Everyone has rights. Everyone has beliefs. What happens when one person’s rights and another person’s faith collide?
My middle school Civics teacher, Mr. Wright, taught us that one person’s rights end where the next person’s rights begin. We all have rights, but our rights can’t override anyone else’s.
If a person’s faith disagrees with same-sex marriage or abortion, for example, but another person’s rights give them the freedom to choose, how do we live harmoniously? I would argue that not only do we all have the right to choose, but we also have the right to believe.
We must learn to respect one another’s rights and beliefs. This goes beyond tolerance, which is simply putting up with each other. People of faith, part of believing is sharing your faith with others, but the reality is that not everyone believes the same, and each person has the freedom of choice. On the other hand, those who choose things that may be contrary to someone else’s beliefs can recognize that faith is often the core of who people are, and they must stay true to themselves by standing firm on those beliefs.
If we can understand each other’s rights and beliefs, perhaps we can live in a world where they can coincide.