I have a hard time respecting any opinion that is voiced in ignorance, especially when it has to do with concepts that are known to be foreign to the person voicing them. For example...
If you aren't gay, don't know anyone that is gay, and don't want to branch out and at least try to understand what being queer is like, then don't say things like "Whatever, a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Just because gay people can't handle that, doesn't mean they are entitled to special treatment and media coverage. I don't get why they can't just can't be happy with their gender. They were born whatever sex they were born with, they shouldn't have problems with that." Congratulations, you've just lumped transgendered, transexual, transvestite, and homosexual people into the same categorie without even considering the vast difference between them. You've also labeled the entire gay community as abnormal and incorrect. Check yourself, you're about to sound homophobic and hostile.
If you have never delved into the vast universe of spirituality, don't say things like "So I saw this crystal today that said it was supposed to align my chakras and bring balance to my life. As if! I mean, how do they know that that rock even does that? There's no way they can know that. And where do they get this stuff anyway? I refuse to believe that any of that stuff actually works." Congratulations, you've just confirmed that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and have completely failed to consider the history and tradition surrounding that spiritual system. Not only that, but you've also completely failed to recognize the validity that this system brings to the lives of its believers. It may not work for you (not that you've tried it), but that is no reason to belittle its significance to those who have faith in it.
These are very specific examples. And as such, I apologize to those people who have voiced these opinions for not having the patience and self-control to curb my anger and counter your argument when you voiced it. I hope you will excuse the snark and remember that you are my friends, and I am yours. We have both spoken strong words this week, and I hope we will both learn from them.
The moral of this story is: understanding and acceptance are the key to a peaceful existence. Read a book.