A fellow whom I will call Blogger A believes that heretics are bad. Very bad. So bad, in fact, that he gives tips on how to "out" them that include electronic tracking devices, and putting night vision cameras in a child's bedroom. When he thinks that he has discovered one, he thinks that it is productive to make comments out of nowhere like "Do you like [crude name for male organ]?", to call a young woman's home, to use such lovely terms as "fat", "whore" and "liar", to make a slew of sexually-based allegations and finally to suggest means of committing suicide. He seems to belong to the Torquemada school of thought.
This fellow, though extreme, is real. He's not entirely alone. The Westboro Baptist group would likely agree with his methods. So would those who would like to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Actually listen to what someone is saying, even if you think that it is heresy. Realize that people with proper brain function will ask questions. Encourage them to do so. Correct blatant misinformation, and provide sources so they can access proper information for themselves. Reach out on both an intellectual and emotional level. Show respect and love and concern for them as human beings. Be a positive role model. Have a sense of humour. Invite them for dinner, and make an awesome chicken soup. If someone has been hurt or misled or exposed to horrible attitudes, acknowledge that experience and the fact that it was wrong, and don't be afraid to criticize those behind it. Show a better path. Accept that someone needs to go on their own spiritual journey, at their own pace. Reject fanaticism, especially if someone's view of all religion and religious people has been tarnished by it.
If you have ever felt alienated from religion or questioned major beliefs, I want to hear from you!
Which do you prefer, Approach A or Approach B? Which of those have you experienced?
Which would be most likely to have a positive effect on you? Which would be most likely to push you away?
Polite comments welcome. Crude comments or SPAM will be moderated.