Religion Deserves Respect
I wrote a couple of blogs last week that generated a lot of comments. I received messages on jewishjournal.com, Facebook, Twitter, and email. One of the blogs was about political affiliations, so I expected those, and the other one was about an F List celebrity, which I knew would generate a dialogue. I love it when readers reach out to me. We don’t always agree, but when they feel strong enough about my words to share their own, it matters to me. Comments are always encouraged.
There is a woman in Tennessee who comments quite often. She is quite religious and does not comment without mentioning Jesus and keeping me in her prayers. We disagree about everything, and frankly I think her views on certain things are nothing shy of crazy, but she is always respectful and kind. I am a person who thinks life is better when you have faith. It can be faith in God, yourself, or the Green Bay Packers. It doesn’t matter where faith lies, just that you have it.
I am Jewish and write for a Jewish publication, but this woman in Tennessee is certain Jesus is the key to happiness. It is actually quite charming and I admire her conviction. I know nothing about her or her life, other than the fact she lives in Tennessee and thinks Leann Rimes is the greatest human being to walk the earth since Jesus. Crazy to be sure, but God Bless her for having faith and never wavering, even though other readers on my blog go after her quite often.
Last week after Tennessee commented on my post, a long time reader replied to her comment. In it she questioned Tennessee’s faith, saying her opinion was not in line with her religion. I found it to be offensive and rude, so I let everyone know with a rather colorful choice of words. In a time where there is so much religious hate in the world, I simply could not let anyone come to my blog and attack anyone’s religion. My religion is attacked every single day and I wasn’t going to allow it.
I have no problem with people not sharing the same opinion, and people don’t have to agree with everything I write, but to attack someone’s beliefs is not cool. I am of the opinion Leann Rimes is a sociopath who needs to be medicated and perhaps hospitalized. Just my opinion, but this is America, and this is my blog, and I have the right to write whatever I want. If Tennessee thinks Leann is an angel who should be sainted, good for her. Her opinion can be questioned, but not her faith.
To tell Tennessee her opinion makes her a bad Christian is not only idiotic, but it is hurtful. I let the woman who commented know where she could put her opinion of Tennessee’s faith. I then got a series of tweets from the woman who attacked religion, and she was not pleased with me. She let me know she was a longtime reader and to lash out at her was not only uncalled for, but unkind, and mean spirited. I immediately felt bad about my response as it really wasn’t nice.
I didn’t know who the woman was on Facebook, but on Twitter realized she is a lovely lady who has been reading my work for a very long time. She has always supported me and made an effort to stay connected. That is irrelevant however because whether or not I knew her, my attack should never have happened. Two wrongs don’t make a right and rather than go after her, I should have explained myself in a kind and articulate way, which is what happened on Twitter.
I told the reader I was offended by her bringing the woman’s religion into her comment, and she understood why I reacted like I did, and explained it was never her intention to upset me or offend Tennessee. I escalated the situation by losing my temper, which was a real shame. These are two lovely women, with different views, and my approach should have been to diffuse not ignite. It ended up being an important moment and I have been changed for the good by it.
To Tennessee, thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I appreciate that very much and wish you health and happiness always. To Sally, thank you for calling me out and teaching me something. Please accept my apology and know that I will be more thoughtful moving forward. Opinions may differ, but religion deserves respect. Have a great weekend everyone. Be safe, be kind, say sorry, count your blessings, and keep the faith.