A man walks into a restaurant. He goes up to the counter and without looking at the menu orders a double bacon cheeseburger.
The woman behind the counter smiles pleasantly and says, “Oh, I’m sorry. This is a vegetarian restaurant. We don’t serve meat here. However, there is a restaurant next door that does and one across the street that does as well. Also, just around the corner there is a restaurant that serves a bacon double cheeseburger that has been rated as the best in the whole state.”
The man is irritated and says, “But I want to have one here. How can you judge me for eating meat?! You are discriminating against me for my choice to eat meat!!”
The woman says, “No, I am not judging you at all. I feel that we all have the right to believe whatever we want. However, I feel that it is wrong to kill animals for food. I recognize that not everyone believes this. I have no problem with people who choose to eat meat, nor do I try to force my opinions on them. I have no desire to take away other people’s right to eat meat. I have simply made the decision that I will not serve meat at my restaurant. After all, I have spent a lot of time and money building up my restaurant. I feel that I should have the choice as to what I serve here.”
The man is very angry. Red faced he leaves the restaurant yelling, “I have the right to eat meat!”
One week later the man comes back to the vegetarian restaurant. He has a court order forcing the woman to serve the man a bacon double cheeseburger, even though she does not believe in eating meat.
“What about my right to believe that eating meat is wrong?” asks the woman, incredulous that she is being forced to do something that goes against her beliefs. “It doesn’t harm this man for me to believe that, and I have given him several other options of places that will happily make him a cheeseburger.”
You may think this story is silly and absurd. Of course nobody would ever force a person who has a moral belief against eating meat to cook a cheeseburger for them!
1) Isn’t a society more diverse if it has people who believe entirely different things but have a mutual respect for one another? Yes. Diversity does not mean that we are all forced to eat the same thing or live the same way. It means that we create an environment where we can appreciate and love each other in spite of our differences. We can work together in the areas we are like-minded, and agree to disagree in the areas where we are not.
2) Just by the fact that the woman chooses not to cook the man a cheeseburger, does that mean that she hates him? Does it mean she wants to force him to stop eating meat? No. She understands that she has a different belief, and she knows that there are many places he can get a cheeseburger, which she is fine with. She is not trying to force the restaurants that serve meat to close their doors.
3) Shouldn’t the woman have more tolerance for the man by cooking him a cheeseburger? According to http://www.dictionary.com, Tolerance is defined as “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.” This means that the woman should be tolerant of the man’s beliefs and desires by permitting him to have a cheeseburger elsewhere. Likewise, the man should be tolerant of the woman by permitting her to serve only vegetarian food in her restaurant. If there is nowhere for the man to get a cheeseburger, then we have a problem. If the woman is forced to cook cheeseburgers, then we have a problem. We need to foster an environment of mutual tolerance. That means tolerance for BOTH sides of the issue. Not a one-sided tolerance where the attitude is, “if you don’t believe what I do you are foolish, hateful, mean, intolerant, etc…”
So it is with the marriage debate. I should not be forced to compromise my deeply held views because of yours. Thanks to Lisa for this post… http://lisalongll.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/an-analogy/