“ I think I’d take the opinion, insight, and rhetoric of Bill Nye or Neil DeGrasse Tyson or any number of my favorite authors or, really, anyone with a scientific, progressive, accepting, and love-based way of thinking about the world over the teachings and rules put forth by Jesus Christ”
Some of us “Jesus Lovers” do both. In my profile I describe myself as a “follower” of Jesus. He is important to me because I try (and fail sometimes) to live like him. Jesus taught, but more importantly, lived, a life of love, compassion, forgiveness and humility. Of course, one can live like this without being a Jesus lover, but as a Christian, he is my example of how to model my life.
As a scientist (chemist), I also consider the opinion, rhetoric, and insight of my favorite scientists and authors. And in my experience so far, my spiritual beliefs and scientific knowledge have always been in harmony with each other.
“ Well…I suppose politically, for one.”
I happen to agree with you on most of what you discussed, although (and I’m in the minority here) I don’t really consider them “political” issues. (Even though they’ve been made into that.) To me, they’re simply matters of respecting others and “live and let live.” And I certainly don’t believe that my particular brand of religion is right for everyone, just right for me.
My take on life is that we are all more alike than different. We may not agree on various political issues, but we all want and need to be loved and treated with respect. And everyone needs compassion, because we never know what someone is going through.
I applaud your willingness to continue to open your mind even more — despite the unacceptable way your friend treated you as a teen. I’m on a similar journey. I actively search out profiles that seem to be “opposite” mine (like yours), because I enjoy the journey to broaden my mind. I may not always agree with someone, but I always respect his or her ideas and opinions. It’s been a fun ride. :)