Expectations, Perceptions, and Respect
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about expectations and how they both feed and result from perception. It doesn’t matter whether the expectations are reasonable or unreasonable. Often, our expectations of others, after influence by perception, affect the level of respect we have for others. Unfortunately, respect is often given based on perception of facts as opposed to actual fact. Perception may rule our decisions, but the problem with perception is that it’s like stories about life: there is more than one view and the truth is somewhere in the middle. When making decisions about respect for others, perception must always be questioned: Satan pretends to serve God, and faery changelings looked like the real baby that had disappeared. Respect can only be given to those who tell stories of wisdom and kindness, woven over time through pain and bad decisions and hard luck lives.
The Baltimore Riots
Everyone seems to want to play the race game when something bad happens to a non-Caucasian in the custody of authorities. Then, they make poor choices and riot in the streets, burning buildings and attacking people and stealing things that don’t belong to them. If you truly feel a race is poorly perceived, why add to the problem by doing unwise things that cause damage to property and economic hemorrhaging to businesses that have to be shut down because of your activities?!? The reality is that there has been progress, and society as a whole needs to be given credit for where we are. But to fix the problems, you need to work on communicating not only what the problems are but also what you feel the solutions might be. Simply reviewing problems is a negative drain on mutual respect and good will, and it makes you look immature and bitter and overly critical.
*cringing* I almost don’t want to address this topic. I know I hold a minority view. But I think I need to explain it a little differently.
Romans 1:18-27 pretty much is interpreted by some who oppose gay marriage as homosexuality is a punishment from a pissy deity having a really bad eon because he’s not worshipped. In effect, ignore me and I will make you sin so I don’t have to see you in eternity.
I would argue that this is a very narrow view that is totally unbalanced. With Adam’s sin, all of creation was subjected to the futility of brokenness and disorder and dysfunction and disease. But continuing on to Romans 1:28-30 as a conclusion of Romans 1:18-27, there is a whole host of sin that is included with the penalty for not worshipping the Deity, including hatred, strife, pride, disobedience, unforgiveness, deceit, and other such nasties.
No one sin is truly any worse than the other. The gossip is as deserving of hell as the slanderer as the pedophile as the murderer as the adulterer as the homosexual as the accountant skimming off the top from the IRS. Pretty much, we are all sinning screw ups who deserve to fry like bacon for eternity. There but for the grace of the Deity…
That said, we in the minority need to accept that for the time being many sins are legal (such as abortion), and we may have to accept that this is one more that may be hard to swallow.
However, our opponents do have a sneaky way to make us acquiesce. Make gay marriage law by hook or by crook. Give religious bodies the right to refuse to perform the marriages without losing 501c status as a right and just concession under the First Amendment. Throw in some businesses refusing services related to marriage as a bonus concession. Then, all the supporters of gay marriage can migrate with their boku bucks en masse away from bigots.
In effect, turn up the heat on gay marriage opponents until like the proverbial frog we don’t know that we are boiled in our own narrow beliefs and hypocrisies. We will be all warm and toasty, too complacent to fight well or care. In a generation, no one will know why we object. It’s worked with other nasties.