30 June 2015

In Which I Outline a Few Principles of General Application

With respect to recent events, it is needful to take a step back and outline some basic principles that I follow. I am deliberately keeping this generic. As always, I speak only for myself.

  • 1. In my case, silence does not necessarily indicate acceptance or consent on a particular topic, issue or event. It may simply mean I've not had a chance to formulate a response. 
  • 2. I may not always formulate a public response. 
  • 3. Not everyone has the same religious beliefs that I have. The faith that I have adopted for the past two decades, for instance, is quite different from the faith of either of my brothers, and very likely the balance of my extended family on both sides. 
  • 4. Not everyone has the same political beliefs that I have. In fact, I am probably a centrist on many issues, and as such, would likely disagree with certain factions from BOTH of the major political parties.
  • 5. I feel that we must be respectful and considerate of others, even as to certain subjects and topics of disagreement, and regardless of how the political winds are blowing at the moment. This means finding areas of common ground where possible, but also includes agreeing to disagree when necessary. [Note: Someone will recognize this is a repeat of something I said sometime back, but I felt it was worth repeating.]   
  • 6. It is not necessary to change one's religious faith (or any essential portion of that faith), in order to be respectful and considerate of others. 
  • 7. It is not necessary to change political party affiliation (or even to have a formal party affiliation) in order to be respectful and considerate of others.
  • 8. I don't believe that a difference of opinion should be construed as hatred towards those of the opposing view, unless it is expressly worded as such.
  • 9. I am not perfect, and do not know anyone who is, save for one individual who is well known throughout history. Within the bounds of reason, we need to be more patient and forgiving with each other, within our families, and also with ourselves. 
  • 10. I will teach and share those things I know for myself to be true, and would accord others the same courtesy, provided it is peaceful and in keeping of the laws and Constitution of our land.
  • 11. I believe the First Amendment incorporates more than public conduct, or even private conduct. It incorporates matters of our very conscience. 
  • 12. This list is not intended to be exhaustive or to cover every possible situation. I'm only covering the heavy hitters. I reserve the right to amend as necessary. (Or not.) :-)

Regards, --SJR

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