If there’s anything I hate just as much as people trying to shove religion down someone’s throat, or people who are closed-minded to other ways of living one’s life, it’s people who are closed-minded to the fact that people may have a faith…which I suppose is a subset of the second thing I hate.

On one of the forums I help run, there was recently a debate over whether God exists. As always, these things never come to a conclusion, usually go in circles forty times over, and end up going rotten with the one or two people who get into a fight, although this one did not. Now, this entry isn’t about what I think about the issue (if you’re that curious, I’m somewhere between agnostic and athiest), but about the way people respond to the issue.

Usually, on one extreme, you have the full-fledged bible-thumping believers who make it their mission to preach everywhere they can. Then you have the people who don’t believe, never have believed, never will believe, and scorn those who do believe. Finally, you have everyone else somewhere in the middle. The person in question was somewhere closer to the latter extreme. He called those who believed “fools.” Now, I understand it’s his opinion, but I don’t think anyone who believes in God or attends church should be scorned as such. Doing so is just as bad as a bible-thumper telling someone they’ll rot in hell unless they accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

Luckily, most people are not like either extreme. They’ll respect someone’s choice to follow or not follow a faith. However, people who preach and/or scorn people for their beliefs bugs the living daylights out of me. Debate is good. Scorn is not, and only leads to problems further down the road. I was happy to see that the topic in question lasted without many problems, a first for that type of discussion on that forum.

Remember, tolerance and healthy debate. Not scorn.

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