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I just read the most... disgusting hate mongering I've ever seen on Livejournal. I'm sorry, gen that it invaded your life. For what it's worth, I really do admire and respect you and prestor_scott for standing firm for your beliefs. Oh, and zilvar? You continue to be my hero.

Y'know what folks. Everyone is different. Everyone is individual. Most of my friends don't realize that I fit the 'fundie' label. I grew up Mormon, and I still hold alot of the beliefs that my parents taught me. I still consider myself Christian. I still consider myself conservative. Does this mean that I hate gays, that I support Bush, that I support discrimination of any sort? Of course not. I'm me. I've seen a lot of my more religious friends take a lot of flack and hate for their beliefs, and.... just wow. This is really depressing.

I have some very very good friends that are lesbians/homosexual. I love them no less because of their choices. Their lives are just that; their lives. Ditto for their beliefs. None of them have made any effort to impose their choices on me. All they've asked is that I treat them with respect. And since that's all I ask of my own friends, I could hardly deny them that. I have no right to walk up to someone and tell them that they've sinned, that they are going to hell, that they are wrong. You have no right to tell me that I'm a bigot, a hatemonger, or that I'm personally responsible for anything the United States President decides to do in the name of Christianity.

I'm not really sure where I want to go with this post. I guess I really just want everyone to stop a minute and think about the people they know in these nameless groups- your neighbors, your friends.. before you start painting the broad strokes of discrimination. I wanted people to know that yeah. I'm one of Them. I felt it was time that I stood up and said 'Hey. This is what I believe. Please don't talk about me like that.'

We've all got to get through this thing called life together, folks. There are much bigger things than who a person goes to bed with at night going on in the world... in the universe.

Just... try to keep that in mind this holiday season, mm?

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
steviemaxwell
Dec. 15th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
You can smack me later for this...
"But they're not talking about you, L. You're a cool Christian."









Isn't it funny how people try to bring religion back into the holiday season?
enveri
Dec. 16th, 2004 05:50 am (UTC)
Re: You can smack me later for this...
Isn't it funny how people try to bring religion back into the holiday season?

I'm not sure if you're trying to be sarcastic here or not (I'm guessing you are)... but this holiday IS about religion to me, and countless others.
steviemaxwell
Dec. 16th, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC)
Holiday == "holy" + "day"
Yes, I was being quite sarcastic. Hence the silly icon.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
Well, a fair number of leftsome people are feeling extremely threatened, and, in many cases, with good reason. Fighting back is a classical human response. Fighting back against the wrong people is a classical bad human response.

And, well, the fight has been framed (by the leaders of the religious right) as a fight of groups against groups, not individuals against individuals. It does not surprise me that some of the religious right's targets also see it as a fight of groups against groups.

*mope*
wolfbrotherjoe
Dec. 16th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC)
The fight has been framed that way by individuals on *both* sides. And there aren't leaders of the entire religious right, there are leaders of small portions of the religious right. Also, the religious right doesn't have targets.

And be careful between talking about the 'relgious right' and the 'religious extremists', because there's a difference.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)

With all respect, I must disagree with you on all but the first matter.

Pat Robertson and George Bush are examples of leaders of the religious right: their words are widely dissemenated and influence many, many people.

Homosexuals, Muslims, Pagans, doctors who perform abortions, and various other groups are targets of the religious right (or, to be pedantic, subgrous of the religious right -- but subgroups operating in accordance with certain broad general principles which the religious right generally professes and which, e.g., much of the rest of Christianity over the centuries has had nothing to do with.)

And, well, I don't believe I used the word 'extremist'.

I continue to express displeasure at this situation.

wolfbrotherjoe
Dec. 16th, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC)
People who influence others are not leaders. They are public figures. Leaders hold a position of authority over an organized group.

The religious right is not an organized group, it is a description of a collection of people who believe that the purpose of law is to enforce a generally moral society, and whose morals coincide within a certain realm of similarity with traditional Christian beliefs.

Homosexuals, muslims, and pagans, for the most part, are *not* targets of the religious right, they are the target of religious extremists. Doctors who perform abortions when there is not a threat to the health of them mother are a target of the religious right as much as any other murderer would be.

Your talk of 'leaders of the religious right', or some manner of universal actions against people, has no more credence than someone speaking about a 'gay agenda' to turn everyone in this nation gay.

No, you didn't use the word extremist. That's the problem I have with your post. You should have used the word extremist instead of the phrase 'religious right'.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
*sigh*

Neither common usage nor the American Heritage Dictionary agree that your definition of "leader" is the only one; the one I use is 2b. in the Am.Her.Dict.

The religious right is not entirely organized -- few groups are -- but it has some strong general tendences, and some goals expressed verbally and backed by actions. I refer to those.

I don't accept your "generally moral society" definition -- indeed, I consider some goals of [influential and vocal subgroups of] the religious right heinous. Neither are their goals traditionally Christian, nor, as far as I can tell, in any sort of accordance with the things that Jesus seems to have thought were most important. Many topics have been around since Biblical times and before (homosexuality and abortion for two) and got scanty attention until fairly recently. Other topics (poverty, usury, hatred) seemed to get more attention, much more.

I am trying to have a civil and sensible conversation with someone I respect. Please stop trying to sidetrack it.
wolfbrotherjoe
Dec. 16th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't have the American Heritage Dictionary handy, but Miriam-Webster certainly agrees with me.

And yes, some groups of the religious right are organized, and have leaders, but the religious right as a whole does not have leaders. Which is why I made the distinction of 'leaders within the religious right'.

I agree that extremist members of the religious right have goals which are contradictory to Christian beliefs, and contradictory to a generally moral society, but that doesn't mean *they* think it is. They're still working towards their view of a generally moral society. Thus, the definition still holds.

And the whole point I'm trying to make here is that you're failing in a civil and sensible conversation with someone you respect. She just said she's a fundie. That generally means 'religious right,' you know, even if she doesn't support Bush. Not all members of the religious right *do*. In fact, a lot of Bush's voters just voted for him because there wasn't anything better available. She just said she's not against gays...

However, you came along and said that it's a core tenet of the religious right.. which means Genet and Myself... to be against gays. You said we're targeting gays! And Muslims, and pagans, etc, etc, etc...

You are doing exactly what she, genesis_w, and myself, are tired of seeing.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC)
From your source: 2.2: a person who has commanding authority or influence. (Emphasis added)

You said [Genet, Gen, and you] are targeting gays!

I said no such thing.

I have been quite careful with qualifiers and phrases like strong general tendences.

I said that a group you both belong to is targeting gays. This is like saying, in 1800, that the USA was a slaveholding nation. Which is quite true, despite the many Americans who quite strongly opposed slavery, and the existence of several free states, and a bit of a struggle over that topic coming up in a few decades. Yes, the full story is considerably more complicated than the six-word description. Nonetheless, an African might well have been unhappy to be brought here.

If you wish to continue this, please respond to what I am actually writing.

Which is, restated a bit more clearly for the hideously pedantic: (1) Yes, people are overgeneralizing here, but they're scared 'cause they're under a fairly personal attack, and people generally overreact and act badly when they're scared 'cause they're under fairly personal attack. And (2), since some highly influential people in the religious right have phrased the struggle as one of good groups against evil groups, one may understand why some people in the groups classified as "evil" may think that they are being attacked by the entirety of the groups being classified as "good" and respond to them collectively.

And there's a subtext: If you're in the religious right and don't like what the religious right as a (nonuniform) whole is doing, I for one would not object if you tried to do something about it from within."

And there's nothing particular about the religious right there -- I'm a patriotic American, I don't like what America is doing on various topics, I get pissy when foreigners say that I do, and I do this and that to oppose evil things that America is doing, and i'm opposing them because I'm a patriot.

And I also said some snarky things to you, 'cause your repeated jabs at things I am not saying are annoying me. Here's another snarky thing, in response to: Doctors who perform abortions when there is not a threat to the health of them mother are a target of the religious right as much as any other murderer would be. Which other people responsible for many many deaths of innocent people, specifically, are getting ambushed and assassinated by members of the religious right? Or even being attacked by political, legal, and cultural means? I could understand if, e.g., they were also going after Israeli and Palestinian combatants, or Rwandans, or Darfurian militias, or, if they wanted to stay at home, U.S. soldiers or pro-war politicians. Or, say, big-farm owners in the Southwest who work illegal Mexican farmworkers without great regard for their lives -- I could really see Jesus getting quite ticked about that. Or the various forces in America who send the mentally deficient and incompetant to live or die on the streets. Or the various forces in America who give lots of young people anti-AIDS tools with a miserably inadequate track record. Or drunk drivers. Or many, many other people who more or less directly cause mass death. I've only noticed the religious right generally going after a very, very selective subset of the mass-killers around in the world.

[And, as an aside, some of those categories are pretty obviously murderers, and some are considerably more debatably so. However, the vast debate about abortion demonstrates that it is debatably murder, too. I also note that I haven't stated my point of view on most of those topics, except that I think they involve mass death caused either by intentional action or by horrible carelessness.]
wolfbrotherjoe
Dec. 16th, 2004 06:54 pm (UTC)
"I said that a group you both belong to is targeting gays"

"If you're in the religious right and don't like what the religious right as a (nonuniform) whole is doing,"

These are the things you're saying which I object to. You don't understand... it's not that you're saying specifically that we're doing it... you're saying that we're part of a group where this is an integral part of the group, or a main descriptor, and we're just 'exceptional'.

No. We're not the token good Christians. The Religious Right does NOT target gays. They do not target muslims and pagans. The long list of wrongs that you said you wish they would target? Most of those, they DO target.

What you're doing is like saying, 'Blacks are criminals. On the whole. Large groups of blacks are criminals, some of them aren't, but for the most part, as a nonuniform whole, blacks are criminals. If some blacks wanted to correct that from the inside, that'd be all good..." etc. Or "Hispanics are lazy" or any of the other nice little digs I could think of.

I don't know if it's possible to quite explain to you how wrong you are and how insulting you are when you describe the Religious Right that way.
enveri
Dec. 16th, 2004 07:01 pm (UTC)
STOP.

Both of you, just STOP.

Take it to email, or... whatever. I don't want it here.
wolfbrotherjoe
Dec. 16th, 2004 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yes'm. Sorry.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 07:52 pm (UTC)
Ack! Sorry!

Nothing like getting kicked when you're trying to kinda-apologize to start a fight, truly.
sythyry
Dec. 16th, 2004 07:50 pm (UTC)
The Religious Right does NOT target gays.

There is a strong correlation between people who consider themselves "religious right" and people who take quite active legal, political, and cultural steps against gays. There are quite large institutions whom everyone considers "religious right" who make a point of taking such steps against gays. Many, many of the influential and powerful people in the religious right frequently do things specifically intended against gays. As far as is known, non-leaders of the religious right voted in great numbers to curtail some extant rights and forbid possible future rights to gays. Anti-gay activity was, by many news analyses, a key factor in getting the religious right to the polls in the last eletion. And so on.

If I'm wrong about any of those facts, please give me some good evidence.

If I'm right about the facts above ... how, then, can you claim "The Religious Right does NOT target gays." ? That's quite a large body of words and deeds, from many places within the religious right, which on the face of them target gays.

It may not be a core principle of the religious right's philosophy, but it's certainly a significant part of its activity.

They do not target muslims and pagans.

Well, people who say they're religious right are doing that, too. In substantial numbers, at times.

What you're doing is like saying, 'Blacks are criminals.

No. It's not. You keep dropping crucial words out from what I'm saying. It's like saying "Blacks were generally poor in 1940", and then pointing at a whole bunch of documentation demonstrating that, indeed, in 1940, a great many were, and that the average income was substantially lower than non-blacks. (I suspect this is true, but I don't know for sure.)
Note that: (1) the language is carefully chosen to summarize a great mass of information that shows a strong tendency, and (2) there's a great deal of clear facts behind it.
If there were a similar body of facts about blacks being criminals (which there is not), it would be a reasonable thing to say: truth is a good defense against libel.

The long list of wrongs that you said you wish they would target? Most of those, they DO target.

Um ... really? On the areas I know the most about, the loudest voices and most politically-powerful members of the religious right are silent (e.g.: count the number of peacekeepers Bush has sent to Darfur) or are quite active on the side of those I described as killers (e.g., abstinence+faith-based anti-AIDS programs perform much worse than others in practice -- teenagers don't seem willing to abstain enough -- but forces from religious right are among the most powerful ones keeping them going). I welcome counter-evidence, here and always.

I don't know if it's possible to quite explain to you how wrong you are and how insulting you are when you describe the Religious Right that way.

Keep trying, if you like. As an insider, you may see subtle distinctions that are not apparant from the outside. But ...

fiskblack
Jan. 1st, 2005 12:00 pm (UTC)
Hey! Tarin and I are still friends! That means something for unity! Right?

We both voted for Bush, but our religious lives are quite different. It's interesting, having been on both sides of the religious and secular sides of the societal debate, I can say with a straight face that both sides exagerate and take "threats" far too seriously, to the point of being utterly laughable.

Jay Naylor
summer_lvr
Jan. 2nd, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC)
Ummmm...wow
The world needs more people like you. Many more. And thanks for taking the time to express your beliefs. Coming from one of at least a couple of the categories that regularly receive discriminatory treatment or comments, it's so refreshing to hear someone say, hey, you're just a person, and that's fine by me. :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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