One of the things that really pushes my buttons is when people just plain don't think. Now I understand being stubborn. I of all people know I can get my mind on something or get an idea in my head and see how far it takes me. What I don't like is when people claim they are thinking, claim they are tolerant, claim they are understanding, and then get so intolerant, hard-headed and stubborn that you wonder "what are they thinking?"
This kind of behavior only bothers me when it comes from someone of repute, someone trusted with the responsibility to not act this way. If I were to get upset at every instance of this behavior, i'd be mad at every person alive, including myself, constantly.
Here is an example. There's this new controversy in the Christian community concerning a Gospel of Judas. It seems that this gospel, considered Gnostic, was thrown out in the old days because it was believed that Judas was an incarnation of evil and therefore couldn't write a gospel. The belief has continued through the ages to the present day. Judas is the great betrayer. Judas is Satan incarnate. Judas is the man who betrayed and "killed" Jesus.
This is where I believe the people who hold a grudge against Judas need to stop and think. The Gospel of Judas claims that Judas' betrayal of Jesus was actually against his will, and that Jesus practically "put him up to it." For some reason this idea appears to many to be inconceivable. So inconceivable that they get very, very angry.
Stop and think. Without Judas, there would have been no arrest. With no arrest, no trial. With no trial, no condemnation. With no condemnation, no sentence and crucifixion. With no death, no resurrection. Judas' betrayal of Jesus is instrumental in completing the great plan of salvation. What is the problem with this? And why should we be mad at Judas? Shouldn't we be happy? Wouldn't his involvement in the plan and the fact that he took the brunt of the blame make him a hero?
And even if Jesus didn't put him up to it, how do we know that God wasn't in one of the "harden pharoah's heart" moods when Judas sought Jesus in betrayal? No matter how you look at it, I don't think there's any basis to hold a grudge against Judas for his involvement in Jesus' death.
It isn't the fact that people don't think about these things that anger me. It's the fact that people responsible for guiding others can shrug off ideas like this one out of plain stubborness or fear. It isn't hard to admit, "that is an interesting point, and can be quite possible." Instead they continue breeding hate against a man who's actions were necessary to bring about their own eternal life. You don't have to agree with the point. Just admit the possibility. This idea is more believable than Jesus orbiting the planet as we speak, resting in a spaceship, waiting for the passage of a governmental law.
And this is only one example. :(