Sunday, January 15, 2012

Politics, Religion and Football

Politics and religion - two topics best avoided at dinner parties and business meetings - and two topics I've never discussed much on the blog.  Although I don't hide the fact that I am a long-time registered Republican and a Christian, and am not ashamed of either, I don't make a point of pushing my thoughts and beliefs on my readers, it's just out there - take it or leave it.  I assume that if anyone is offended by my occasional scripture reference or Christmas wish, they will find another blog to read - no hard feelings.  And I maintain that attitude when reading other blogs or Tweets.  There are people I have come to know as fellow librarians, crafters or book lovers and have wonderful conversations with, yet we are worlds apart on political and religious matters.  I simply scroll past posts/tweets that express views with which I disagree.  No hard feelings.

However, in three seperate instances this week, I was not afforded the same courtesy and I gotta say, I'm a little miffed.  No, I'm downright angry.  It started at work last Tuesday, with a co-worker who makes no bones about voicing her opinions.  At this point I've forgotten what started the conversation, but it worked around to her making the statement that her mother is a "die-hard Republican.  Always has been.  She will always vote the party-line, even if she knows they're wrong."  So far, so good - she's just stating her view of the situation, but then she tacked on, "Well, she's not one of those religious right-wing types - she's not one of those people!"  I didn't say anything, but wondered exactly what she meant - does my party affiliation and church membership make me one of "those people"?  I marked it down as annoying, but let it go.

Then, on Friday, the following line came across my Twitter feed:  "The Right Wing is threatening the Girl Scouts with a cookie boycott."  Hmmm . . . hadn't heard about this - so I Googled the news story and discovered that one teenage girl in California had taken issue with a transgender girl being allowed to join Girl Scouts and had, therefore, begun organizing a boycott.  No problem there - whether or not I agree with the teenager (and I'm keeping that to myself) - she is exercising her constitutional right to correct a situation with which she disagrees.  What did strike me a little crosswise was the Tweeter stretching "one girl"l into "The Right Wing".   Most people equate "right wing" with Republican so I took offense at being lumped into this conflict.  I replied to the young lady who, by the way, I have always enjoyed conversing with about books and crafts, that I had read the news report and that she should be careful about such generalizations because they can be unintentionally offensive.  No response.

Later the same day, Bette Midler (yes, the famous singer/actress) Tweeted the following:

There is a whole lot you can say about the Marines, but I never thought we'd be talking about the shame they have showered on the USA.
This was in reference to the story of four marines who urinated on the bodies of Talaban members and were, of course, caught on camera.  This act is atrocious, not to mention a possible war crime for disrespect to the remains of the enemy, but it was done by four marines - four independent individuals - not the entire USMC.  By now, these statements were really beginning to grate, so I responded to the Twitter-world at large:

Getting a little tired of generalizations and stereotyping.  All Christians are not "The Right Wing" and all Marines are not shameful.
Again, no response, but I felt better for having gotten it off my chest.

Then came the instantly famous Focus on the Family commercial broadcast during the Denver Bronco/New England Patriot game last night.  The commercial showed a group of children reciting John 3:16 - that's it, just reciting, not accusing or blaming or having an alter call - just reciting a scripture verse.  The reaction on Twitter was beyond stupefying.  People were up in arms over the audacity of a Christian message being presented on public airwaves.  I lost it!  With all the absolute crap that is shown on television in the name of entertainment, how could anyone, Christian or not, be offended by a child reciting a Bible verse?  After reading a string of responses that were not just antagonistic, but crossed the line to plain ol' nasty, I had had enough.  My response was spread over six Tweets because 140 characters could not possibly contain my anger at "those people" who were insisting my rights were lesser than theirs:

I'm confused.  How could anyone be pissed about the Focus on the Family ad?  If I see an ad for something I don't choose to buy, I don't. But I don't feel the need to respond with name-calling or slanderous comments.  I just don't buy the product.  Should I protest if there is a political ad with which I disagree shown during a program I'm watching?  What happened to inclusion?  So far this week, I've been referred to as one of "those people", ridiculed because an over-reacting teen in California got upset at Girl Scouts, and now told that a Christian organization should not be allowed to purchase TV air time.  And I haven't once tried to convert someone, push my religion on someone, or even mention that I'm a Christian.  I'm incredibly disappointed in the lack of tolerance, and those slinging the mud would be the first to scream intolerance if it were reversed.
In the end, I "unfollowed" three Twitter friends that I had enjoyed, and I'm sad for the loss.  These are women with whom I shared interests and who I called "friend", but friendship has to be mutual.  Apparently, my friendship did not outrank their need to spew hatred, and I'm disappointed.

This blog is a place where I share about the books I'm reading, the craft projects I'm attempting, and the joys and sorrows of daily life and family.  All are welcome here, regardless of what church they attend or what box they check on a ballot.  I will continue to vote for the candidate who shares my ideals, to attend church on Sunday morning, to read and study the Bible, and to occasionally share thoughts on any or all of it right here.  I hope you'll join me, even if you don't agree.


  1. Excellent post. I share your frustration with generalizations & instant assumptions that if a person is A then he must also be B. For instance, I'm also a Christian, & folks often assume that means I'm far right wing. Actually, I'm pretty liberal. As to last night's ad, I suspect any number of organizations could have run that exact ad without the degree of outrage that resulted. I myself believe the message presented in the ad, but I also believe the particular organization that presented it sows a lot of hatred under the guise of Christianity. I'm sorry people were nasty to you. Yours, MissHathaway

  2. I'm not really blogging these days, closed my corgi blog and opened another one to write when and if I decide to write as we are transitioning with lots of things going on and I just dont have the time to blog like I used to. Last week I shared a post about my thoughts on Tim Tebow and Bill Maher. My point I made there that I'll make here is Jesus told us we would be persecuted; he was persecuted, people are going to persecute us one way or another, through words, actions, etc. We should expect things to get worse before they get better and I don't think they'll get better until Jesus returns. So what do we do? Just keep doing what God wants us to do, further his kingdom and shine the light of Jesus in what we do and let God deal with those that are persecuting us. I believe what it says in Matthew where Jesus says we should rejoice when persecuted, great is our reward in heaven. There is where it really matters :)

    Since I'm not really blogging these days, just checking my Dashboard when/if I have time, I'll stop by when/if I can.

    take care of yourself!


  3. Amen Tami and Betty! It is getting harder and harder to live in this crazy world isn't it? I guess we are getting a preview of what Christians in other countries must feel like. They hate Jesus because they love their sin and you can't go to him and not see your sin and have to deal with it. So He and all his followers are vilified. As time winds down and God pulls back his hand it will only get worse! We must crowd deeper into the arms of God.

  4. A bold, brave and amazing post, Tami! I agree - I hate being put in a box, and sometimes those that box me are the ones that I am "supposed" to emulate. I do believe in our constitution and free speech, and I actually welcome those whose opinion may be different from my own - provided they voice it in an inoffensive way :)

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Molly - and everyone. It gets harder and harder to stand up for your faith - especially if that faith is Christian.