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Pretending to convenient beliefs...

I think there's a big difference between morals and principles. A fairly distinctive one.

I realized this, thinking about what happened with Kristine a few weeks ago. I figured out why we're different, and why I can see this somewhat more clearly than she does (or so I assume, since she's now repeating the story of the "argument" - which it was NOT, damnit... arguments involve two people discussing to equally valid points of view, I think, so it *wasn't* an argument - in a wildly different version than how it actually ocurred). And for some reason I keep typing g instead of t. Huh.

Morals, at least in the case of people like her, are things you're given. More often than not, they're something you take for granted. Someone else's version of right and wrong. Morals go with ideologies like those present in many religions. You're handed a set of "rights" and "wrongs" and live by those rules, again more often than not (though this certainly isn't always the case) without ever questioning them, or thinking about them. This is the reason a lot of people call religion a crutch - which in a sense is of course the truth. Not that it isn't usually a lot *more* than just a crutch. But for some people, most specifically the weak of will, it serves that purpose, sometimes excusively.

I stated before the standard I was raised with - that only three kinds of people are bigots: the evil, the stupid, and the weak. Because it is an evil belief, centered around hatred and violence (Now, I don't think Kristine's evil.). Because bigotry is illogical, and intelligent people try to follow logic, and so most intelligent people aren't bigots. And I know she's not stupid. The third category - well, it's all that's left, isn't it? The weak conform without question. And the weak people within some religions that proscribe to some beliefs that include bigoted ones are likely to submit, as previously stated, without question. Not to mention the weak people *outside* of religion. Bigots come from all sorts of places. Weak people accept beliefs without question because they're afraid to question, or because they don't know how. Or because they're comfortable with their current state of belief - which of course is probably included within the "fear" quotient. Maybe laziness, even.

So. Weak people pretend to convenient beliefs, because they are convenient. (That's a quote from one of my favourite poems: "Do not pretend to convenient beliefs, even when they are righteous. You will never defend your city while shouting." Pity I can't remember the author's name right now...) Convenience in belief leads to both foolish and evil acts, because if you get *too* comfortable, you stop even thinking about what you're doing. It happened in Nazi Germany, didn't it?

Now. Morals can be other things; they can be a standard of right and wrong, a reasoned one - though in that case, I would more likely call them principles. Because principles are things you learn. They're things you hone through trial and error. They're things you have burned into you by experience, pleasant and unpleasant. You learn them. By experiencing things for yourself. I won't go so far as to say that they're superior to morals for that reason - but I don't ever say that I have morals. I say that I have principles. Because *I* wasn't raised with any one religion, nor did my parents *tell* me, at least not so simply, what was right and what was wrong. I learned it. (I guess I have pretty weird parents, but that's nothing new. ;)

I learned that being treated differently for a reason that makes no sense is hurtful. And since it's hurtful, it is, in my eyes, wrong. Hatred is wrong. Violence in the cause of hatred is wrong.

She says she thinks that gay people are being immoral, and yet she claims she "loves" them anyway, because she thinks she's a "good Christian" and that she's supposed to say that. I say that you can't love someone you don't respect. You *can't*. And therefore, since homophobia is bigotry, and bigotry is violence, she's committing an act that I consider *wrong*.

Which is why I haven't spoken to her in two, three weeks, and yet she waves and smiles when she sees me on the street. She pretends to convenient beliefs. And her beliefs don't match one another. It must be very disorganized inside Kristine's head, I think.

Yeah, I know I can't change her, and she thinks I'm being a bitch. I honestly don't think she understands why she made me so angry. Which is disturbing, because that speaks to a dwindling amount of rationality on her part. I thought it was obvious. So did everyone else I've spoken to about it.

I can't change her, I can't stop her from saying the things she says, or believing she believes whatever the hell she wants to. But I don't associate with bigots.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2002 12:22 pm (UTC)
I don't challenge anything you say above, mind you -- your choice, your decision, and I think the right one. Also, very well stated.

But having done the IRC religion debate thing yesterday, I thought What the hell, 'cause I'm avoiding work right now.

"Hate the sin but love the sinner" is a phrase legalistic Christians love to throw around. Basically -- I don't think I'm telling you anything you haven't figured out on your own, but anyway -- it's how your basic legalistic Christian (one who thinks of Christianity primarily as a system of redemption via transaction -- Jesus dies on the cross, humanity accepts Jesus, humanity gets to go to heaven, and I am seriously oversimplifying here) reconciles the ideas that, (a) they're taught to judge those who they're told are sinful and hellbound and (b) the Great Commandment -- IE Jesus of Nazereth's decree that you must love your neighbor as you love yourself. (No loopholes in that, you notice. ;-)

So that's where she's at right now. Unfortunetly, this is a more prevelent attitude than it ought to be, and it's one that really drives me nuts. Because it takes the tenants of non-legalistic Christians, people like, say, myself -- and twists them into something hateful and petty and small.

I'm not sure if there was a larger point I wanted to make; I may just post again later if I think of one. But I wanted to poke a little at what she was thinking, and offer a potential explaination of her mindset. Method to the madness and all that. I dunno. *G*

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Chandri MacLeod

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