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How To....

Tolerate Ignorance?

I find it laughable that the religious community (I live in the bible belt- there IS only one religion here) uses pieces of other religions to justify their beliefs, yet know little to nothing of their own religious history. They know but one thing, that they are right and everyone else is wrong/evil.

How in the hell (pardon the pun) do you get past the ignorance, to see the people? how can you forge a new friendship with someone that you find intolerable because of their inability to agree to disagree? (especially while under constant personal attack)

In a public setting I make no attempt to hide my beliefs, I will answer a question honestly (and as tactfully as possible), but do not advertise either. Mainly in an attempt to prevent judgment from being passed on my children.

How do you look past it?


Asked by ObbyDobbie at 4:05 PM on Dec. 27, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 34 (70,074 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (42)
  • Perhaps you could start by releasing the idea that other people "should" be responsible and aware. You can't force them to be and are wasting your time and breath telling yourself they "should" be. You could also release the idea that your relationship with them "should" be a two way street. "Shoulds" hold us back and keep us from making progress. If you are focused on what other people "should" be doing, you can't focus on what YOU are doing. Focus only on making your actions and words as kind and compassionate as possible, because YOU are the only person you ever really have any control over.

    Answer by jessradtke at 6:02 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • You smile and nod, and change the subject. That is what I do.

    Answer by older at 4:09 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • When you find the answer let me know. I am a christian that tries not to pass judgment on anyone (its not my job) however if someone asks a loaded question like what I think about homosexuals "Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God but so is over eating, cussing, not listening to your parents, doing some thing without faith,ect ect ect. This is what makes me different then most Christians, because though I may not support someone being gay I refuse to condone them for it either, Do I believe it's a sin, yes, but I have no right to cast that judgment upon them for their actions any more they they have a right to cast judgment for my overeating. it's a personal conviction that I don't think I have any right to push onto others...

    Answer by CuteandCurvy at 4:13 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I see that every day on CM from Christians and non Christians. On CM I go to the next screen in real life I do as older said.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:14 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I think that no matter what you believe there will always be people you encounter people who loudly affirm their beliefs are facts (and you know more about it than they do). LOL. I am not just talking about religion. But there are certain topics that come up during the holidays, where I just nod my head and smile. It is not worth getting into an argument with people you only see once a year. Who cares.

    I am sorry that you have encountered people who don't listen to you. It must be so frustrating being surrounded by people who don't understand you or even hear your side. But you have so much compassion on people you feel are oppressed, you are able to have compassion and love for people who you feel are ignorant too. But the key is love. It is easier to love certain people, but when you love people who are hard to love you can break down strongholds. And remember, don't project what you are trying to reject--intolerance.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 4:27 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I agree with Cinnamon-mom

    Answer by Tes...Jacksmami at 4:30 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I have to reach way deep down inside of myself...and remind myself that in order to have truly learned from the intolerance, that I must be tolerant. I must be understanding, and hopefully someone who can open anothers mind with my patience.
    I do not wish to be like the intolerance that I see around me. I want to be better than that as a human being.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:36 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • How I deal with it is kind of tough to put into words. It starts long before I'm even in the situation, and when I am in the middle of it, my actions and words change depending on what's actually going on. I try to be proactive as much as possible so I'm not taken off guard. I'm less likely to feel defensive that way. I meditate on things that bother me and read a LOT so that I'm informed about other religion, psychology, human behavior, etc. In the moment, I try not to judge and just listen. I remind myself that don't *have* to react. I can choose not to. I try to pay attention to what I'm feeling without judging myself for it. When all else fails, I quote Thich Nhat Hanh in my head. That usually does the trick for me. (Works for when my kids are getting to me to!)

    Answer by jessradtke at 4:38 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Thich Nhat Hanh quotes:

    When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.

    I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight...I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.


    Answer by jessradtke at 4:41 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Another Thich Nhat Hanh quote:

    It is best if we do not listen to or look at the person whom we consider to be the cause of our anger. Like a fireman, we have to pour water on the blaze first and not waste time looking for the one who set the house on fire. "Breathing in, I know that I am angry. Breathing out, I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger." So we avoid thinking about the other person, and we refrain from doing or saying anything as long as our anger persists. If we put all our mind into observing our anger, we will avoid doing any damage that we may regret later.

    Answer by jessradtke at 4:42 PM on Dec. 27, 2009