VonNoble

respect, dignity and grace

Recommended Posts

I think it was Mark Twain who said:  "Always do the right thing.  Your friends will be gratified.  Your enemies will be astonished."  

 

:whist:

 

Civility is important;  If only to negotiate a peace treaty.  For me, to respect someone, I need to feel at least neutral towards them.  

 

;)

 

There are some people who should not receive respect.  People who make plain that they are racists, or otherwise support persecution.  Or the people who support their evil efforts.  Respecting evil is not a virtue.  

 

No, meredog. I am not advocating violence.  Only the withholding of respect.

 

:mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2017 at 7:50 PM, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

 

One of the cardinal beliefs of my faith is that all people, no matter who they are or what they may or may not have done with their lives are entitled to be treated with the dignity and respect of a child of God.  

 

Now granted, there are times and circumstances where this is very difficult to put this belief into practice.  In my time working in prisons, I came to know a very few people who were so dangerous that they had to be confined and yes forfeited their right to liberty.  But even in circumstances like that, people should be afforded as many rights and as much dignity as possible so that they are reminded that they too are children of God and can find redemption.  It is those who have no hope and see themselves as less then human that become the most dangerous of people.

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

 

We are getting into some complex things here.  When people have harmed others, what does it count for to be forgiven by God?  

 

I am not confusing harm with violence.  For instance, there is Bernard Madeoff, who has done harm beyond cataloging or calculation.  He should feel like subhuman crap.  He's lucky he wasn't sentenced to death by slow torture.  Even that would have been so inadequate.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dan56   
On 8/31/2017 at 6:50 PM, Rev. Calli said:

 

One of the cardinal beliefs of my faith is that all people, no matter who they are or what they may or may not have done with their lives are entitled to be treated with the dignity and respect of a child of God.

 

 

 

I'd have to agree with Jonathan, there comes a point when some people are not entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.. Respect is earned by our deeds, and if a persons purpose becomes detrimental to everyone around them, we would be foolish to respect them. Not everyone is a child of God either, Jesus told the   Pharisees and Jews; "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

 

I'd have to agree with Jonathan, there comes a point when some people are not entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.. Respect is earned by our deeds, and if a persons purpose becomes detrimental to everyone around them, we would be foolish to respect them. Not everyone is a child of God either, Jesus told the   Pharisees and Jews; "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). 

 

I have committed a serious error of omission.  I should have denounced antisemitism,  along with racism.  "The Jews" ???  Your bigotry continues to astonish me.  

 

:sigh2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
14 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

No, meredog. I am not advocating violence.  Only the withholding of respect.

The end result is the same. Note that in your very next post you suggest that Bernie Madoff should be tortured and worse. If you respect black men you don't lynch black men. If you respect basic human rights you don't violate basic human rights.

Yet the important question is not what others deserve. The important question is whether my actions are having a positive or negative effect on the world around me. When I put someone in a bad mood, chances are good that some innocent third party will have that bad mood taken out on them. When I treat disrespectful people disrespectfully, I teach them that they were right to be disrespectful. 

Growing up in the Old South, I met a lot of overt racists. They weren't the cardboard cutout cliches you see in movies. They were overwhelmingly ordinary people, asside from the one set of grossly assinine beliefs. It is hard for me to assume that the racism cancels out all the good these people will do in their lives. I have trouble losing all respect for a fireman who literally saves lives every day, simply because I find out he is extremely stupid on one issue. Clearly, I would lose a lot of respect for him, but hopefully not so much that I lose the ability to call him on his ** in a manner that could actually be productive.

Because one thing I have watched happen more than once is people overcoming their own racism and figuring out how to be more fair and just in how they see others- and therefore in how they treat others. But I have never seen it happen as a result of the racist being treated with spiteful antagonism.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, mererdog said:

The end result is the same. Note that in your very next next post you suggest that Bernie Madoff should be tortured and worse. If you respect black men you don't lynch black men. If you respect basic human rights you don't violate basic human rights.

The important question is not what others deserve. The important question is whether my actions are having a positive or negative effect on the world around me. When I put someone in a bad mood, chances are good that some innocent third party will have that bad mood taken out on them. When I treat disrespectful people disrespectfully, I teach them that they were right to be disrespectful. 

Growing up in the Old South, I met a lot of overt racists. They weren't the cardboard cutout cliches you see in movies. They were overwhelmingly ordinary people, asside from the one set of grossly assinine beliefs. It is hard for me to assume that the racism cancels out all the good these people will do in their lives. I have trouble losing all respect for a fireman who literally saves lives every day simply because I find out he is extremely stupid on one issue. Clearly, I would lose a lot of respect for him, but hopefully not so much that I lose the ability to call him on his ** in a manner that could actually be productive. Because one thing I have watched happen more than once is people overcoming their own racism and figuring out how to be more fair and just in how they see others- and therefore in how they treat others.

 

 

We should not tell bigots that they are bigots?  It might put them in a bad mood?       :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
15 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

I do my best to treat everyone respectfuly but that does not mean I respect everyone. When a person comes into my life for the first time, they are at zero on my respect scale. Without fail they will either teach me to respect them or teach me they are a waste of my time. Since I have been retired, it is wonderful to exercise my freedom of association.

 

Agreed.    :)   It was not until I rounded the corner into my 40s that I realized I did not have to be accessible

to everyone who reached out to me.   CERTAINLY, retirement has only helped that choice.  So I applaud

you in that regard. 

 

The struggle comes when I am in situations where interaction is NOT optional (socially) (brief) ...everyone has been

in a social setting with clumsy moments.   Seated next to an intoxicated guest at a wedding reception, on an airplane

at someone's home, in an elevator.   We can avoid contributing or drawing attention to ourselves as much as possible

but at times you are sort of thrown into the spotlight or the conversation and there you are. 

 

A person you would never choose to associate with is in your radar for the next few minutes.   There are people

who just rankle us.   What I am curious about is not so much that we have to be false   Nor do we have to hurtfully

honest in every instance.    There are social norms.  There are quick exits.  And then there is the other option.

 

Maintaining some degree of respect at least outwardly.  For many reasons it seems good to do so. 

I can't think of too many reasons not to do so.     Your insight is appreciated.

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I think it was Mark Twain who said:  "Always do the right thing.  Your friends will be gratified.  Your enemies will be astonished."  

 

Nice one....I had a small postcard with that quote for many years.....very appropriate. 

 

15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Civility is important;  If only to negotiate a peace treaty.  For me, to respect someone, I need to feel at least neutral towards them.  

 

 

There are some people who should not receive respect.  People who make plain that they are racists, or otherwise support persecution.  Or the people who support their evil efforts.  Respecting evil is not a virtue.  

 

 

Aren't these two positions, in part, mutually exclusive? 

I think you have, perhaps more succinctly, highlighted my muddling. 

 

Evil exists.   Some offensive people are not necessarily evil.  

They are fearful, uneducated, drunk, or very much in need of attention,

in need of a fix (drugs, power, whatever.) 

 

Without positioning ourselves as willing to understand them (read that as

offering respect even when they are not acting as if they deserve it) - how do we 

ever determine which of the many (justifiable and not justifiable) motivations

is in play?     

 

Racism can be learned.  Hatred can be cultivated. 

 

Some evil is not carried out by the mastermind.

 

 Some of it is carried out by those who do not yet fully understand their options.

 

Sometimes they do know their options but are completely ignorant of the ultimate outcome

of those actions.  Sometimes people in front of us are responding to 

lies, deceit, manipulation, fear mongering.  Sometimes they are not as evil

as their actions imply.  They are just scared or stupid ....or scared stupid. 

 

Even when dealing WITH evil...how does responding in kind help me?

Withholding communications doesn't seem like a likely win does it? 

 

It isn't always possible to remove oneself from or protect yourself from 

evil...sometimes you HAVE TO deal with it.....

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
9 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

Respect is earned by our deeds, and if a persons purpose becomes detrimental to everyone around them, we would be foolish to respect them. 

 

Dan56,

I respect your belief.  I even share the sentiment at least as a first blush.

 

However too, in my studying of Christianity over decades, I have often heard

very good Christian people note that they are thankful that God does not treat

them in accordance with what they deserve. 

 

Few of us deserve the riches and blessings bestowed on us. 

We all "sin" ....we all fall....we all realize that we did so much less than we should have on

so many occasions. 

 

God is often more merciful than just - at least in my understanding of it. 

He often demonstrates mercy and forgiveness quickly. 

God chooses forgiveness - always. 

 

If we are to emulate those actions (and most major religions share that view) then do 

we not obliged to forgive first, to be the first to offer a hand up, turn the other cheek

or whatever Scriptural reference is appropriate (thanks to any believers who can help

me with that footnoting)...

 

ARE WE not defined by our response in the face of those who error?

 

Von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
16 hours ago, mererdog said:

This is why I tried to draw a distinction between respecting someone and treating them with respect. Just as anger is not an excuse for violence, lack of respect is not an excuse to treat people disrespectfully. Although it should go without saying that opinions on what qualifies as disrespectful treatment will vary widely...

 

Finally!  Thanks for your patience.  I got it this time around. Agreed.

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

We should not tell bigots that they are bigots?  It might put them in a bad mood?       :blink:

 

How does that help them or you?

Would they not have to RESPECT you or your opinion in order for your "telling them" to matter?

 

Why would your opinion of them matter a bit?  Unless of course they respected you.

Doesn't that probably require that they sense you respect them?

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

 

Nice one....I had a small postcard with that quote for many years.....very appropriate. 

 

 

Aren't these two positions, in part, mutually exclusive? 

I think you have, perhaps more succinctly, highlighted my muddling. 

 

Evil exists.   Some offensive people are not necessarily evil.  

They are fearful, uneducated, drunk, or very much in need of attention,

in need of a fix (drugs, power, whatever.) 

 

Without positioning ourselves as willing to understand them (read that as

offering respect even when they are not acting as if they deserve it) - how do we 

ever determine which of the many (justifiable and not justifiable) motivations

is in play?     

 

Racism can be learned.  Hatred can be cultivated. 

 

Some evil is not carried out by the mastermind.

 

 Some of it is carried out by those who do not yet fully understand their options.

 

Sometimes they do know their options but are completely ignorant of the ultimate outcome

of those actions.  Sometimes people in front of us are responding to 

lies, deceit, manipulation, fear mongering.  Sometimes they are not as evil

as their actions imply.  They are just scared or stupid ....or scared stupid. 

 

Even when dealing WITH evil...how does responding in kind help me?

Withholding communications doesn't seem like a likely win does it? 

 

It isn't always possible to remove oneself from or protect yourself from 

evil...sometimes you HAVE TO deal with it.....

 

von

 

 

I'm having difficulty untangling some of that.  Smaller bites, please.

 

I am frequently inconsistent.  I do my best.  When there are no good answers, I do the best I can.

 

When I am confronted with bigotry and other forms of evil -- I do not have the God's eye view.  I deal with what is in front of me -- filtered through my own understanding.  It's not enough.  It's what I have.  

 

Show me an oaf spouting antisemitism.  I don't care if he is hiding behind Scripture.  Scripture is the ultimate excuse to say hateful things.  It is the same thing with people who oppose gay rights -- because the Bible said so.  Or the Koran.  We can prove anything we want with Scripture.  Anything.  Haters pick the verses that support their hate.  People with love in their hearts focus on different verses.

 

:mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

 

How does that help them or you?

Would they not have to RESPECT you or your opinion in order for your "telling them" to matter?

 

Why would your opinion of them matter a bit?  Unless of course they respected you.

Doesn't that probably require that they sense you respect them?

 

von

 

Just one obvious example for now.  In America, we now have "marriage equality."  How?  Because gay people were wiling to hurt the feelings of bigots.  Because they spoke up for themselves.  Because they were willing to be "uppity" -- not know their place -- and even, to be rude.

 

It's a good model for Atheists.  The first step is coming out of the closet.  The second step is not being afraid to get in the face of bigots.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
VonNoble   
12 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Just one obvious example for now.  In America, we now have "marriage equality."  How?  Because gay people were wiling to hurt the feelings of bigots.  Because they spoke up for themselves.  Because they were willing to be "uppity" -- not know their place -- and even, to be rude.

 

It's a good model for Atheists.  The first step is coming out of the closet.  The second step is not being afraid to get in the face of bigots.  

 

Thanks for the example.  It did clarify some things for me in your position. 

However, on the converse side, the first wedding I performed for gay friends we had to travel to 

N.H. as it was still a rare occurrence in 2004.   That couple had worked very hard to raise

awareness of their situation.   They donated money. Send information out to friends regularly.

They paid subscriptions to "gay" magazines and sent it to straight friends.    They worked

quietly and non-violently.

 

One of their most effective tools was inviting neighbors and friends to dinner to see how 

very normal and very boring they were.    They also brought about the change with dignity

and grace, no?

 

von

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

 

Thanks for the example.  It did clarify some things for me in your position. 

However, on the converse side, the first wedding I performed for gay friends we had to travel to 

N.H. as it was still a rare occurrence in 2004.   That couple had worked very hard to raise

awareness of their situation.   They donated money. Send information out to friends regularly.

They paid subscriptions to "gay" magazines and sent it to straight friends.    They worked

quietly and non-violently.

 

One of their most effective tools was inviting neighbors and friends to dinner to see how 

very normal and very boring they were.    They also brought about the change with dignity

and grace, no?

 

von

 

 

 

I understand what you are saying.  It's valid.

 

When someone tells me that I'm going to Hell, because I have not accepted Christ into my heart -- I find a one finger salute at least makes me feel better.  There are times when turning the other cheek, will only get me the shaft up the center.  I'm done with being respectful to the disrespectful.  I find it to be a losing strategy.  

 

I lack sainthood.  I have limits.  It brings me small joy to hurt the feelings of a bigot, with rudeness.  Sometimes, it's enough.  

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

We should not tell bigots that they are bigots?  It might put them in a bad mood?       :blink:

Read it again. Pay attention to the context of the words "call him on his ** in a manner that could actually be productive."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, mererdog said:

Read it again. Pay attention to the context of the words "call him on his ** in a manner that could actually be productive."

 

 

It's the productive part that I'm not getting.  There comes a time when my own serenity becomes the priority.  That is when I stop arguing.

 

How many psychiatrists does it  take to change a light bulb?  Just one, but it has to want to change.           :D      :whist:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dan56   
23 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

I have committed a serious error of omission.  I should have denounced antisemitism,  along with racism.  "The Jews" ???  Your bigotry continues to astonish me. 

 

How does my quoting Christ make me a bigot? You do know that Christ was a Jew don't you? He told them that they were doing the deeds of the devil, who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.. A Jew telling other Jews the truth has nothing to do with bigotry..  Ironically, those other Jews were demanding his death shortly thereafter, which imo, gives credibility to his charges against them; "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."  This saying was directed to the Pharisees and Jews who were questioning Jesus, not all the Jews, so he clearly was not antisemitic, as attested by the 12 Jewish disciples he asked to follow him.. You inevitably find bigotry where your looking for it, even when it doesn't exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dan56   
15 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

Dan56,

I respect your belief.  I even share the sentiment at least as a first blush.

 

However too, in my studying of Christianity over decades, I have often heard

very good Christian people note that they are thankful that God does not treat

them in accordance with what they deserve. 

 

Few of us deserve the riches and blessings bestowed on us. 

We all "sin" ....we all fall....we all realize that we did so much less than we should have on

so many occasions. 

 

God is often more merciful than just - at least in my understanding of it. 

He often demonstrates mercy and forgiveness quickly. 

God chooses forgiveness - always. 

 

If we are to emulate those actions (and most major religions share that view) then do 

we not obliged to forgive first, to be the first to offer a hand up, turn the other cheek

or whatever Scriptural reference is appropriate (thanks to any believers who can help

me with that footnoting)...

 

ARE WE not defined by our response in the face of those who error?

 

Von

 

Its my belief that God forgives those who repent, and He expects us to do likewise; "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him" (Luke 17:3). So your assertion that "God chooses forgiveness - always" does not ring true for me. I don't think God forgives non-'believers  or the unrepentant, but is quick to forgive the repentant believer. When the malefactor crucified with Christ said that he (the thief) deserved his punishment, Jesus did not disagree with him. Our deeds have consequences, that's why there's a heaven and a hell, God's reward and God's wrath.   jmo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

 

How does my quoting Christ make me a bigot? You do know that Christ was a Jew don't you? He told them that they were doing the deeds of the devil, who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.. A Jew telling other Jews the truth has nothing to do with bigotry..  Ironically, those other Jews were demanding his death shortly thereafter, which imo, gives credibility to his charges against them; "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."  This saying was directed to the Pharisees and Jews who were questioning Jesus, not all the Jews, so he clearly was not antisemitic, as attested by the 12 Jewish disciples he asked to follow him.. You inevitably find bigotry where your looking for it, even when it doesn't exist.

 

 

When you say bigoted things, you're a bigot.  Stop hiding behind Scripture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now