The Protest of Differing Beliefs

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What motivates anyone to protest the religious beliefs or meetings of any religion?  This issue seems to come up semi-annually in Salt Lake City during the conferences for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Each session of these conferences are met with protestors and picketers making various claims against the church and its members desiring to worship in peace.  It seems as though the primary focus of those who protest during these conferences are there attempting to disrupt the meetings and create altercations with the attendees.  These protestors thrive on conflict and do all in their power to create it.

I have never been one to protest the personal or religious beliefs of any individual and quite frankly find enlightenment from friends who have differing viewpoints.  I have many friends from nearly all religious and non religious backgrounds.  I have never seen the need to protest or speak against their personal beliefs.  I respect the differences in our beliefs and opinions,  and most of them respect mine.  This creates a great opportunity to learn, understand and accept one another. 

So what truly motivates an individual to desire creating conflict with others as they worship and attend religious services. 

Are they afraid of the teachings?  If so, why?  Most people are afraid of that which they have no understanding of.  If one is fearful of something, wouldn’t trying to understand that difference of belief aid in reducing that fear? Or could it be a fear that they know they are incorrect in their own personal beliefs and are afraid to recognize that within themselves?

Is it merely a lack of knowledge and misunderstanding?  If so, why would anyone be foolish enough to protest anything they do not understand or have knowledge of?  Wouldn’t this make them foolish?

Is it driven by hatred?   I believe so.  I believe that for anyone to protest the personal religious beliefs of another, (this includes those who claim to have no religious beliefs for that is their belief) there must be a deep hatred within them.  Contention is a form of expression for hatred and animosity, and anyone who claims otherwise would find their argument difficult at best to prove,  when love is best expressed through peace and understanding.

We all carry within us differing beliefs. No two people believe exactly the same thing as everyone has their own opinion and interpretation even within the same religions.  To protest another’s beliefs for being different is the truest form of hypocrisy.

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