I recently started following a very funny an interesting blog, Scary Mommy (love the name since all too often it is so true!) and she had a guest poster, Texas Momma, who wrote a post about her discomfort with her 4th grader's gay teacher because she was worried that the teacher's homosexuality might somehow infiltrate the classroom in an inappropriate way.
Now it probably goes without saying that Texas Momma is a conservative Christian and she sends her son to a public school. Scary Mommy, on the other hand, has much more liberal leanings. It was not too surprising that poor Texas Momma was descended upon like the villagers descended on Frankenstein. I hope her computer is fire-proofed, but more than that I hope she is.
So many of the comments were angry and hateful and demeaning and dismissive.
It got me thinking. Is it really effective to share our differences in viewpoint with such anger? Right now we are being inundated by horrible, hateful political campaign ads. Many of these ads make me angry. (just ask my husband, he laughs when I talk back to the tv) All of them cause me to lose respect for the politician or political action group sponsoring them. The net result, I am not happy with whomever wins, even if it was the side I voted for.
So, perhaps we can turn the tables. Be respectful. Give information and solutions that acknowledge and even respect differences of opinion. You can't advance a cause or idea by shoving an agenda down people's throats. When we do that, we just reinforce their negative viewpoint of our side of the argument and they dig in their heels. Respectful education and an attempt to understand where they are coming from, so the solutions we offer are at least slightly palatable to them, is much more effective.