They Are Transgender”.

So, I decided that I’d try to engage with these people – the people that write articles and post comments  on the web site to find out why they believe what they believe. It includes people like Walid Shoebat – with another view of the man here and his son Theodore Shoebat who is described here.

I’ll provide info on how this all goes as it happens in separate posts. I want to keep a track of conversations in my own blog in case the comments get removed from the place that I posted them.

First a summary.

I realise that this is based upon just a very small number of attempts at conversation with people and maybe it isn’t typical. But, sadly (and I do mean that) the responses fit into the stereotypical view that tends to see such people as bigots:

a person who has strong, unreasonable beliefs and who does not like other people who have different beliefs or a different way of life

I suspect that the people might not mind the term bigot being used to describe them, and a likely response is something like “if the truth is bigoted then I’m a bigot”.

My experiences so far suggest:

  • They seem to place a lot of emphasis on the truth but don’t seem to be good at (or even willing to  get involved in) articulating why a person ought to believe their version of the truth.
  • They tend not to respond well when challenged about this. The answer often seems to be either silence, some Bible verses or some kind of rudeness, vulgarity or profanity
  • They seem to have no capacity for accepting that their view might be wrong and someone else’s might be right. Even though some admit to the fact that they once believed something else and then changed their minds about that. They seem to believe that their current beliefs and understanding of things are absolutely correct and will never change.
  • They tend to be disrespectful, unkind and even hateful to people who have opinions that are different from their own
  • They tend have very extreme views. Believing that laws should be changed so that people who disagree with them on issues of sexuality and gender should face extreme penalties. Some believe that execution for people with such views would be acceptable. Even for people people that they class as sympathisers rather than perpetrators of the things that they condemn.
  • It seems almost impossible to get involved in a reasonable discussion with them.

I have a feeling that some people I know might think that I’m wasting my time.

But it matters to me, and, I guess, it’s my time.

During this process, if I encounter people that affect the thought’s that I listed above then I’ll try to remember to update them appropriately.

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