We Don’t Have To Go There

I love reading Beale.  Every once in a while, I find myself in disagreement with her, but usually its on some small point that doesn’t keep me from being in tune with her in general.  Her post today is like that.  She is gently but firmly calling out some high profile Liberals for their obvious disdain of anyone who attempts to qualify a political position by weaving in some mention of their faith.  I understand the pull to do so.  Personally, I avoid any public displays of religion, or patriotism for that matter.  I just find it uncomfortable.  Nobody, and by that I mean NOBODY knows what my spiritual or religious beliefs are.  People tend to assume that I am not a Christian because I’m hard on the church.  I generally dislike and distrust people who too eagerly proclaim their membership in it because I have seen too much ignorance and hypocrisy come with that announcement.  To be sure, I could go my whole life not needing to know if you, my neighbor, my best friend, or my senator is a Christian.  Or a Muslim, for that matter.  That said, while I agreed with the tone of Beale’s post today, I must disagree with her here:

Oh for Chrissakes, people. That’s not what she’s saying, okay? That’s not what Christians mean when they say “God has a plan,” and “have a little faith,” alright? I swear, are you folks being intentionally obtuse for the sake of scoring a cheap political point or are you really just that out of touch with the faith community that you don’t know what Christians mean when they say “God has a plan”?

Beale went on to say she thought it was the latter.  I really don’t.  I think sometimes we Liberals get frustrated when we are unable to make a nuanced argument that matches the heat and intensity and, (most of all) the disingenuous-ness of the Far Right’s  noise machine.  As an example, I would offer the Huffington Post.  I agree with 90% of Huffpo writers.  But, its painful truth to admit that it is not a trusted news source for me.  The reason?  More and more, I’ve seen lazy and outright dishonest arguments made when addressing political opponents.  I’m going to catch heat for saying this, but matching fire with fire is unsound, and unnecessary.  No one is going to slap our arguments on their bumper, and we just have to accept it.  Changing the political environment is a crucial first step to changing bad policy.  Unfortunately, it will not happen quickly.  Most of us alive today probably won’t see significant change, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.

Immigration advocates do their cause a disservice when they call people concerned with unchecked immigration “fascists.”  Feminists repeatedly use language and tactics that alienates the very people they need to reach.  It is natural to want to ridicule or humiliate people who stand in opposition to us, but to me, this is truly where the rubber meets the road.  By learning to use language effectively, and by holding ourselves to a higher standard of conduct, we will effect meaningful change in the world.  Only not by tomorrow.

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2 responses to “We Don’t Have To Go There

  1. More and more, I’ve seen lazy and outright dishonest arguments made when addressing political opponents.

    Agree with that, and also disturbed that they are going the tabloid route. ThinkProgress occasionally does this too. It’s disheartening and as you say, probably an attempt to fight fire with fire. But it’s disheartening to me and makes me just want to tune the whole noise machine out.

    You know how hard it is to find just news anymore? Without spin? Without politics? I just want to turn on the TV and find out what’s happening. There’s no place in America to do that. I’ve got a dang satellite that receives 500 gazillion channels and I can’t find out what happened today without some kind of partisan spin on it. Most of the time I watch Current TV, which is just little vignettes about weird things happening around the world, or Bravo, for re-runs of Top Chef and Real Housewives. Honestly.

    I think my biggest problem with the Digby piece was, as I said, that they were misquoting what Sharron Angle was saying. They were criticizing her for saying X when she was really saying Y. And that happens a lot when people talk about religion. They say one thing but people, especially secular people, hear something else.

    But that doesn’t mean I agree with Sharron Angle and that doesn’t mean I think religion has a role in politics. In fact, I wish we could keep religion out of politics completely. But that’s not the world we live in.

    Try to imagine the presidential candidate who could get elected after openly admitting he or she was an atheist. Pandering to the religious is as much a part of American politics as kissing babies.

  2. Kissing Christian babies…..

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