If a man who identifies himself as a Republican says he supports slavery, and another makes asinine statements about rape, I will see many posts from friends that it must be what ALL Republicans believe.
Is it fair, then, since JFK (we all assume), Bill Clinton, and John Edwards all cheated on their wives, for me to assume that all Democrats are unfaithful to their spouses? No? Then why is it fair to make blanket assumptions for either side?
Is it fair, due to monsters like Benito Mussolini, for me to assume all atheists are fascists and evil? Obviously not. Does one assume that, since 9/11 happened, all Muslims are evil terrorists? Of course not; every person I've met who practices Islam has been a wonderfully generous, caring, and friendly individual. Then why is it fair to assume that all Christians were in support of the Crusades?
I like Chick-Fil-A. It's delicious. I do NOT support restricting any person's civil rights, though, as many would lead you to believe I would due to my love of chicken sandwiches. One shouldn't automatically mean the other.
Politics tend to ignite us in so many ways; they stir up feelings of patriotism and duty, sure, but unfortunately online they also tend to stir up bitter rhetoric, hurtful language, and more. I've personally had to block/unfriend people just for how they'll react to opinions they already knew I held.
As a reporter, I am charged with the task of seeing things from a neutral perspective. I must keep stories balanced, taking into account both sides. And I know that asking that of everyone is just impossible; (a) because we're all human, and nobody is completely unbiased, and (b) because it would, again, be expecting my personal beliefs about something to be shared with/applied to all.
Basically, I believe Jesus said it best (bear with me, those of you who don't believe He ever existed): “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You
hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will
see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." ~ Matthew 7:1-5
We all hold very passionate beliefs. We all want everyone to see things our way. But please try to remember that the actions of some are not equal to the beliefs of all, regardless of which side of the room you're on.