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A Talk About Politics. But Not really.

August 21, 2012

Politics and religion are two things that are likely to get people all wound up and yelling at each other. Or hating each other. I hate that we seem to have become a country where no dissent is allowed – you either toe the party line or you’re outta there.

What’s worse is that we have become so hard-headed that we’d rather see catastrophic things happen (the government shut down, the US default on our debt) than compromise. Collectively, we have come to believe that compromise is a sign of weakness and it must be “my way or the highway.”

Can we grow the hell up?

I was reading a League of Women Voters publication about the candidates and I discovered something that shocked me. Gary Glenn, President of the American Family Association of Michigan, and I actually *agree* on something. It’s a small something, but it is something. We both believe that the process to become an American citizen shouldn’t be so difficult. Gary Glenn and I couldn’t be any more different but we have a common ground.

I have a twitter friend who writes for the Log Cabin Republicans. She sent me a link to some of her writing and guess what? We had some common ground. (In the interests of full disclosure, I can’t remember what it was but I do remember being shocked.)

I think we are all a mix of beliefs. For example, I’m pro-soldier, pro-military-preparedness and anti-war. I think there are few things worth fighting a war over. I am pro-gun and ALSO pro-gun control. I can’t think of one single reason why a person would need a fully automatic weapon. I’m pretty sure that the Founding Fathers weren’t thinking of Uzis. I’m a Christian who believes STRONGLY in a separation of church and state and will argue with anyone who tells me that we are a Christian country, because we expressly are not. (That pesky constitution again.)

What I wish is that we, the collective US we, not just Democrats or LGBTs or The Opposition, would just settle down and open our minds. We have some differences. We certainly do. I wonder if we paid attention to the deeper message and not the sensationalist headlines if we wouldn’t find more on which to agree.

People like this Todd Akin are the exception, not the rule. I know it doesn’t seem like that, does it? Because who do we hear about? Extremists on either side.

Can we stop arguing with our friends and start to listen? Even on very touchy subjects? Can we try to find a way to agree on things? It may be that we aren’t able to change our political process and our politicians but it will lower our collective blood pressure, at the very least.

Tell me what you believe. I want to know. If I don’t agree, we can talk. I will give you the courtesy of listening, if you return the courtesy.

From → In the News

One Comment
  1. Lady Di permalink

    Love this! You know I’m big on politics and political action but I also firmly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion and I accept and allow those that are radically different from mine. I attended a fantastic conference, Transfaith in Color, over the weekend and one of the best things I heard came out of the early-morning interfaith plenary on Friday (to paraphrase): “The house of God is a house for ALL people. I don’t have to like you and you don’t have to like me.” This resonated so firmly with me because friends are always dropping other friends over differences in perspective on religion and/or politics. I appreciate respectful discourse and love a good argument although I try never to get too heated or out of control. I would rephrase that statement to say “I don’t have to like what you have to say and you don’t have to like what I have to say,” but I’m always looking for some common ground where we can meet in the middle. Take my best friend –from high school–we were two peas in a pod way back when but now she is high Roman Catholic with six kids who thinks sex is reserved for procreation only. She pickets abortion clinics and is an ardent Romney supporter. There are very few times when we agree on anything that has to do with politics or religion, but we’re both parents and we understand each other on the basis of basic values in child-rearing. Somehow we stick to our respective guns and still manage to love each other in spite of our differences. THAT is exquisitely important to me: finding grace in the midst of chaos.

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