Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps


Why is the Grand Wizard of the KKK worthy of your respect? Why does Fred Phelps deserve your respect? How do you personally pay your respects to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian?  How do you explain to your children why they should respect their elder, Jared Loughner?

These are all belief systems or elders in some form.  Do you still think "respect" is something automatically and freely given to all?  Would you know what CJCC is without reading that link?  If someone introduced themselves to you as a member, would you still automatically "respect" them until you figured out what it's actually about, because it sounds like just another church?

When you are in a world surrounded by differences in actions and beliefs on such a large scale, how do you justify the idea of doling out respect like Mardi Gras beads, rather than reserve it for only those people or entities which have earned it?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 2:02 PM on Jun. 3, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • I personally will respect all people. I do not agree that I am confusing respect with general courtesy - respect is PART of general courtesy. I may not agree with people, I may abhor what they teach or what they do, but I still recognize that they are fellow humans. I recognize the sacred spark and the Divine potential in each being. I have compassion and consideration for all - or at least I try to (I know I'm not perfect and that I am capable of losing my temper, lol). My disagreeing with someone, my abhorrence of what they may stand for or teach/say/do, doesn't mean I can ignore the human before me, or that I should treat them badly based on my disapproval. To treat others badly, for any reason, goes against what I believe, and doing so would make me just as bad as the things they may do/say that I may disapprove of....

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:10 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I have never thought that respect is something inherently deserved. However, I also don't think that just becuase a person isn't worthy of respect, that doesn't mean I have a right to disrespect that person. I can simply not offer my respect without being direspectful, KWIM?
    For example, I would never teach my children that Phelps should be respected. His actions had made him unworthy of any respect from our part. However, that doesn't mean that it's OK to lash back and mock and attack him back. For example, I absolutely loved Lisa Lampanelli's action of donating $1,000 to the Gay's Men Health Crisis for every Westboro member who protested outside her show. That was amazing! Coming out to shout back at them and make fun.... not so much. Her actions would've been louder if they hadn't been accompanied by direct mockery, IMHO.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:12 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • To treat others badly, for any reason, goes against what I believe

    Why are there only 2 possible conditions in your world - giving respect or treating badly? Why is there no such thing as neutral? If you don't notice the person the next aisle over and never smile and nod at them, have you automatically treated them badly?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 2:15 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • We don't hang out with them so it doesn't come up. 

     I tell my kids that there are some people who you should avoid, if people are doing, or saying things to hurt other people or are generally unkind, than you have to make a decision about being in the company of people who could hurt others.  If your around when the people your with do something illegal or hurtful, you become responsible too.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 2:19 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • respect also means to honor or esteem. why is a complete and total stranger who i know nothing about worthy of my respect, my honor? why would i expect the same out of a total stranger? no, respect is something earned and i expect to earn it just as others must earn it from me. common courtesy is something i give out for free, i do not mix the two.

    Answer by tnm786 at 2:20 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I am the daughter of a minister and I have a great deal of respect for leaders of other religious groups whose views are different than my own. I've met and admired bishops, rabbis, immams, and scholars of several different world faiths. HOWEVER, all of those religious leaders represent a religious stance that is consistent with the teachings of their religion and do not preach intolerance, hate, or death to non-believers. They also earned their respect by a devotion to their faith, service to their congregants, and a desire to better the lives of people in their communities. None of those jackasses listed in the question above have achieved these things nor do they do anything that would further them. While in the unlikely case I ever encountered them I would be polite, I do not feel any need to respect them.

    Answer by jmpj8107 at 2:25 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I guess because I look at respect differently than you do. I look at it as something that should be given to everyone. IMO there is a difference between disagreeing with someone and disrespecting them. Disagreeing with someone doesn't automatically mean that we should or could be disrespectful, and when I talk about showing/giving people respect that is what I mean. I may not agree, but I do at least try to relate to them respectfully. What other people do/say doesn't have to effect MY behavior and make me act in a way that is any less than what I believe is right. I believe in loving kindness for all people, even those that I don't agree with - they are the ones who often need it the most. Yes, I may snap in debate every now and then, I know I'm not perfect, but I do believe in, and strive towards, a more positive way of life. (cont)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:25 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I'm not saying that there is no middle ground, no "neutral", but when talking about respect or disrespect - two choices I believe that fall on either end of a spectrum - I will choose respect. And being presented with a situation where I can choose to do good, do bad, or do nothing, I would hope that I would choose to do good where I can. Even when it comes to people like Phelps, it's not just about him and who he is or what he says and does, it's also about ME and what I believe and feel about how I should act and treat people, about what I feel is right, and I do try to live up to a certain standard of kindness, respect, and consideration for all people. I do believe in the message of Jesus, which tells us to love all, and I do believe that such love, especially in the face of unloving beings, is a powerful. meaningful thing.... I may not live up to it 100% of the time, but I do believe in it, and I do try.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:27 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Say you introduce me to a minister named Jeff. My only assumptions so far is he's a leader in a church. The majority of church leaders I know went through years of study and have leadership skills. That's enough for me to assume he knows his business, so I hold a small level of respect towards that and would treat him as a person of knowledge if I had a church question to ask.

    If you told me Joe is a policeman, I'd also make the assumption he is serving the community that I can turn to help when needed. I respect him for helping the community. Same goes for Jane the teacher, Lori the mother, Jack the singer, etc, etc. They don't have to prove to me they can do their job first.

    But if I do find out out Jeff is a leader of a hate church, that respect is lost. Same if Joe takes bribes or Lori beats her kids.

    I tend to be neutral to strangers due to lack of information, but I treat them in a respectful manner if we do meet.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 2:42 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I just don't understand why people feel this has to be such a black and white issue. There is a neutral middle ground between respect and disrespect... it's called common courtesy. Until a person gives me a reason to actually respect them or not respect them, I do my best to show common courtesy, and I would expect nothing more from them. The idea that we should respect everyone without knowing anything about them does nothing but make the word "respect" meaningless.

    Answer by Eek_a_Geek at 2:53 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.