Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A semi-political post *gasp

*Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

This is the captain of the blog speaking. I'd just like to let you know we're making an un-scheduled stop at Political Land for a short time. Thank you for your patience and enjoy the ride.

When I started this blog, I pretty much promised myself I would never venture into political waters. This mostly stems from my desire to avoid conflict at all costs. This was hard when I was editor of the opinion section in college, but I even mostly managed that. I believe we got the least letters to the editor the Scroll ever received in its history.

But here I am doing it anyway. I guess it has to do with my beliefs and an epiphany, too, so now that my rationalization's done, I'm going to get on with my actual story.

Has anyone else noticed that Facebook is starting to become a political forum? Mostly it's the notes people write. It's weird, and usually I stay well away from them, kind of how I like to stay away from political things in this blog. However, when it's something I feel passionate about, I sometimes make a comment or two.

One of my friends posted a video of the countdown show Keith Olbermann does - in this episode, he basically talks about how no one has compassion who votes for Prop 8 and how it's all about love and we should extend love to people who want a same-sex marriage and allow them to marry. Shortly after it's posted, the author of the note and another one of my friends had a discussion about it, and eventually agreed to disagree.

I was going to insert exactly what I said and what the young man who had a debate with me said, too, but the friend who posted the note deleted me from her friends list, so I can't. She didn't even talk to me about it. This is what makes me so mad/sad. Can I not express my opinion and beliefs without getting shunned from the very same people who desire compassion and acceptance? Seriously? Why is having a religious opinion a second-class opinion? Cody sent around excerpts from a talk by Neal A. Maxwell that totally nails this on the head.

"Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, “A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59)."

"This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened..."

"If people, however, are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold which grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would we be?..."

I got it and was like, "Wow. That's exactly what happened to me!" Now to tell you exactly what happened.

Main feel for my first comment on the video: I said I believed that marriage should be between a man and woman and I held that sacred. To change that would to be to desecrate it, therefore treading upon my rights and what I hold sacred. Also, I said that the Church had commented that they don't mind if same sex couples have the legal rights, and isn't it basically the same thing, therefore?

This guy responded and said it was the ultimate show of love and if it was the same thing then why did people get married ever? He also asked what I would feel like if I couldn't marry the girl or guy I loved. Then he said that marriage is between a man and a woman is a legal definition, not a spiritual one, and therefore I can't believe in it. Also, he asked how it would personally hurt me if he married another man.

I said I was just responding to Olbermann's comment about how it was all about love - and that his belief that marriage was the ultimate sign of love was a BELIEF. Maybe not from God, but it was a belief either way. Nothing concrete to back it up. It kind of dawned on me then that beliefs might not all come from God, but everyone has them, whether they want to call them that or not. Most call them opinions. And if you do get them from God, lots of times people want to discount them. Also, why can't I believe something that's also a law? I believe murder is wrong, and it's also a law.

The problem is, in this argument, religion is where my side is coming from and if people against Prop 8 won't allow religion to come into the conversation, they won't be able to understand why we do what we do. No wonder there's all this animosity and hatred - it seems like we have no opinions, except those icky religious ones. *wipes dripping sarcasm from face.

How the conversation ended with this guy went a little like this: "I started reading your comment and then I saw there was God and religion in it, so I stopped. Keep God out of it!" Except not in such nice language. Wow. Again, this from someone who wants understanding and compassion. I thought I was being rational and reasonable, but apparently religious comments are unreasonable and irrational.

My beliefs don't matter but his does. Because the more I think about it, the more it IS a belief that same sex couples should be able to get married. That's all it is. If you don't agree with it you're shunned and not as politically correct, but I have a right to my beliefs, too.

No matter Who they're from.


Katie Phelps said...

Can I just say that I love you. I truly do. And that I miss you and hearing you talk about things. I miss Scroll. :( And, I'm sorry that that person deleted you as a friend on Facebook. That's weird. I know that everyone has their opinions, but why can't everyone just be nice about it. Because beliefs, opinions, whatever we call them, we all have them, and they are all unique and that's what makes the world interesting.

Jennifer said...

I admit I didn't read the whole post due to the lack of time but I skimmed it and got the gist. Adam and I are actually on opposite ends of the same arguement. We respect each other enough that we see each other's perspectives and basically agree to disagree. Forget whoever deleted you. Express yourself freely. I speak with SO MUCH experience when I say that I've upset people by speaking my mind but I don't care. The type of person I want to associate with is the type of person who can respect me and my opinions whether they differ from theirs or not. I agree with you in this case...not that it matters. Speak freely., missy!

Brandon said...

I'm with you... I can't comprehend disagreeing with someone so much that I end our friendship. I had the same thing happen to me when attempting to discuss the upcoming election with a friend. Marketplace of ideas, people! If I'm so off-base, correct me! Show how much of an idiot I am. Don't skitter off into the night.


Autumn Lee Hill said...

I'm sorry for your bad experience Barrus. I understand how you feel. Our opinions on actual politics differ, but I agree on our right to have differing opinions. I've discussed with friends before how when people demand for others to be open minded, they don't mean it. They want others to be like minded. More and more on both sides of arguments people are less willing to agree to disagree. "If you don't share my opinion you are close minded. But only my opinion is right and therefore I am open minded." Crap like that. It can get very frustrating.

Brooke said...

That's so true that if someone has a religious foundation for their belief all of a sudden it's not valid! However we do have secular foundations for most of our beliefs as well. Where would we draw the line with this one? Could polygamy now be o.k.- whereas our church was shunned for it a hundred years ago- but under the homosexual marriage belief it should be fine because they love each other. Could you marry your dog or cat? And what about people that are o.k. with same sex marriage- but not o.k. with allowing those couples to adopt children- because of how it would psychologically mess with them? But it's true it is a belief that we do hold sacred and we will fight to uphold it, our society as a whole depends on it! the end