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Society needs to practice a little more empathy

From the Editor's Desk

Stephen Bartlett

Stephen Bartlett

No one is trying to force you to agree with gay marriage or participate in it.

So why are you trying to force people to abide by your beliefs?

Let’s examine another aspect of this.

When you tell someone who is gay that they are wrong, you are telling that person something in the very core of who they are is wrong.

When done enough times, that becomes verbal and psychological abuse.

That may not be the intention, but that is the outcome.

Studies indicate that psychological abuse is often more damaging than physical abuse. In many cases it leads to suicide.

So why do people gasp in disbelief when someone punches someone else, yet often say next to nothing when witnessing psychological abuse?

Shouldn’t we be more outraged by the act that inflicts more pain and causes sometimes deadly damage?

I am not advocating restricting free speech and jailing people for their words, just that people consider the harm they may be causing when they are shooting off their mouths about their beliefs and views.

Let’s call it what it is when we see people doing this, on either side of the fence. They aren’t practicing their free speech, they are hurting people. They are jump-starting the next suicide in the area.

When people vote to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, they aren’t practicing their views or beliefs, they are forcing those views and beliefs on others and oppressing people.

At the same time, the atheist needs to check him or herself when claiming that the site of a nativity scene is more than he or she can handle.

Everyone should practice a little empathy. Imagine if a belief system based on empathy replaced the idea that it is acceptable to bend the rest of society toward one’s own will.

Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at stephen@denpubs.com.

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