I was always amused when people would tell me that they listened to what I had to say, but disagreed with me – it amused me because they assumed it would surprise me.
I was never troubled by people who held different beliefs – only those who really did not know why they believed what they did.
I loved tormenting the “talking snake” crowd – the fundamentalists. It was easy, because I knew the material better than they did I read the book, and thought about what it said – it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I never tried to convert them to my way of thinking, I just enjoyed making them squirm.
Recently I listened to one of a series of knock down, drag out shows I did with Rabbi Bresky. Jan was a good guy, and he was as sincere as the day was long. I tore him apart – backed him into one corner after another. After listening to the show, I felt dirty. I was exercising my intellectual superiority – demanding proof of things that I knew could not be proven – things that only exist deep within ones heart and soul.
I, of course, am vehemently anti-religion – but I do not look down my nose at people of faith. That may be hard for others to reconcile, but it makes perfect sense to me. I dislike the salesmen, not the customers. I respect the believer who is searching for answers – I detest the one who thinks he has found them.
Much the same can be said for those who hold differing political views. We all long for peace and prosperity – it’s how we achieve that goal that is a point of contention. My fight comes with the crowd who want to mix religious beliefs – no matter the religion – with politics. Or with the gang that cannot, will not think about the ramifications of their politics on the least among us. But the truth be known, very few of the people who disagreed with me feel into either category.
In fact, we really didn’t differ all that much – it just seemed that way because I always asked questions – how else can you come to a conclusion if you don’t ask tough questions? Hell, I ask them of myself all the time…