thread: 2006-08-31 : I think my expectations are screwed

On 2006-09-08, joshua m. neff wrote:

Right on, Meg. As Charles has said, it's actions that count, actions in the Here and Now.

I don't care what people believe, I care how people act. If you believe the Creator of Everything incarnated as a human, lived a life, and was sacrificed, that's cool—as long as you treat people with respect and compassion. (Note: Fred Phelps and his family have these basic beliefs, but do not treat their fellow humans with anything close to respect and compassion.) If you believe Thor or Zeus or the Goddess of the Earth or Nyarlathotep or your ancestors or some spirit or diety you made up 5 minutes ago gives you power, and because of that you treat people with respect and compassion, then what do I care?

As a Pinko Secular Humanist, Christianity, in any form, is no less weird to me than putting your faith in Pan or Hermes or Satan or the Tao or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as long as you act like a mensch and treat people with respect and compassion.

As I mentioned earlier, my parents were involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s. My father once said to me, "I never marched or protested to change people's minds. That was never my goal, because you can't make people not be bigots. People will always be prejudiced against others, for whatever reason—religion, culture, skin color, gender. Some person will always decide they don't like their neighbor. I just wanted to make sure they couldn't legally do anything about it."

Do beliefs have power? Sure. But actions trump them everytime. Our actions give our beliefs meaning.


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