Thursday, July 13, 2006

diversity, faith and not needing the crutch

Sometimes I don't mind taking over Darryl's blog comments to rant my point, but I don't feel like that today. I feel that my wandering mind will be best suited by making my argument from my own little home on the nets.

Scott Somerville basically asks why we can't all get along. Homeschooling is not the grossly over peopled christian family of blond haired, blue eyed children of the corn that we see so often. For a fact, they are a part of our community and should be as welcome as the hairy armpit hippy mom nursing both her seven and five year old hippy progeny. Somewhere in between those two extremes are the science teacher with nothing but disdain for the school system, the old punk mostly grown up, the hip knitting momma, the single parent wondering if it's really doable. In other words, homeschooling, like America, is a mixed up pile of every single one of us, and to make it more crazy, even gay people and black people are homeschooling. One family's extreme sounds just about right to someone else.

I really want to be fair to everyone which for me means that no one person or stereotype of a group is any more or less lambasted by what passes for humor in my mind. But I find that certain segments within homeschooling, and throughout average American life, just can't seem to hold onto common sense for longer than it takes to pray about it.

One thing that has to be understood, most people of faith seem totally convinced that their freedom to practice religion is being undermined and attacked, that the heathens and gays and atheists and humanists are out to steal their rights and turn their kids gay. They are certain that to pray in school would call down the ire of the ACLU and land them in jail. They fret daily that exposure to evolutionist facts will erase a lifetime of stories about Jesus and Paul and Gideon. They fear that our system of laws will collapse and the jails will spew out all those evil people if they can't chisel the ten commandments into the walls of all the court houses in the nation. Again, fact or not, this is how it seems to me.

So how do the christians fight this battle that exists mostly in their minds and churches? They would very much like to be in control and force a theocracy onto the rest of us. When we try to teach religious fables as equal to proven science, what else can it be but theocracy? When we damn people for the kind of things they do that shouldn't be any of our business, and we damn them using a religious text, what else can it be but theocracy?

It isn't hard to get along when people meet each other with the assurance of respect for one another. But when one side has a faith agenda to push, that getting along gets pushed away. Even worse is when that faith agenda is forced onto others in a smothering cloak of religious over reaching. And it isn't that other people care about the religion of the faith agenda side, because more often than not, I for one would love to not care at all about someone's beliefs. I'd be happy to not be forced to care, yet the faith people can't let it be easy. They have to push their faith as if they deserve extra rights just for being good enough. Sadly, most of these people are not good enough and in fact are no more christian acting than many atheists, gays or humanists.

So what's to be done? For a start, the christians could just shut their mouths sometimes. Maybe just bite down on the hate filled words before they fall out of your mouth. Stop using the phrase "gay agenda" and pretending that gay people want something more than equality. Stop trying to force us all to abide by your interpretations. Stop pretending that we should all bow to your idea of a god. Stop pretending that we are somehow less than you because we don't believe the same. Stop suggesting that our desire for equality is somehow undermining your ability to practice your religion. If your faith and religion are about more than hate mongering then please start to act in a way that proves what you say. Stop being dicks to everyone.


COD said...

Nice rant.

Audrey said...

You know what, Sam? You're a lot more generous that I find I can be anymore. Frankly, I'm just sick of the religious zealots. I don't want a damn thing to do with them. I live surrounded by them, and I've got enough in my extended family. I'm not going a millimeter out of my way to "make nice" with any of them.

It's the same here in Canada as it is in the US. We've got religious intervention in our schools from the top on down. WTF is with that? So maybe we don't actually have pressure from the feds, but in our local school system it might as well be a g.d. parochial school!

I don't go shoving my beliefs down anyone else throat. I'd like to be able to expect the same courtesy in return. When that happens ACROSS THE BOARD, then I might find myself a bit more open. Until then... forget it.

eipwek said...

It stinks that so many "Christians" have made such a horrible name for the faith. I would go so far as to call the kind of Christians I assume you're describing are Christian in name only and not necessarily in deed. Honestly, I think many actions of today's conservative religious rite are not very congruent with Christ's teachings. Please know that there are many Christ-followers out there who do not subscribe to the Pat Robertson way of thinking and the like. I know they're not as visible because they're not quite as vocal....but they're out there for sure.

Frankie said...

Eipwek, they are out there, and I am one.

It's nobody's business what I believe and I don't or won't voice my opinion very often.

I always wonder, when I read about "the Christians" exactly what kind of Christians they are...because my take on things is if Jesus walked the earth today he'd be a flaming liberal and preach love not hate.

That's one reason I keep quite, because I'm not like them. Live and let live, ya know?

I think what bothers me most about them is the lack of respect. I respect every religion out there or the fact that some people have none. It's not my place to judge. I believe in freedom of choice. But "the Christians" don't.

And FWIW, I support gay marriage.

And Samuel, I'll post this on your blog not mine so I don't get all the hate mail, "You call yourself a Christian, you're no better than them." lol

Audrey, my son's second grade public school teacher used to show Veggie Tales in her classroom!!!! That really ticked me off.

COD said...

"Jesus was a flaming liberal"

LOL. I think there is brilliant blog post for somebody wrapped up in that statement :)

Christine said...

Frankie, you took the words right out of my mouth!
There's a big difference between calling yourself a Christian and acting like a Christian.