In the wake of our Presidents announcement of supporting gay marriage this past week it was interesting to see the various responses out there. Perhaps what has troubled me more than him offering his support is watching the backlash from the media and various people around the net against people who disagree with this position. It got me thinking that we don’t know how to disagree anymore…especially on a polarizing issue such as this.
I tweeted this earlier this week: One of the greatest fallacies of our time is that acceptance & tolerance = agreement.
Whatever the issue may be, I think it’s very immature when you express disagreement people throw you into the “intolerant” and “un-accepting” category. The fact of the matter is that I can absolutely accept and even tolerate someone and complete disagree with their actions/choices. This happens every day of our lives with smaller issues and I would argue is an essential part of healthy relationships. Think about the best relationships in your life: isn’t how you disagree on matters a far better indicator of relational health than how you agree on various matters? When you disagree with your spouse do you yell and throw things? When a friend wants to somewhere different for dinner how do you respond? Furthermore what makes relationships exciting is getting to know people different from yourself…learning how to flex and flow, discovering what really matters to you. The best relationships in my life has been the ones that stretched me, challenged me to think differently. What a boring relationship and what a boring world it would be if we all agreed all the time.
No doubt there are extremes on both sides of this issue…but the reaction along with the polls indicate this issue is still far from being settled in our country and let’s remember part of creating a “more perfect union” includes acceptance and tolerance coming from those on both sides of this issue.