I’ll Respect Your Beliefs, When You Start Living By Them

I came up with the catch phrase the other day “I’ll Respect Your Beliefs, When You Start Living By them” the other day, and I thought that “Streets of Lima” would be a good place to share it for the first time.  We’ll see how long it takes for some TV show or political group to start using this slogan as if they invented it themselves.

Incidentally, I just did a google search for that phrase, and I’m pretty sure it’s something I came up with myself.  For the  most part I’m pretty good at remembering what little phrase twists are mine, and which are the ones I’ve heard elsewhere.  You’d think that people would be good at remembering things they said versus things that they had told to them, but it’s been my experience that the average person is TERRIBLE at this.  The best examples are the idiots who listen to Rush Limbaugh who have good enough memories to repeat his idiocy almost verbatim, but then absolutely deny that they heard it from him.  According to them, they’re all intelligent, well-educated individuals who came up with those ideas all by themselves…the fact that those ideas formatted themselves in their minds EXACTLY how Limbaugh said them on the radio is pure coincidence.
But I wasn’t thinking of Rush when I came up with my “soon to be on a T-shirt phrase,” I was thinking about this cousin I have who is always a real pain in the ass to me.  I remember getting into an argument with her over the use of generalizations.  She was always lecturing me on how I needed to be “more respectful” and all that bullshit, and then interspersing it with how men were the devil and we should all be ashamed of ourselves (you know the type I’m sure).
Anyway, I finally asked her why we shouldn’t use generalizations, and she said “because they’re always wrong.”  To which I smartly replied “THAT’S A GENERALIZATION!!!”
This exchange was notable because it actually shut her up for a second or two.
But then she went on to tell me how I needed to respect the beliefs of the country that I was in (she knew I’d been living in Peru, and she immediately assumed I wasn’t respecting their beliefs even though she had no evidence for that except for an offhand comment about how I didn’t want them to cure my sprained ankle by dunking it in boiling water).  She went off on that typically American idiotic thought that we need to “respect all beliefs” etc.  This is that crap they say in schools and such, but which is so filled with inherent contradictions that you CAN’T DO IT!
For example, when I was teaching at North they were, rightly, very concerned that the student body would respect homosexuals.  In fact, this was the one thing about North that I was very impressed with, and the student even had a fairly high population of students who were openly homosexual.  The only threat to their declaration was essentially the bullshit Catholic church and their continued absolute intolerance for homosexuality.
Folks, when it comes right down to it, sooner or later you’re going to HAVE to piss somebody off.  For the most part, yes, I’m respectful of the beliefs of other countries (I think you’ll note I am highly respectful of the way Peruvians do things and for the most part I think their culture is better than what America has).  But, if it’s the belief of some country to rape children, I will not now, nor will I ever respect, condone, or allow that crap to go on when I’m within striking distance.  If that’s being culturally insensitive, then FUCK CULTURAL SENSITIVITY!!!
And don’t tell me that wacko beliefs like that aren’t hidden within cultural or religious scriptures.
But for a less extreme example, just take the whole “turn the other cheek” nonsense, or the fact that most American Catholics are Republican and therefore in conflict with ideas like public health care, social programs to help the poor, and are in FAVOR of ridiculous, bloody, religious wars.  Essentially, I can’t see how anybody who is a declared Christian can vote for the Republican party, yet they do.
The reason is, they SAY they believe a bunch of stuff, but they don’t actually live by any of the crap they claim to believe.  Yet, they’re the first to get all bent out of shape when YOU who are innocently going through your life overtly do something that is against what THEY claim to believe, and they instantly get all over you about not “respecting their beliefs.”
Well…now the next time this happens you can hit them with, “I’ll respect your beliefs when you start living by them,” and hopefully that will render them speechless long enough for you to trot away to safety.
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