Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And the Horse You Rode In On

I think as a society it’s time for us to lighten up, don’t you?

Everybody has a cause these days, or some sort of message, or perhaps an agenda to try to get others on board with their way of thinking. I’m all for supporting certain causes and I’ll certainly listen to your message, but I may be wary of your agenda, so you’ll understand if I take a moment to process it all before getting back to you.

You see, many people are complex individuals who require both sides of a story before proclaiming ‘Yes, I’m down with that!’ Politics comes to mind. I make it my policy to never discuss my political views with someone unless I know her really well. I will tell you, though, that I do support gay marriage, but I ask kindly that you allow me my constitutional right to bear arms. That goes to show you that I’m all over the place, politically. Red flags pop up when someone tells me he’s a die-hard- this or a die-hard- that. I would never take to the streets in order to promote or protest something; I feel my vote and a prayer are sufficient. (Side note: I often wonder what would happen if those who did take to the streets protesting certain issues actually spent that time volunteering in an adult literacy program in order to assist others in comprehending information and thus allowing those people to form their own opinions about certain things…..)

Next up: Religion! I grew up a Southern Baptist, and am grateful for the foundation it provided (you know, the Golden Rule and such); however, it took me a long time to overcome the hypocrisy I witnessed within the church. It also took me a while to overcome the images I held of ministers yelling at my 10-year-old-self from the pulpit about how I was destined for hell if I didn’t do right by the Baptists. Jesus never yelled….why did these guys? Sometimes, the messages shouted to us had the opposite effect: to the preacher who actually said it was our duty to go out and ‘kill a queer for Christ’ please go back and review my stand on gay marriage. (Yes, he really said that, and if you don’t believe me, you can call my mother and ask her – she questioned him about it, right in front of the congregation. She didn’t like for me to watch Boy George videos, but by golly, she knew when to call somebody out on something so utterly hateful and backwards!)

I guess the point of this little musing is this: we must have the confidence to stand for something (or we’ll fall for anything, goes the old cliché). We must take the time to inform and educate ourselves about big and little issues, and we must be willing to allow others to possess their own opinions on these big and little issues. We must get to know ourselves really, really well in order to know how we feel about things. Then, we just need to let the way in which we live our lives serve as an example to others.

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