Have you ever been stopped on your way somewhere and asked about your personal beliefs? Do you get offended or upset by it? Does it startle you and keep you on your toes for the rest of the day? Well, you’re not alone.
Everything from pamphlets in the restrooms of supermarkets to knocks on your door from men in fancy suits to protesters along the streets, we see pushing of beliefs on others daily.
I was walking to the library late last week to do some homework when two college-aged men appeared seemingly out of no where and asked to speak with me. Now, from previous experience, when someone comes out of no where, I get startled and instantly in defense mode. I was basically questioned by these men for about five minutes about my beliefs and how Jesus fit into them. Personally, I am not a believer and I let them know that. After one of the men asked if I wanted his number and to hang out sometime so we could pray together, I politely declined and went on my way. I heard the two men call out to another group of people I had not seen on campus before and realized they were all doing the same thing.
A few years ago, I was home alone relaxing on a summer morning. I was watching a movie when someone knocked on my door. I looked through the peephole and automatically recognized the person as someone from the church down the road from my neighborhood. Since I have watched one too many horror movies, I didn’t open the door and I stayed very quiet, hoping he would think no one was home. He kept knocking off and on for a little under five minutes when I finally opened the door, but not the smaller glass one in between us. He tried to talk to me about Jesus and salvation, asking if I wanted to go to hell in the afterlife. I replied with a sincere, “No, now if you could please leave, I’d like to get back to what I was doing.” He kept talking and since I’m a naturally sarcastic person, I couldn’t help but to cut him off to let him know I was gay and that he could leave because he was making no difference for me. I then shut and locked the door, and watched through the window until he left and moved on to the next house.
My question for you is, what is enough? How much pushing can someone possibly do and think it’s helping people? A friend of mine once said, “You don’t have to agree with anyone, but you have to accept people and what that all entails. Acceptance, not agreeance.” We should all just live in peace with one another and love and accept people for who they are. Pushing beliefs on others is not going to help people to understand your views, but make them resentful against you. We need to start loving and listening to one another. Accept people and then the difference will be made in the world.
Side comment: I know all groups push beliefs on one another and I’m not just calling out religious individuals. However, those are the only types of conflict I’ve personally experienced.
Have you or someone you know ever been in a situation where beliefs were pushed upon them? Sound off in the comments!