Radio Show

How Do I Accept People I Don’t Agree With?

 

A listener named Carlos asks for advice on how to accept people who support abortion. 

Father Dave responds, “Let’s look to the example of Jesus. Jesus dined with sinners … Jesus also had both at the same time, this unconditional love and justice. Meaning, this is what is right and this is what is wrong. Sometimes we feel we have to sacrifice one for the other. We think if we are completely loving then we have to throw out the justice that says ‘this is wrong,’ or if we are so focused on what we believe is right then we don’t have to be charitable or accepting towards one another. And that’s wrong. Both of those are wrong.”

Father Dave acknowledges that practicing both love and justice is very difficult for us. He uses the example of the woman caught in adultery in John’s Gospel. Jesus did not say her sin was okay, but he also did not condemn her. He showed her mercy, expressing both love and justice at the same time — and we are called to be that way as well.

Christina shares her own experience with the Carlos’ question. “I have a friend from college who I’m pretty close with and we have completely opposite views on this, but it has never been a conversation that has ever gotten heated. I’m strongly opposed to abortion and I don’t agree with her [views on the subject], but I don’t ever want to make her feel hated because I feel like that’s not being pro-life either. I think there are so many other ways to find common ground with someone, and when you build a loving and trusting relationship with someone, you can begin to have that dialogue with them. Different views do not mean that you have to cast someone out of your life, and I don’t think that you’re going to get anywhere if you refuse to dialogue with anyone who has a different position than you.”

“What we’ve lost in our modern world is the ability to be together with one another and love one another even in the midst of having a big disagreement,” Father Dave responds. “One of the things they taught us in seminary is this thing called the messiah complex. Me, one person, is not the savior of the world. I’m not the only person on planet earth who might have an affect on this other person’s view. Sometimes we think that it is our personal crusade every time we are with a certain person … Jesus said a lot of very challenging things, and one of them was ‘love your enemies.’ Jesus is challenging all of us to love our enemies. That doesn’t mean that we have to be best friends and do everything together. I’m not saying it’s easy, but we are all sinners and we must love one another.” (Original Air 1-16-20)