As hard as I tried to write a post about controversial subjects (religion & gay marriage, specifically) without pissing someone off…I just couldn’t seem to fit everything I felt into one blog post and make it somehow appeal to everyone. I felt like I was pushing my beliefs on people and that is something I’m completely against.

That’s why this post will be about “respect,” because that is what we all deserve. Granted, my views will obviously show through in this post, and I apologize if I offend anyone in anyway. The point of this post is to merely explain how I view our differences and how I have learned to cherish them – no matter how great the divide. I hope one day that this view may be commonplace.

So, with that being said, I shall bestow upon you my most cherished belief of this world (and a few others here and there…). I, of course, believe they are the best views. As everyone else tends to think their views are the best! But the difference between me and a lot of other people is that I’m open to discussion about these views. I’m not closeted to the fact that I’m gay, that I’m not at all religious, that I’m fiscally conservative yet socially liberal – these are the things that make me who I am! But something else that makes me who I am is that I have a mind that is open to new ideas and debate.

I tend to base my beliefs on information. For instance, i’ve read more information on the success of the free markets than controlled markets, therefore I believe that free markets prevail. Not to say that regulation isn’t needed, because we can’t ignore the human factor – humans are innately competitive, greedy, make mistakes and rash judgements, and live in a bubble surrounded by their own beliefs.

I also believe humans are innately good.

I remember sitting at the Bistro (a restaurant in my home town) speaking with a friend of mine. We somehow always got into philosophical conversations, so naturally, one was taking place at that time. I mentioned that I think all humans were innately good and that I actually have a lot of faith in society as a whole – even though that faith is often faltering at moments of uncertainty, somehow I always come back to my belief that everything will work out. Being devout in her religion (non-denominational christianity), she said that she did not believe everyone was innately “good.” Instead, she actually believed that everyone was innately “bad” and could only be saved upon the acceptance of Christ.

Although I feel that believing everyone is innately “bad” is a bit of a pessimistic way to live one’s life, I have nothing but respect for her beliefs. Because she deserves that. We all do. It would not be my place to try to convince her otherwise, but instead merely express what I believe and let her soak it up – just as I did with her ideas.

Another example is when I was New Orleans – I visited a gay bar. Across the street, on the corner, was a group of people holding a cross, handing out pamphlets explaining the level of hell we’d go to if we didn’t quit our sinful ways. I didn’t mock them, laugh at them, yell at them, or roll my eyes at them as some people were doing. Why? Why wouldn’t I stand up and say how unfair it is that they stand there and basically chastise us for being who we are? Why didn’t I? Because. Because they live in America and have a right to be there, just as I had the right to be at that bar. No matter how different their beliefs are than mine, I still respected them. I showed them the respect that they weren’t showing us. Do you think they remember me (one person) kindly passing them by? no. But I bet if every gay man and woman on that block did the same thing as I, then I bet they would have remembered it.

The golden rule applies to more than just kindergarten. You must also respect those you wish you to gain respect from…

The fact is, we’re all different. We’ve all been led to believe something or another because of where we were born, what our parents believed, how we were educated, or maybe we had a life altering realization at some point…whatever it may be, we need to learn to embrace these differences and realize that they are what make us all human.

I believe that the average person on this earth feels a strong connection to every other person regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, social status, wealth, or any other differentiating factor. We are all so similar. Although we don’t all believe in the same “son,” we do all live in the light of the same sun, above the same earth, under the same stars.

I also believe that government laws should be applied to ALL people – regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, social status, wealth, or any other differentiating factor. You have the RIGHT to think that gays shouldn’t marry and that women shouldn’t be able to have abortions. But I should also have the RIGHT to believe what I believe and to live my life – one day, hopefully happily married with a family. I ask you for nothing more than a little respect.

Respect to me is kind of like the feeling I get when I watch this video:

I begin tingling in my arms and my neck and a tear begins to swell in my eye. I don’t agree with the war, but I SURE AS HELL support our troops! Cause I want nothing more than for each and everyone one of them to come home safe without a scratch on their body. I RESPECT what they’re doing even though I don’t personally believe in the official cause.

This is what respect is for me. I may be gay and you may be straight. I may not be religious and you may be a devout Christian. I may not believe what you believe and you may not beleive what I believe. But I respect that…not only do I respect it, but I cherish it as part of what makes being alive so great.

THAT I can respect.

Can you?

– Ross


  • Comment by Mom — August 26, 2010 @ 13:56

    I believe people are innately good and the golden rule may be the only rule we need. We all deserve respect and hopefully receive much more.

  • Comment by JAB — September 3, 2010 @ 16:33

    Ross, I used to want everyone to like me and what I thought. As I got older, I realized that that simply wasn’t possible. I’ve come to a kind of peace, now. I don’t apologize for my opinions…but I DO make a point to make sure that my opinions are defensible and well-reasoned. Yours appear to be just that. Believe what you will, fervently. Those who love you will love you, always. Those who don’t…well, so be it.

  • Pingback by Movie and TV reviews: Short Edition | The Ross Chronicles — September 10, 2010 @ 12:30

    […] I respect that […]

  • Comment by Anne — October 6, 2010 @ 04:19

    Hmm, okay, I think you have the potential to start several dialogues with this post. There’s a lot here to unpack. And I think that is wonderful and I’d love to dwell on all of it. I wish I had more than a moment right now. But I will say this now with the bit of time I have been given: I think for me I believe that people are innately selfish and that Christians are called to be, for the most part, selfless. Whether or not you want to sum up selfishness as “bad” or “good” is an entirely different conversation. Either way, the “good and “bad” answers seem to be very absolute, when people tend to not work in absolutes.

    To add to that conversation here is an article you may have read before from either myself or Cynthia: “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God”

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