"I respect a person's beliefs"

by Phizzy 32 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Phizzy

    I often hear this phrase "I respect a person's beliefs" on here and elsewhere, but I feel strongly that you should not.

    I know that sometimes people mean by that phrase that they respect the right of a person to hold silly beliefs if they want to, but if that is so, say so.

    If a person's beliefs are unsupportable, perhaps looney, perhaps downright dangerous,murderous, like the JW blood doctrine, such beliefs deserve no respect at all.

    The person holding them we can show respect to by telling them in a gentle, and polite way that their beliefs are a pile of steaming poo, but we should not show respect for the beliefs, even by the simple act of remaining silent.

    "To tell the truth as you see it is a wonderful thing" John Lydon ("Johnny Rotten" late of the Sex Pistols, and now P. I. Ltd)

  • BluesBrother

    Sure.... we often mean it to say that "I respect your right to believe that, or to disagree with me" something that the WTS does not respect.

    It may be a kindness or an act of respect to logically challenge those beliefs.....but in the right manner and at the right time

  • dozy

    I always used to use that line as something of a disclaimer in the ministry - it was a lie , really , as JWs don't respect other people's beliefs. I came a cropper once on a RV when a householder brought out a Watchtower spitting the usual diatribe about Christendom and asked if I agreed with the sentiments & whether that constituted respect for her beliefs.

  • Sapphy

    Absolutely agree. You have the right to believe whatever you want, you do not have the right to not be laughed at.

    But politeness is important. If you purposefully offend someone there had better be a good reason.

    However, if someone says 'I believe 'x', and someone else responds 'I do not for reasons a,b &c', that is not grounds to take offence.

    The professionally offended who use hurt feelings to stiffle debate are contemptible.

  • cofty

    Bad ideas do not deserve respect, to pretend otherwise is not a virtue.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Those of us with the guts it takes to stand up and call bullshit often are hit with the charge that we don't respect others' beliefs.

    That is true - I don't respect beliefs built on insane ideology, and my outward nature causes me to say so.

    Still - I will never be classed among those who just ignore ignorance.


  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    People may or may not deserve respect. Ideas may or may not deserve respect. The respect given to people/ideas doesn't always align. . . I could not respect a person, but their idea or belief could be valid, worthy of respect; and while I could love and respect a person, I could still not respect their ideas/beliefs.

  • NewChapter

    I agree. I just don't respect some beliefs, although I may respect the person---however---and this is where it gets murkey. Do I respect the person? Some people are wrapped up and driven by their beliefs and it's such a huge part of who they are, am I respecting them if I don't respect their beliefs? I'm not sure. I WANT to respect them, but frankly, when the lord is always blessing or testing them, I admit a slip in respect. When they preach to me or disrespect me for my nonbelief, I lose respect. It's a thin line for me. I have fundie family that keep their kids at home, and while I have nothing against homeschooling, they do so to teach them lies about science and to shelter them from opportunity. I find this impossible to respect, and yet such behavior is driven by their beliefs.

    I've reached the point where most of my friends are simply nonbelievers. I'm bound to offend a believer, because insulting their beliefs is the same as insulting them. And I'm bound to insult some beliefs, although I'm not without social conscience, it just happens. Still there ARE believers that I do respect a great deal and see they have found a unique balance.

    I dont know if I am just intolerant, or if I'm just making things easy for myself. I love to discuss ideas, but I don't like to discuss certain ideas as though they are valid enough to be explored anymore. So getting into any kind of deep conversation with many believers is a no no. Those conversations make me tired and impatient.

    I seem to come into contact with a lot of fundies, and not so many moderates and liberals. Perhaps if that balance was different, I'd feel more patience. And as always, I have a double standard. Bible believing Christians really get on my nerves, but pagans do not. I don't know why, but they rarely irritate me, and always seem quite genuine and fun loving. Maybe I'm just prejudice. That's always a possiblity.


  • moshe

    If JWs would eliminate their shunning policy, their no-blood transfusions dogma and waking people up on weekends, I would no longer have any issues with their religion.

  • InterestedOne

Share this