Mom always said to avoid conversations about sex, religion, and politics. How right she was.
My current social minglings are steeped with conservatives who were used to associating with only those of their own ilk. I came along (I socialize with the people because of my significant other. He has the good grace to look at both sides of an issue), and they quickly learned that not everyone agrees with their political or religious points of view. Not really wanting to discuss any of the aforementioned subjects with them, I never bring up such topics. Some of them, however, cannot seem to avoid them and being me, I refuse to let them off the hook without some accountability.
Recently I lived through such an occasion. President Obama has only been in office 16 days and already two of these conservatives have to criticize the economic road he is taking. I can understand concern over the stimulus plans and have my own misgivings. But, what astonished me was the assertion that our economic woes began with Jimmy Carter and that the present state of the economy had nothing to do with the past eight years of President Bush's reign. Huh?
While my mouth was still hanging open at that assertion, the one that rendered me almost speechless (speechlessness does not often happen to me although I'm beginning to think it should) was the claim that Barack Obama is not a moral person. Why, you may ask, do they not consider him a moral person? Because he is pro-choice. These people vote on that issue alone. (As you can imagine Bill Clinton was Satan to them) The answer to any liberal consideration from that moment on was countered with "I only answer to my God." Lots of wars have been fought on that premise, but then, this couple supports the "war on terror", i.e. invasion of Iraq.
At this point I stated that any further discussion on politics, the economy, or other issues was moot since their main concern was alleged morality. What puzzles me is the notion that immoral behavior does not seem to include torture, holding people at Guantanamo without due process, and lying. I did not have the gall to ask if God approved of those.
This morning I had coffee with a friend who happens to be conservative but with whom I question, discuss, and mull current affairs. She concurred that the morality/pro-choice/God stance is very narrow and not one to which she adheres. Guess I needed to hear that. One reason I like discussing such topics with her is I know she goes beyond Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for information.
While I am a liberal, I try to consider both sides which is what I expect of others. Unfortunately, that was not going to happen during that recent surreal discussion. Knee jerk reactions from either side is not healthy and at present it is dangerous. More than ever we need to keep open minds, set aside traditional differences, and try to work together to solve this horrible economic mess. I doubt only considering the morality of pro-life is going to get us the answers.
1 year ago