It's a fact of life people have differing views from me, these range from what i think is cool, music, bikes, beer, ink and God. The biggest disagreements i ever have though come in the form of politics, i have friends from all political parties (mainstream and fringe) they range from right on lefties to full on far right wannabes. Some of their opinions make sense others do not and i get left thinking in most cases everything is alright as long as you agree with what ever point is being put forward, It's a crying shame that we talk about freedom of speech with such a passion when what we actually mean is "you can say what you want as long as i'm not offended or my nose is not put out of joint" thats not freedom it's another thing entirely. Many of my friends are far right in their political opinions, they want immigration stopped, they want people sent back home, they want English people put first and foremost in our country, would i brand them racist in anyway? in truth some of them are, others are just wanting England to be great again and they see from a very blinkered view of what will make it great again but they are not racist for wanting those things, they are just marching to a different beat.
The freedom i expect to be given, to hold views which are unpopular some would say hurtful are my right to have, and i hold views that make me unpopular with certain people, views which in all honesty are limiting and exclusive. So if i expect to be given the freedom to express views which some may find offensive, it follows logically in my mind that i have to give that right to others, who hold counter views to mine. Giving someone the freedom of expression does not mean i agree with them, it means i respect them and yes for some the idea that i can respect a card carrying BNP member and allow him to express his opinion is tantamount to saying i have set up an altar to Satan in my living room, democracy is a great thing, but to be truly democratic everybody has to have a voice, not just those we agree with. So when the fool in the pub sprouts misinformed nonsense, i listen to what he has to say because i'm going to expect him to listen to me when i put a different thought pattern forward. Many of my Christian friends believe Jesus was a Republican/Conservative if thats the way they vote. My left leaning friends believe Jesus was a socialist if thats how they vote, fact is Jesus was above all political ideologies, he called for all people to be treated equal the least had a voice even if that voice was not affirming in anyway they had a voice. So the tax collector has a voice, the prostitute has a voice, the money lender has a voice and the racist has a voice. We do not have to agree with those voices but we do need to respect people with different ideologies, trying to shut them down or shut them up moves us closer to a selection process which end in totalitarianism, it ends when the last dissenting voice has been silenced, while that voice today can be a racist rant, tomorrow it could be you being silenced for speaking out against injustice, for speaking out against anything that someone else has a different viewpoint on. As much as many of my friends and people i'm aquatinted with have different views to me i respect their right to hold them, as much as they respect my right to disagree with them