LETTER – Respect for the person and respect for ideas are different things

Re: EDITORIAL – Do we have to respect both the person and the religion?

Good day, Mel. I read your article and think it is worth pointing out a few things. Text from your article is in (italics).

According to Ligertwood, “Those who practice (religion) are worthy of our respect but the beliefs are not.”

This makes perfect sense. Do you respect the beliefs of ALL religions? I doubt it. You might respect the right for people to believe and say whatever they want (freedom of speech and thought) but I doubt you respect all the beliefs of every interpretation of every religion. Respect for a person and respect for ideas can and should be completely different things. After all, we should all recognize that a person’s ideas can change and often do improve as they gain more knowledge and life experience.

The opposite of respect is disrespect. If we disrespect someone’s religion, how can we say we respect the person?

One definition of respect is simply “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.”

I respect the opinions of Ligertwood and his atheist colleagues but I certainly disagree with the idea that anyone has all the answers, which members of the Centre for Rational Thought are convinced they do.

Please show me where the Centre for Rational Thought is promoting the idea that they have all the answers.

How is your disagreement with Ligertwood any less disrespectful of him than his disagreement with theist’s beliefs is of the theist?

Right now, as the world mourns the tragedy in New Zealand, is not the time to be disputing each other’s religions. Now is the time for finding common ground.

Right now is the perfect time to be pointing out that regardless of what a person believes, we are all humans with feelings and this is paramount over any collection of myths and superstitions. Compassion and empathy provide all we need to get in front of this sort of insane violence and these are natural human traits that need to be our focus.


Editor’s Note: My reference to the Centre for Rational Thought believing it has all the answers is in its self-confident conclusion that there is no supreme being. This pre-supposes that we humans have the intellectual capacity and knowledge to know what makes the universe tick. I long ago came to understand that I can’t figure it out, and therefore reside on the comfortable fence of the agnostic. However, I respect your right to believe what you believe. 

About Mel Rothenburger (8126 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on LETTER – Respect for the person and respect for ideas are different things

  1. “Now is the time for finding common ground.” How do you find common ground with a ‘religion & political belief whose members parade the streets of the UK, Europe, USA etc. carrying banners that read “We will behead you if you say Islam is violent!”? Or “I will knock on your door, and if you won’t convert to Islam, I will kill you!” Or “All humans have feelings and this is paramount over any collection of myths and superstitions. Compassion and empathy provide ALL we need to get in front of insane violence – natural human traits need to be our focus.” To you two gentlemen I want to say, get real, read the history of Mohammed and the establishment of Islam – whose aim is to conquer the world and eliminate all other religions/beliefs! They were well on their way to doing just that in the Middle ages, until they were defeated. That aim has never changed nor will it. We are naive and politically correct, and hardcore Muslims are laughing at us for being so stupid. Our PM is a prime example – he wants to welcome back ISIS FIGHTERS back and re-educate them on our tax dollars!!!

    Being compassionate to all victims of random violence is part of our democratic standards. Being accepting of the source of that violence is totally unacceptable and cannot be separated.

    Strange is it not, that at the time of the Christchurch killings and vast media coverage, figures were being released of 6,000 Christians having been killed, raped, beheaded and burned alive (mostly women and children) by Muslims since January in Nigeria – and this has been TOTALLY ignored by our Western media. WHY? While women around the world have been wearing scarves on their heads in sympathy for NZ victims, there is an ongoing silence about the persecution not only of Christians, but as well of non-Muslim ethnic groups around the world – and it is happening EVERY day. And, although not physically (yet), Christians in Canada are beginning to be targeted because of their moral standards. Example: Trinity-Western University. This pales in comparison to Islam’s Sharia Law which is barbaric beyond belief. Already whole areas in the UK and Europe are off limits even to the police (I’ve seen it). Dearborn, Michigan, is another prime example where Sharia Law holds sway over American law. Sharia Law – legal violence against its own people i.e. honour killings.

    I ask again “How can we have common ground with Islam”? But my heart weeps for anyone who is suffering because of the deliberate actions of others – how could I not?

    • Mel Rothenburger // March 24, 2019 at 7:08 PM // Reply

      In answer to your question, every religion has its extremists. We need to find common ground against extremism.

  2. Ken Mcclelland // March 21, 2019 at 9:18 AM // Reply

    Rational Thought crosses the line of smug self-confidence into sneering, scorning dismissal, and mockery of anyone that believes in a supreme being and any religion in general.

  3. Good discussion Dave.
    I just need to point out that compassion and empathy doesn’t even happen noticeably in my immediate neighbourhood of forty houses. The chances of compassion and empathy becoming the “wind of change” we desperately need are very, very low.

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