In response to Heike Wilcox, “Agreeing to disagree” does not apply when it comes to “beliefs” that are based on the dehumanization of other humans. An “opinion” or “belief” about LGBTQIA+ people has no bearing on their existence, or their human rights. Sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes in this state, by law. As is race.
It’s the same with the false “CRT” debate: the perspective of straight white cis men is not and should not be the default when we teach our students about history, sociology, literature, and art. This is not an opinion. It’s backed up by peer-reviewed studies that show when students can see themselves as part of society, and see people who look, live, and talk like them in their curricula, learning improves overall. So does mental health and well-being. New scholarship is building on this and should be embraced, even when it challenges the things that we have been taught before.
Difference isn’t good or bad, or dividing. It just is. So, we might as well learn about it, don’t you think? When we learn better, we do better.
Similarly, “opinions” and “beliefs” about verifiable facts should not be given equal weight with the truth of those facts. Science does not care what your opinions are. Countless studies show that the COVID vaccines work, that “natural immunity” is not a thing with this virus, and that masking and social distancing make a difference in rates of infection. This is verifiable data. “Believing” otherwise is folly based on propaganda, and spreading those beliefs endangers people’s lives.
Whenever someone touts “reconciliation” and “getting along” in response to political debate, it’s generally because they can’t support their positions on the facts. They want everyone to be “nice,” so that they can stay comfortable in their misguided “beliefs” and never admit that they could be wrong.
The goal of loving and respecting all people does not mean to never criticize them, or to let them spread misinformation, lies, or hatred without any pushback, in the name of “respecting all beliefs.” Some beliefs are simply wrong, and should be challenged and corrected when they are hurtful to other people.