Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If you do not want people acting like jerks toward you, then do not be jerks toward them.
And yet, as easy as this teaching is, it does not come so easy to some of us. Some of you who read my column may have already figured this out, but I am a bit of a liberal. Not really hardcore, I like to think I am a fiscal conservative and liberal on social issues. That being said, you can imagine my thoughts on S.C.’s Amendment One passing a few weeks ago.
I could write a whole column on my thoughts. Do I feel strongly? You bet, but I also know that no matter how well-written my argument against Amendment One is, I will not be changing anyone’s mind. On the flipside, mine will not be changed by the opposing argument either.
So, instead, I am going to write about tolerance, friendship and the Golden Rule.
Amendment One tested many of us. I saw a lot of arguments among very good friends online. Nasty arguments that resulted in name calling and, I am sure, the end of a friendship or two. Online news forums were filled with name calling matches to see who could denigrate the other side more. It happened on both sides.
Not very Christian, right?
All this arguing upset me. Yes, I have a strong opinion against Amendment One, but my friends that are for it are not going to get nastygrams from me. I know that a few of my friends and I had opposing views on this, but this one difference in opinion would never make me dump them as friends. These friends support me when I am having a bad day with the kids or struggling with my own self-worth.
That did not change just because they found out I was OK with same-sex marriage, and it didn’t change for me because I found out they were not.
Dumping them as friends makes me the same intolerant person I cannot stand. I do not want to teach my kids that anyone with an opposing view is not worth their time.
Do not throw away good friendships because you do not agree on one point. Do not hate a whole group of people because someone from that group upset you. Do not make fun of someone because they look or act different from you. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.