Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How To Handle Ministers Of Blind Faith

After the November elections, a friend of mine joined a Facebook group called “It sucks to find out people I know are Democrats,” then posted a note that read she was concerned about the moral compass of the uneducated people we allow to vote in America. I sent along a little retort reminding her that just because mine points in a slightly different direction, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a moral compass. I also pointed out that political affiliation has nothing to do with level of education.

Still, for some reason her sentiment has bothered me since. No one likes to have a finger wagged at them as if they have behaved badly, particularly when they don’t believe they have. I guess my middle class, rural America, chip on my shoulders adds to my frustration with folks like her who think that if you’re not Christian and you’re not Republican, you are a lesser human.

While she didn’t respond to my responses, I’ve heard her propaganda before and often from all sorts. The Conservative Christian sect of American politics has made it chic to bash liberal thinking as amoral and liberals as heathens. Amazing that for a time during the Regan administration it almost appeared as though the Republican Party was finally wising up to the notion that all men and women are created equal and that differences were okay.

Thanks to Clinton’s Lewinsky and a healthy dose of terrorism, the Fallwells and Robertsons of the world brought scare politics back and chased a large number of our fellow country men off to their bibles to find absolution before the Apocalypse fell.

The end result is a country half full of perfectly well-meaning people hiding behind religion from fear of those who don’t share their point of view. And they’re doing so to the point that perfectly intelligent, well-intended people like my friend are practicing the polar opposite of what that religion teaches them.

I wonder what ways we can fight without magnifying their fear. How can we show them we don't want them to be like us, we just want them to let us be unlike them? How can we speak to them as individuals and not as ministers of their blind faith, which short-wires the logic motherboard in their brains?

What are we, the targets of their hate, left to do? All I can think of is poetic irony. We should turn their preach into practice and pray for them.