While I do think that people are entitled to their opinions and I respect everyone’s right to express those opinions, what I don’t support is ignorant beliefs that interfere with people’s health. When I hear people say things like, “Addicts are losers” or “Gay people are going to Hell” or “Anybody with a mental illness is just crazy” I can’t help but think that there’s something sinister afoot.
Ok, maybe sinister is a bit strong, but I do think that when stupidity is tolerated, it grows into a mass of ignorance that causes people undue stress just for being alive. Someone who’s addicted probably faces struggles and challenges as a result of his or her addiction, but those struggles should be seen as limiting factors that can be transformed and overcome. Someone isn’t a loser simply because they’re addicted. If we, as a collective community, continue to allow judgment of those with addictions, we are creating the very environment in which Addiction as a disease prospers.
When we hate anyone for any single reason, we really only hurt ourselves. Right now, there’s a huge anti-gay bias that appears to be gaining momentum. This bias is no different than any other judgmental attitude. But for me, the topic of sexual orientation is as personal as a topic can get. I don’t want ANYONE asking about my bedroom behaviors and I really don’t want to know about anyone else’s. Whomever someone chooses to share physical intimacy is his or her choice. I don’t care much about the argument of whether or not someone is “born that way,” all I care about, ultimately, is that someone lives to the best of his or her ability. If anyone has to live with the idea that there’s something wrong with him or herself because of whom he or she is interested in sexually, then that idea is nothing but an unnecessary interference. Plus, I don’t want to hear what the Bible says about the topic of homosexuality; the Bible also says that if a girl is proven to not be a virgin, she can be stoned to death. The last time I checked, I think we’d all frown on women being killed for not being virgins. The Bible shouldn’t be used as an excuse for hatred when really, there’s no excuse to limit a person for any reason. We are all worthy to love and be loved.
Also, the idea that mental illness just means someone’s crazy is especially irritating to me. Mental illness is diagnosable and treatable condition just like any other illness. Mental illness can have biological and/or environmental bases, but it’s real and we as a community of people should seek to understand the way mental illnesses function so that we can share the resource or humanity with anyone who is struggling with something that he or she may not understand. I struggled with Depression and sought to learn its nature and I continue to learn about how to best teach others how they can overcome it. People may say I’m crazy, but that label hasn’t ever really worked for me and I’m certain all it does is make whatever mental or emotional illness a person faces much worse.
In the end, people will hold on to whatever stupidity they need in order to justify their hatred for others. I pray for those whose ignorance breeds hate; I hope that God’s true love and light enter their calloused hearts because that’s the only way they’ll see that we are all worthy of love and respect and no one deserves to live in a world that hates them