A fascinating concept. Everybody wants it, but fewer are willing to offer it to others.
Also, it is something that can be earned through one’s valiant efforts or hard work and diligence.
It can also be commanded due to one’s forceful personality or perhaps one’s leadership qualities.
But it can never be demanded. If you demand that someone respects you or your beliefs then you have instantly lost all rights to any respect at all.
If you have to tell someone to show respect, it clearly demonstrates that you (or your beliefs and opinions) that have no intrinsic value that would otherwise be worthy of respect.
Case in point, I recently took part in what was initially a light hearted moment on Twitter. I won’t cut and paste the tweets in here, but what follows is a faithful recreation:
@DSDrummerBoi: I’d love to see atheist friends, grungers, hipsters, b boys and any other social demographic come to church. It’s for everyone
Me: #atheists? #church? Guessing it probably won’t happen. Just sayin’
@godless_mom: I’m not gonna lie, i’ll go if there’s a cheeseball.
Me: Free cake and I too could be a hypocrite 😉
@DSDrummerBoi: nothing to do with faith
Me: What is nothing to do with faith?
@DSDrummerBoi: being a hypocrite. That’s a human issue. A fleshy issue.
Me: It’s a distance and no flight tickets issue. Also cake or not… Still church. Sorry
Okay? So far so good, simply a light hearted moment. Then this happened…
@DSDrummerBoi: and you call us judgemental loool
Me: Erm… How have I been judgemental please?
@DSDrummerBoi: would you avoid going into a McDonalds because a Christian was in there?
(A non seqitur if ever I heard one.)
Me: No because the sole purpose of McDonalds isn’t to provide a place of worship to a mythical deity.
@DSDrummerBoi: be respectful
Me: Why? You’re yet to earn my respect. It started as a light hearted moment, but you had to label me judgemental! And then ORDER me to respect your blatant disrespect of me. Not gonna happen!
@DSDrummerBoi: I didn’t call you foolish for not believing in God so don’t refer to Him as a mythical deity. Have respect
There’s that R word again. And yes I agree, he didn’t call me foolish, but he did label me as judgemental without cause.
I’ll be honest, his attitude annoyed me so I came back with the following:
Me: Mythical deity is what I said and also what I meant! I have no respect for your church or your god. And the fact that you ORDERED me to have respect means I have none for you either!
Was I unjust?
I don’t think so. @DSDrummerBoi felt well within his rights to insult me with complete impunity, but when challenged insisted that I show the same respect to him that he completely failed to show me.
And that is one of the problems with talking to theists. The arrogant and almost automatic demand that we pander to their need for unearned respect.
I’ll be honest, I have gone back over this exchange several times and have totally failed to find any point where something I said was judgemental and also failed to find anything he said that was worthy of my respect.
By what measure is an opinion automatically deserving of respect? Do scientists proffer an hypothesis (I won’t say theory as it’ll simply confuse any passing Christians) and then say, “This is my hypothesis. Do not apply the scientific method to try and break it, simply respect the hypothesis for the absolute truth. Can I have my Nobel Prize now please?”
Religion, and only religion demands such tugging of the forelock simply for being what it is… A collection of poorly written and contradictory fairy tales in a variety of languages.
But while we’re on the subject of respect, there’s something else I would like to draw to your attention. And that is the skewed idea of what respect entails according to our religious brethren.
I took part in another Twitter debate that, I’ll be honest, it soon degenerated into a slanging match due to the arrogance of the youthful theist we were ‘debating’. I won’t go into detail on this one, but something she said really struck a chord.
She is a young lady in her (I think) early twenties. I am 48 years old. When she discovered this, she insisted that as an elder of hers, I had an automatic right to her respect… Purely based on age.
What a ridiculous concept that is. Age should have no bearing on the proper levels of respect one shows, or perhaps should show to anyone and everyone you meet, purely because it’s the right thing to do.
The way I see it, I will treat people with respect (not the same as actually respecting them) until by their own word or deed, they show themselves unworthy of my respect. At which point, my disdain gland goes into overdrive.
Trust me, once you lose my respect, it is very difficult to earn it back.
Then she said something that disturbed me greatly. She said, “Even if you slapped me its my duty to obey you cuz you are my elder”
No! That doesn’t make me a danger to anyone. It makes me simply someone who is willing to defend myself.
She replied, “slap you ? oh my if i slap you i would die in shame and remorse….”
She thinks it acceptable that I am allowed to physically assault her without reasonable cause and she also thinks that she should have no right to defend herself against it.
How, in the 21st Century, can such a twisted opinion be held by a supposedly enlightened adult with a university education under her belt?
I’ll fucking tell you!
Her religion has indoctrinated her to the point that she now believes that;
Authority=right to assault with impunity.
I can think of no secular organisation that no only allows, but endorses physical, mental and emotional abuse.
Sadly, I can think of many religions that do. When I say many, I of course mean all!
There is no need fr me to list them here, as I’m sure that the abuses carried out in the name of religion are well known to you all.
So, respect then. If it isn’t there, beat it into them!
Perhaps the religious amongst us should think first before they throw the R word around like they do.
Think about what it actually means and then try and demonstrate why their theological views deserves any.
I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for a response though.