Open-Minded or Opinionated?

Peyton Ramirez

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2017 was all about being open-minded. The people of America stressed the importance of accepting all types of people. But does this actually apply to all types of people?

Recently, there was a video on Twitter of a young woman sharing the gospel on a train. As a fellow Christian, I was immediately impressed and empowered by this woman. However as I looked through the comments on the video, I was shocked by all of the negative reactions that she was getting.

I was offended not only as a Christian but also as a person who finds serious importance in respecting all religions. I had to question these people who every time a minority is disrespected are outraged and call for justice. They judge Christians and conservatives as people who can’t be open-minded but when tested they fail themselves.

This begs the question of what open-mindedness really is. A dictionary would say that it is being unprejudiced and willing to consider other ideas. So it makes no sense that the people who expect this from others can’t give it in return.

Even on the average late night comedy show, the beginning monologues used to be creative and have variety. Now, all they include are political jokes that are clearly one-sided. They are just ‘funny’ ways of bashing people who don’t have the same opinions as them.

Daytime television is no exception. Shows like “the View” have their one Republican cast member and that’s about it. The rest of the hosts are all too ready to shout their opinion and then disregard all others. The cast is filled with opinionated women who can’t handle disagreement.

I always see videos of someone acting stupid and the caption is, “White people are crazy” or some negative stereotype that is unfair but if the same was said about a different race, the person who said it would receive extreme backlash. It is a total double standard that is shielded by a history of pain in America. As the saying goes, two wrongs do not make a right. Causing pain and spreading hate or prejudice against a race does not erase history, nor does it compensate for what happened.

It’s impossible to share a conservative thought on social media without being ridiculed by, at best, the followers who are your “friends” and at worst, thousands of people who don’t know you. The media has created a culture of treating people however they please.

Like all groups of people, there are so many stereotypes that surround white people and even Christians that are unfair. For example, the constant grouping together of white people as racist or Christians as homophobes is so unfair. I have found that the loudest people are often wrong. The Christians who yell the loudest are not saying what all Christians believe and just because white supremacists are loud and not afraid to share their incredibly disgusting beliefs, in no way means that all white people are the same. Like any stereotype, it’s wrong.  

Throughout all of my educational career, I have gone to schools that were full of diversity and I have always been known as the ‘Christian girl.’ Whenever one of my friends did something wrong or something they thought I wouldn’t approve of, they would look at me with eyes of guilt and expect my judgment and were shocked when they didn’t receive it. People of other religions felt like they had to defend their beliefs to me. Without meaning to, they were judging me because what the world may say a Christian is. It’s completely ridiculous.

It is my opinion that most people don’t know what it means to be truly open-minded. It isn’t just having liberal views, it’s being accepting of and respectful to all people. It means that when you see someone sharing their faith, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism or any other religion, you respect what they have to say.

I grew up in a Conservative household. I grew up being told that God loves me and that Jesus died for my sins. I was raised by parents who taught me that same sex marriage is not what God intended. I have a mom who works at a pro-life clinic. I am what many liberals on Twitter hate.

However, the part that those people fail to see is that when I was listening to bible stories, I was being taught that God loves everyone, not just people who look like me. I was raised with the mindset that even though I disagree with someone’s way of life, it’s still my job to love and respect them and even though I am totally against abortion, I should never show hate towards those who feel differently.

I wouldn’t say that the world should not preach open-mindedness, but we need to understand that it includes showing respect to all people. Everyone has their own opinions and to ask people to all have the same opinion would never be reasonable so the least we can do is respect what we don’t agree with.

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