Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Naivete?

I used to think that common ground could be found between the viewpoints of liberals like me and any conservative Christian out there. All we had to do was connect using Nonviolent Communication to figure out what the other was feeling and needing, and then we could find solutions that work for everyone. That faith has been shaken. The problem is that in order to communicate, you must have two parties interested in communicating; curious about the other, open to at least hearing what the other has to say. And it appears that many Christians are not interested in that; all they want to do is cram their agenda and peculiar lifestyle down our throats.

Then, trolling through the internet last night, that faith took another hit. I clicked on a link on the blog of a Christian k-12 school and, in an article on the WorldNetDaily, I found this ad:

This is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, or "humor" – but they are talking here about torturing another human being, as if it were a sport or a fun, family activity. I wouldn't mind if it were satire, like Jonathan Swift's "Irish Solution," but it's not. In fact, many of the T-shirts are supposed to be humorous, but the humor isn't dry, or witty, or satirical, or even sarcastic. It's vicious and violent. It promotes murder or torture. It seems to represent a single-minded, simple-minded blind faith in GOP and conservative leadership.

When I see things like this, I think that I was wrong. It seems these people are determined to crush LGBT people and liberals completely, and they will not be satisfied until sodomy is recriminalized and schools teach that homosexuality is insane and depraved, that gays must change or die. I think that we are in a battle for our freedom and safety, and it seems that on the other side no quarter is asked or given. So I want to protect my children from this violence, and feel impelled to go further to the left to counter it more strongly. I want to harden my stance, renew my efforts, to counter this … depravity. It pushes me to my own stance of no quarter, of fighting for complete victory regardless of their needs, just to defend my own.

And that's too bad. Because the more decisions come from the extreme fringes, the worse, generally, they are.

Nevertheless, despite my emotional reaction, I will continue to work to find common ground, to build peace, and to seek a way to get everyone's needs met – or at least considered.

6 comments:

LightWorker said...

Seda, I could be wrong, but I believe that most Americans are moving forward--away from the fringy edge of society, whether on the left or the right.

Of course there're still too many too close to the edge for comfort, but I believe that the number is shrinking.

Perhaps I'm too sanguine for my own good....

I hear the term progressive being used a lot these days to identify those on the extreme left, but I believe that you can be progressive without being fringy.

Being for same-sex marriage is progressive, but "big love" could be moving into fringy territory.

Being for medicinal marijuana is progressive, but legalizing all illicit drugs might be too extreme for society at the moment, and thereby fringy.

I have always admired your willingness to seek "common ground" and mutual understanding around those issues that divide us.

"[A]ll they want to do is cram their agenda and peculiar lifestyle down our throats."

Now, how Christian is that? If Christians are saved, why would they want to force their salvation upon others?

It's enough for Christians to save themselves (what with all these devout Christians going astray of late), without subjecting unwilling others to their specious doctrine.

Stay strong!

Seda said...

LW,
I agree, I think we are moving toward more common ground, as a nation. This post was describing my emotional reaction to this particular nasty brand of conservatism, and I ended my post with my intent to be proactive, and not to act on my reaction.

I also have to give credit to Christians. I think that most of them do not like torture, are into love, and do not share this theocratic agenda. But there are still many who do - and I probably get more than my share of their viewpoint as I troll their blogs.

I AM strong!

David Carrel said...

Just as there are liberal extremists that you would not want to associate with, but are giving your liberality a bad name, so there are GOP/"christians' that give "Christ" a bad name. I hate that they must be all grouped together, but that is what happens.
There is a big problem in the US form of Christianity today. While there are many who practice Christianity by the Bible, there are many more who just take on the name. I mean, even Obama, both Bushes, Clinton, isn't every President pretty much that has claimed Christianity (I know there are some that haven't), but look at the total differences in their lives and policies.
One big problem and easy thing to fall into in christianity and religion is self-righteousness. This hypocrisy leads to what you see happening with people like Sanford who opposed Clinton's immorality so much and then fell into the same sin. True Christianity sees the impossibility of living a pure life by our own means and depending and trusting in Christ to live through us (which is never an automatic after salvation). It is rather a daily, hourly, minutely decision to allow Christ to live through you.
I think the stereotype of Christians is that they are supposed to be perfect, but never are; but Christianity says that we are not perfect, we are far from it, and that is why we need Christ.
Well, enough preaching for the day. I am sorry that the shirt was out there Seda.

anne said...

Hey girl,

But there are things that are so overwhelming that makes me forgive all Christians, everywhere.

This, for instance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GyTdo1nGO0

How could anyone possibly not feel the power of the Spirit in this song? These gentlemen made me understand the vitality and humanity of faith.

As long as Christians have this, there is hope.

hugs,
me

CrackerLilo said...

Wow, that T-shirt is disgusting. I shudder to think of who would want to wear it.

I'm not sure about common ground. I used to think it's a good idea; now I'm in more of a "let's go to my corner" mood. I'm grateful for people who try and want it to happen, though, so maybe that means I'll be one of them again soon enough.

Seda said...

David,
I think you counter the stereotypes by your life. Your own path shows clearly, with sincerity and humility. pretty cool.

Anne,
Let's get together soon, dear. I need an Anne fix.

Lilo,
Welcome!
I hear you. I often feel impelled toward my corner. I have to remind myself that, for peace to occur, someone has to put down their guns. It can be discouraging, though. There seems to be a lot of people who can't even recognize that gays are individuals.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz