Ash Wednesday was on Feb 18, and I never really thought much about it because it wasn’t a big thing in my household. I’m thinking a lot about it this year because on everyone’s favorite app to insult people, Yik Yak, there was a lot of hate for those participating.

There were many rude comments on the anonymous app, and it just brings up the bigger problem of ignorance. Just because you don’t participate in a particular religion, or any religion at all, doesn’t mean you have the right to disrespect someone’s beliefs, or lack of beliefs. Also, just because it’s an anonymous app doesn’t mean you’re allowed to spread hate around- some thoughts you have to keep to yourself. That’s how discrimination happens, friends.

The only possible reason I could think of to even try to understand why a person would act this way is just for the humor, or to feel good about themselves in the age old “I’m right, and you’re wrong” fight. I can’t think of one religion though that allows you to shame others for believing different.

The hate comes from both people without religion and people with a little too much religion. If you don’t believe in a higher power, you have no right to tell others they shouldn’t either. On the other hand, you have no right to tell people they’re punished for their life choices by your God. It’s hurtful both ways. So, in short just be respectful of everyone’s lifestyle.

Personally, I don’t participate in this religious past time, but I respect it. There is no reason to disrespect someone else’s religion, or lack thereof. It doesn’t matter what their beliefs are, they could base their entire life off of their morals set by their religion, and making fun of someone’s belief system makes you look like a jerk no matter what. This doesn’t only apply to Ash Wednesday, it applies to every religion and ethnicity. Respect for every person’s culture.

Don’t be that bully.

It’s easy to be respectful. Everyone’s different, everyone’s raised a different way and if you live and breathe religion, awesome. If you don’t, also awesome.

Basically, judging people for what they stand for? Not awesome at all.