"It is a fact that we live in a religiously diverse world. Religious diversity can and often does result in grave misunderstanding, hostility, and, as we know all too well, conflict, with unacceptable costs to human life and well-being." – Rita Gross, quoted in Tricycle
It isn't just religion. It is culture. It is physical or mental disability. It is Republican or Democrat (or independent, for some of us). It is color. It is nationality. It is vollie or career. It is urban or rural.
Before we judge anyone, we have to first understand. Just as we are all supposed to be brothers in the fire service, we are called to be brothers on this planet as well. Good natured ribbing is not what we are hearing these days. There is anger, hate and bile. Being different isn't just okay, it is encouraged. But being different gets stigmatized because some are frightened by difference. Or they don't understand difference. Or they are FORCED to accept difference. Or they march in lockstep with those who are like them, who preach hate toward those who are different.
If anyone should be more understanding about our situation, it should be people who have a shared bond. We in the fire service have a shared bond. Before you say something you'll come to regret someday, think about it. Then speak from your heart, not from your gut.