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So

lets talk. The United States is one of the most socially accepting and
culturally safe countries in the entire developed world. Ive been to England, France,
Spain, Italy, the Bahamas and Haiti, countries that I think represent a wide variety of
lifestyles, cultures and beliefs, and the good ole US of A trumps them all in terms of
social acceptance. Another important point to make is that our country has
developed in a way, socially and technologically, that gives minority groups a very
large and loud voice. Now, having said that, lets not jump to the conclusion that I
believe these are bad thingsin fact I believe that theyre totally and completely
necessary for us to be successful as a nation and society. More people than ever are
preaching tolerance and acceptance while supporting rights for minorities, women,
lgbt groups and more, but Ive noticed that other groups are being left out or even
discriminated against. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have some beliefs, beliefs that
are core to who I am as a person, that conflict with some of the beliefs and actions of
certain people/groups. As an American, I am constitutionally given the right to
express and explain those beliefs in the public forum just as anyone else is.
Unfortunately, the same people who preach acceptance and coexistence often
publicly attack these beliefs. How can you defend one persons beliefs while
simultaneously attacking anothers? If you truly believe that our society should be
socially accepting and progressive, then you must be prepared for the inevitable fact
that people will have sharply conflicting beliefs. As the artist Lecrae says, If whats
true for you is true for you, and whats true for me is true for me, then what if my
truth says yours is a lie? Additionally, you have to stop being offended by people
who disagree with you. The beauty of this country is that it was founded on the idea
that this will happen and that we need a place where we dont attack each other for
our beliefs but where we can peacefully discuss and understand each other.
Tolerance and acceptance does not mean that you only defend what is the
fashionable or popular cause nor does it mean that everyone is right. What it means
is that youre willing to accept the fact that people believe differently than you and
that, although you may disagree with them, you will lovingly approach the
discussion rather than hatefully attacking them. Learn how to ask questions before
you make statements. Learn how to understand rather than just listen. Learn how
to think before you speak. Im not asking everyone to sit down and come to a
consensus on all beliefs (though I wish we could), nor am I asking everyone to
simply accept every belief as true...Im asking that we approach our disagreements
with love and not anger. Of all my beliefs, the most central one, and also the one that
our country most sorely lacks and desperately needs, is that we need to love one
anotherthis is where weve fallen, this is where we need the most work.

-Daniel Keadle