There comes a time, in fact many times when the concept of right and wrong come into play. More accurately, which party is correct? However, regardless of ‘correctness’ if a person is passionate about what they’re saying with additional examples to support their claims, it’s hard in general to not at the very least, understand their view.
Often of late, I’m starting to really think hard when hearing a strongly supported argument which differs from my own view. By think hard, I don’t mean to reevaluate my stance and by support I mean what ‘appears’ to support and not necessarily what justifies claims. What’s causing this type of thing to create more sparking within my grey matter is just how a certain view can be considered at all, let alone wholly believed and in some cases, lived by.
Take the current homophobic stance Russia has which has had the spotlight shed on it due to a recent Despatches episode. Homosexuality is no longer illegal, however the government and church’s view that the ‘lifestyle’ is not suitable knowledge to those under the age of 18, has in effect outlawed its existence. The hatred the people shown in the programme have towards the gay community is absurd. They hunt them like vermin and have no thought of them as people. To them, a gay person (man in the vast majority of cases) is worse than vermin. They subject the gay community to unrelenting abuse and slander simply because of one reason. They don’t understand them. They don’t see that the attraction, and ultimately the love a person feels for another, is exactly the same regardless of which gender either or both are. However their views are ‘supported’ in their minds by ridiculous facts. They interchange the term ‘gay/homosexual’ with ‘paedophile’ without realising that each are not one and the same. They aren’t even in the same postal code.
The practice of luring a gay man back to a flat where several of these ignorant idiots are waiting to chastise, ridicule, taunt, embarrass and ultimately hurt someone purely because of the combination of his sexual preference and their unbelievable ignorance is harrowing. I found this documentary compelling, upsetting and haunting in equal measure. Add to that a healthy dose of ‘sickening’ and it’s no wonder why I can’t get this concept of being so far in the wrong out of my mind.
There’s a picture trending currently allegedly quoting the words of Morgan Freeman. Regardless of who actually said it, I think it’s so simple and yet so right. The quote is:
I hate the word ‘homophobia’.
It’s not a phobia,
You’re not scared;
You’re an asshole.
That quote sums up a good majority of my feelings toward this subject. The thought that a pseudo-medical term has been coined and accepted for the view/mindset of an ignorant individual is more worrying than humorous. I’d love for the Oxford English to change out the word homophobia and add the concept of homophobia to ‘Asshole’. Used correctly;
I really hate gay people; I’m an Asshole
Now that really would be an accurate, supported view. At least by me.
Only just recently has it also come out in the online press about a man in Glasgow racially abused while the BBC were filming a documentary. From what I could gather the subject at the time of the attack was a Black man of British origin being ridiculed by two drunk, white men because of the colour of his skin and some reference to going back to his own country and how taxes are wasted on him. This highlighting even more ignorance. The guy is British, he was born in Britain and even if he wasn’t, what business is it of these two idiots?
‘Come over here, taking our jobs…’ is quite a common thing to hear. This never holds any weight for me. If someone was willing to do a job, the position would be filled. Anyway, I don’t want to go into this point but since this has just broken as a news story I wanted to at least cover it.
Above all views and beliefs, faith is the one that gets me the most. Up until recently, I’d never opened the door to a Jehovah’s Witness and quite often fantasised about what I’d say if I ever did. Many things had passed through my mind including, I must apologise but I need to lay down as I gave blood a little while ago, and one of my favourites I’m sorry I’m busy watching gay porn with my parents at the moment, can you call back later?
However, I had a Witness knock at my door only a couple of weeks back and although initially annoyed with myself at what I saw as ‘chickening out’ once I closed the door, how I did react has illustrated to me what I should have been planning to do all along.
This is how the encounter went and for safe of typing, I’m going to call him, Steve.
Steve: Hi there, I’m not trying to sell you anything I just wanted to say hello as we’re new to the neighbourhood.
Me: Oh which house have you moved into?
Steve: Sorry, when I say ‘we’ I mean our congregation. I’m looking to spread the word of…
Me: No thanks.
Steve:…Jehovah. Oh, OK. Can I ask, is it just Jehovah or all religion that you feel this against?
Me: All religion to be fair. Any belief, regardless of name, which leads to such fighting, suffering and overall hatred towards anyone who believes different, you can keep. But good luck to you.
*Door closes (with me smiling politely)*
Now this is what hit me first and the hardest. I wished him luck. Had I sat down with him I’d have probably ripped his beliefs to shreds, quoting science and proven fact but would that have achieved anything other than making me feel superior for about a minute until I realised that in actual fact, all I’d been was a shit? I wished him luck, because I wished him no ill. I disagree with what he believes but that doesn’t mean I’m better than him. What I really got from this is, who are any of us to judge another? To quote scripture for no reason other than I agree with the sentiment, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Put simply, only those who are perfect have the right to judge someone else and none of us are perfect. However, applying that rule of thought surely would negate me from judging these aforementioned ‘Assholes’. Not in my view. What they believe in is severely harming people and they are not in any position to throw stones either.
Let’s just put the stones down and walk away. Or go for a coffee. Either way, let’s just stop being assholes.