Opinions are fabulous things. Seriously! We all get to have our own! I don’t have to share.
But they can be dangerous. Because people like to share them, and not in the “hey, this is what I think, isn’t that cool” sharing, but the “THIS IS MY OPINION, IT IS RIGHT, IT IS GOOD, WHY DON’T YOU THINK THIS WAY” sharing.
I am Catholic. Mom forced me to go to church every Sunday. I still go. My kids have been baptized and are going to religious education classes to be confirmed. Catholics are funny creatures. At mass, I hear words of acceptance, then hear how people need to change.
To be Catholic, you HAVE TO believe everything the church does.
And… that doesn’t sit well with me.
See, my mom told us, “God gave you your own mind, so you can USE it!” And I told my kids the same thing. I tell them when my opinion differs from the church… or from any group. God also gave us reasoning. So listen to all the opinions, then form your own.
But there’s more to it. God granted us with compassion.
Opinions can cut if wielded without understanding. When our beliefs are challenged, we tend to take a defensive stand. Break out the sword and shield, kids, there’s a battle. But wait… no, there’s not.
Maybe there’s just sharing ideas. Maybe there’s listening and learning. And when we can’t share nicely, maybe there’s just a point when we stop talking at each other and go get ice cream.
Because there’s no reason to fight over being right. There’s no reason to change people.
I am pro-choice, have been for years. I have my own reasons to not believe what my religion has told me to believe. And I am happy this way.
I also support gay marriage, yet another deviation from what my religion says.
This doesn’t make me a bad person. Please do not try to sway me. And I won’t tell anyone to believe what I do. We can all live here peacefully. I am a person of faith.
Faith can unite the world.
Like I tell kids who look at me funny when I spout my weird thoughts… You have your opinions, I’ll have mine, and we can still be friends.