Can you really, truly respect people whose religions are opposite yours?

United States
June 13, 2011 12:25am CST
Now, I don't want any self righteous, sugar coated, "Oh, yes, I respect everyone all the time!" answers. I want you to really think about it! I was raised Catholic. My family has never been particularly religious, but we went to church on most Sundays at 7 or 8, and had pancakes for breakfast right afterwards. I was baptized, and had my communion and confirmation. I was always a goody-goody, and I found it shocking that kids who were in my religious classes weren't as "nicey-nice" as me, and some of them were completely disrespectful and disobedient and crazy! I was such a goody two shoes! But I only really behaved in school, less so at home. Around middle school, I began to realize that there were other thoughts out there. My older brother, who is two years older than me, began to claim that he is an atheist. Even my dad is agnostic. By high school I had become a Satanist. I am not involved with any particular sect, though I identify with Laveyan Satanism the best. The main difference is, I don't interpret it in an angry-at-the-rest-of-the-world kind of way. But I know that's what I am. At that point, though, I could not truly respect someone if they were a Christian. Ironically, my closest friend at the time was born into this extremely Christian family, you know, with all sorts of quotes all over the walls, everything decorated with some type of cross or Jesus fish, and she is almost always wearing a t-shirt with some kind of religious meaning on it. They hate Harry Potter, though the parents would watch Final Destination horror movies with the kids when they were young. Go figure! I think that is the reason I couldn't respect Christians, because she was just so holier-than-thou, and obnoxious, and bland, and she just has this very needling, negative personality. She was just really childish and would rather complain about something than do anything about it. So eventually I stopped hanging out with her, and through high school I started to meet different people. I now know a few people who are Christians, but they don't feel the need to prove it 24/7 by wearing silly "Jesus" tee shirts every day or trying to get everyone they meet to go to church with them. Very nice, respectful people who didn't mind that I am who I am, or that I occasionally make lewd jokes or anything like that. I'm kind to them, and they are to me. If you aren't able to respect someone who is not in your religion 100%, that's okay, it really is! But why deny it? It's better to find out why you feel that way, and improve on it, if you want to.
3 people like this
22 responses
@mythociate (14431)
• Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
14 Jun 11
I was raised Catholic too, but my brain-injury knocked me out of their Aryan-ranks . One of the main disabilities that 'knocked me out of the ranks' was "the inability to drive a car." Though I'm glad for that (due to the responsibility I wouldn't want--insurance, licensing fees--& with a little help from Mary Mary's song "I'm Walkin`"), it does mark me as a lower class citizen ... Places that wouldn't be 'too far away' for most people ARE 'too far away' for me, making me one unable to go where the people go (one of the prices for these 'wide open spaces' in Oklahoma ... takes hella long to get anywhere because of `em). That separation gives me extra-time to examine religions. And examining 'Buddhism' (literally, 'the doctrine of one who sees'), I 'see' that all religions are 'Buddhism.' ALL religions are about 'following doctrines set forth by people who were-close-to/are-now divinity.'
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jun 11
Several issues with this. Firstly anybody can be a Catholic. It shouldn't matter that you have a brain injury. There's no requirement for Catholics to be Aryans (the definition of this is complicated and based on the teachings of Madam Blavatski, the founder of the Theosophical society, which was taken up by the Nazis - nothing to do with Catholicism at all). In fact there are many Catholics in South America and Africa who don't have remotely white skin. Maybe your Catholics didn't make allowances for your brain injury, in which case they weren't very good Catholics. Maybe they'd have an answer to that. I don't really think all religions are Buddhism. How can there be no god (as Buddhism claims) and many gods (as Hinduism claims) and so on?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
13 Jun 11
I have heard about the religion satanism and vampirism but it's my first time to hear someone admit that his religion is Satanism.Well, I am an open minded person and I even have different religion than my parents because I'm open to change.However, I think people have already this stereotype way of thinking that when they heard about religions different from what they have,they are judgmental because of what they heard and what they seen from anyone else.If you don't have full understanding what that religion is,I think it leads to disrespect especially if the religion's name itself implies a negative image.I only believe in one God,the creator of the heavens and the earth and all what is between them.He does not begets nor begotten and He have power above everything; and I think that is all that matters
• Canada
14 Jun 11
Now you've gone and insulted my religion by saying God, "does not begets nor begotten"!
• Philippines
15 Jun 11
Well I'm just sharing what I believe but not necessarily insulting your religion.I really don't have an idea of what a Satanism religion is and what is you belief.Do you believe in God or you just follow Satan.Who is Satan to you anyway?
• Canada
17 Jun 11
I believe Satan to be a fallen angel who led a rebellion against God and was thrown out of heaven along with his followers. He was the snake in Eden and the King of Tyre who Ezekiel had a tirade against. He's at least partly responsible for all the evil in the world. He tempts people, including Jesus, to commit sins and is extremely deceptive. He's responsible for many religions which deceive people away from Christianity. He was the supposed Angel Gabriel who appeared to both Mohammad and Joseph Smith Junior. He doesn't really care what you do as long as you don't follow Jesus, or at least not the true one.
1 person likes this
@sua006 (161)
13 Jun 11
Yeah we should respect of the other's religion and my religion bounds me to do this. And according to my point of view no religions say to kill the innocents. But When i turns on my TV and watches new channel only there are news of the murder, someone killed, blast, fight.......... How to make our world peaceful.
• Canada
14 Jun 11
Islam says that you should take revenge, "freeman for freeman, woman for woman and slave for slave." So presumably, if you kill my wife, I shouldn't kill you, I should kill your wife, even if she wasn't responsible for my wife being killed. I'm not sure what happens if I only have one wife and you have four. What about the Aztec religion which had huge numbers of sacrifices, including sacrificing children. Worshipers of Molech sacrificed children as well. I've heard that Satanists also perform human sacrifices and murder people.
1 person likes this
• Canada
20 Jun 11
Kareemadivina, you'll find this in the Koran in verse 2:179 but I think it says similar things in other places. Also the New Testament teaches forgiveness rather than revenge. A lot of people have serious issues with Sharia law. It's notorious for punishing women for being raped while doing nothing to punish the rapists. I've read the Koran, surely this is real Islam. It constantly tells Muslims, to fight and persecute others, including those who've turned from Islam and moderate Muslims. The verse that is usually quoted in part (never completely) to "prove" that Islam is peaceful is 5:32. I suggest you read it in its entirety and the following verse which is the most violent in the Koran and ask yourself how peaceful Islam really is and if the Koran's writer was sane? Therefore I think the religious leaders who promote violence are following Islam properly. It's true that religious leaders can make mistakes or deliberately mislead. If you only study your own religion, how do you know if it's right?
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Jun 11
It seems that the verse numbers vary a bit in different versions of the Koran. The version on my computer has 2:178 as "Oh ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed for you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty." I can see this leading to all sorts of arguments, not to mention the killing of innocent people! You seem to have verse 31 instead of 32 and 32 instead of 33. I don't see what the last verse (which is the violent one) has to do with the preceding ones. The penultimate verse seems to be a law of Jews rather than Muslims. There wasn't any Israel when the murder (of Cain by Able but they aren't named in the Koran) happened so the "children of Israel" bit doesn't really make sense if that's the context of this verse. Your words about the Koran never promoting violence is a blatant lie!
13 Jun 11
Absolutely. I can truly respect anyone's beliefs... as long as they're not a bigot, hypocrite or evangelical. I used to have some wonderful discussions with a guy I worked with who's a Jehovah's Witness (I'm pagan). We get on great and respect each other's beliefs 100%. I have never understood why "Christians" hate Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy stuff. Makes no sense to me. Unless it's all references to the burning times when people were stupid enough to be afraid of witches...
• Canada
14 Jun 11
Aren't you being bigoted by not respecting evangelicals? I think the problem with Harry Potter etc. is that the Bible strongly condemns a number of things which are thought to be forms of occultism or types of occultist but it never really defines them. Therefore some Christians tend to be paranoid about anything that looks vaguely occult. The witch burning was basically false teaching. It was based largely on a book called the Malleus Maleficarum, which was very influential in spite of being dreadful scholarship and having fraudulent credentials.
1 person likes this
15 Jun 11
No, evangelicals (not "The Evangelical Church of..." but evangelism as in the act of going out and actively trying to convert people) shouldn't do what they do: it's an invasion of privacy and shows a distinct lack of respect for other people's beliefs. Harry Potter is as much occult as I am a flying fish. Absolutely on the witch burning. Yet another example of the establishment using guilt and fear to control the populace (and, not inconveniently, wipe out opposing religions, pocket their land and other possessions and do away with dissenters of all shapes and forms).
• Argentina
14 Jun 11
Well, I was raised in a catholic home, in a country with not much religious diversity,though there's an increasing number of christian-like movements starting to spread all over Latin America. Nevertheless, I think that religious ideas don't have to interfere when we talk about respecting each other. You have to understand that if you know that you won't be able to get to an understanding when speaking of religious topics with somebody, then you only have to skip the subject. At least that works for me. PS: atheist are the most intolerant people I know. Most of them have no respect for others believes.
• United States
14 Jun 11
Wow, your last statement was pretty bigoted! You truly don't have the right to say you are a tolerant, respectful person if you can just make a generalization about a group of people like that with so much disregard toward others.
• Philippines
14 Jun 11
in general, i don't mind most religions... as long as i keep my faith on mine. I'm a catholic too. And catholic church teaches us to respect each others religion. But sometimes i myself gets annoyed at some religious sects which are too persuasive.. they will tell you lots of things like they are the only ones that are going to be saved, blah blah blah. It's the only thing that irritates me that some religions don't respect what others believe.
• Canada
14 Jun 11
Doesn't Catholicism teach that only Christians will be saved? How is this different from these sects?
• India
2 Jun 12
yes, I can.
@manong05 (5030)
• Philippines
22 Jun 11
Respect is always earned and is not legislated. Ultimately people gain other people's respect in the way they act and treat other people regardless of their religious affiliations. We may not be able to respect other people for several reasons but common courtesy must be extended to all which will make this world a better place.
@whatrow (793)
• United States
20 Jun 11
I would respect, and try to understand, their beliefs on the condition that they are not attempting to convert me.
19 Jun 11
If you respect someone you do that for what they are, their character not their belief or nonbelief in some mythical entity.
• United States
15 Jun 11
Great post! Believe it or not I do respect All religions, especially Catholics . Any path I couldn't follow I respect more. I'm glad you found your path And that you found some Christian friends who are friends first and Christians second.
• India
14 Jun 11
Hello lilbabycaterpillar Your question is pretty sharp, but the answer depends on to whom it is actually directed to. Here in mylot there are many people with different views on religion. But with your question about respect and religion is a very cunning one. As a human i only take another person in terms of humanity. I will only consider a persons religion when it comes to respect if that person has religion in blood and bones of him or her. Which means i cant respect someone whose personality is blinded by some influencing factors. I wont respect someone who has got a religious lens through which they look. Apart from such people I respect human beings. I do not take a persons religion into concern unless and until that person shows me that he or she is religious and i am not. And you are right, majority of the people has that religious lens through which they socialize and form a community. They just ignore those communities which are around them. I think such things are forced into the sub concious mind of people from a very young age by the family members. The only way to change such feelings is to keep religion aside and humanity above.
@ritzz07 (791)
• India
14 Jun 11
hi lilbabycatapillar now these are not sugarcoated words how ever i do not bother religions i do respect humans and humanity....and one thing i would like to tell,religion is for human being and human is not for religion......so religion comes later and human comes first........
• Philippines
14 Jun 11
Respecting other religion opposite yours is one way of showing how important your own religion means to you. It is one way of showing that your own religion teaches you how to respect other people's point of view and belief. Having different religion does not count at all, it is your belief in God that counts the most not the religion you are into. It will all depend on how you will live your life religiously.
• United States
14 Jun 11
Yes, I believe I can..Now, a question back..Why is this sort of social standard always leveled at theologies? For instance, I have many gay friends, yet I don't support homesexuality yet no one wonders how such a relationsip works. I am Christian, and for the knowing I don't wear funky tee's, or crucifixes, or medals. I came to the notion many years ago that if I didn't show it well enough in who I am and how I present myself then all the talismans wouldn't either..And, as I recall, the Christian belief does DEMAND that one hate the sin but love the sinner. So them that can't deal with the diversity aren't doin' the job they claim anyway..Enjoy!
• United States
14 Jun 11
I've read your post over three times, and I'm still coming up with "Yes, I really can say that I do respect people in the same way." Here's my reasoning: when I meet someone, I could care less what religion or faith they abide by. Everyone has different life experiences, and thus they will have different outcomes based on that. I respect each human being for what they are: a person. When they then tell me their faith, if at all, it does nothing to change my opinion of them. There are hypocrites of every faith, and every non-faith. To attribute negative personality traits to a group of people who have the same faith because of one person of that faith is doing yourself a disservice when it comes to opening your mind to other viewpoints and opinions that exist. The more you learn, even when it comes to other's opinions, the better of a person and the more intelligent you become. In contrast, my husband definitely can't stand atheists and agnostics. We argue about this sometimes...I'm always telling him that a few people don't make the group, but he insists that they are all self-absorbed and out to get everyone else's faiths. If I could judge the entire "lack of faith" group based on the people he's going by, they definitely wouldn't be a group of fun people to hang around (or even have as acquaintances). At the same time, I've had many friends who were atheists, and one who was agnostic, as well as many family members. Knowing some of the people in my social groups, I simply cannot subscribe to my husband's mentality--as tempting as it may be. As a Christian, I also know many of my same faith. I have two Christian friends who are doctors, one who is a scientist, and I'm of the faith while being a real estate business owner and a novelist. If anything, my own group of friends shows me that not all Christians can be grouped under a platter of predeterminations. If that is true of my faith, I know it must be true of others.
@andy77e (5170)
• United States
14 Jun 11
Respect the person? Or the religion? Sometimes people confuse the two. I have no respect for false religion. Sounds like your family believed a false religion. You went through the motions, but there was no real belief or understanding. That is not respectable. It's the religion that doesn't have respect. On the other hand, you personally have admitted to what you do, or do not believe. I have a great respect for that. I would still invite you to church, because I believe there is something after this life, and we should be ready for that. But to know yourself, and know that you don't believe, and not pretend for the sake of fitting into a group you don't have shared beliefs with... that is highly respectable. If only all people were as true to themselves as you.
@allknowing (58068)
• India
14 Jun 11
Religion hardly plays a role in choosing my friends. They are human beings first having the same values as mine. That is important for me. I would for example not befriend who would hate animals!
@Frederick42 (2020)
• Canada
14 Jun 11
It is possible to truly respect them, but in the beginning one has to be disrespectful. It is human ego to be disrespectful to those who are different from us, to be intolerant. we need to watch this ego. watch our own disrespectfulness. when we go on watching, the ego subsides. Then we can be truly respectful to one and all.
@naija4real (1293)
13 Jun 11
I will truly respect any religions that preaches peace, love and understanding among the different ethnic and racial group that exist on this earth. I do not accept any religious belief that support violents or killing of human being. Religion should provide happiness, hope and general well being of the human race and not violence as it is being done in most parts of the world.