I can't say that the way in which I engaged my...er...debate opponent was nice. But the truth is that I'm just ANGRY. (This next part is taken directly from a Facebook convo I've been having, so if you and I are Facebook friends, look away or file your fingernails or go get a snack while I go on this diatribe. Just skip to the list, mkay?) I've spent three years listening to lies and half-hidden bigotry and insults regarding the man for whom I voted. I have been called ignorant, un-American, a sheep, and a friend of Satan (in whom I don't even believe.) I've ground my teeth and tried very, very hard to be as level-headed and kind to the people with whom I disagree as I can. I have tried to rise above the muck that gets slung at me day after day after day by people who call themselves Christians or who say they love me. And I'm sick to death of it.
I'm tired of trying to come up with yet another way to explain the first amendment (never mind the 14th or 10th) to people who claim they want absolute freedom from the Federal government while demanding an evangelical Christian president, Congress, and Supreme Court. I'm tired of asking for proof that our president is Muslim or Kenyan or Communist or Socialist. I'm tired of arguing that the president is, in fact, a black man because his father was from Africa. I'm tired of people bringing up the president's childhood and then saying that a candidate's past means nothing--in any context. I'm tired of trying so dang hard to act as Jesus instructed his followers to behave in Mark when I'm not one of his followers--and his followers call me stupid or ask if I'm on drugs. I'm tired of ignorance masquerading as intelligence, of meanness masquerading as debate, and of prejudice masquerading as righteous fear.
If you don't enjoy experiencing me go all three-aspect on you, I suggest you do the following:
- Don't pretend that you are interested in any sort of intelligent conversation if you want to tell me that monotheism is compatible with science during a political discussion. Because...really? The only monotheistic religions present in the Western world right now feature a dude getting swallowed by a whale and living to tell about it, a god making people out of seven different colors of dirt, and a deity who is killed and is buried and then comes back. All of that sounds to me, with respect, like science FICTION, but not, in any way, science. If you want to believe that science and monotheism are BFFs, I suggest you consult Galileo or the lawyers in the Scopes monkey trial. I am not in any way knocking monotheism (follow your bliss, my friends), but to say that it's compatible with science is to have basically missed the last...er...500 years or so of world history. During that time, monotheists regularly enjoyed imprisoning and/or making social pariahs out of scientists (many of whom were "good" Christians, Jews, or Muslims.) Again, I am not trashing monotheism. But to suggest that monotheism is more compatible with science than, say, an earth-based faith during a political conversation is baseless and missing the point of monotheism at best and, at worst, makes you look like a complete idiot. I do not suffer idiots any more.
- Don't try to make any of the following terms mean the same thing: conservative/Republican, liberal/Democrat, liberal/atheist, conservative/Christian, progressive/liberal, liberal/asshat, Republican/asshat. There are liberal Republicans (the ones who believe that Americans deserve equal treatment under the law regardless of societal norms.) There are conservative Democrats. (Helllloooo, Ben Nelson.) There are Republican atheists who take the separation of church and state seriously. There are liberal Christians who can (and do) cite numerous Scripture for their political beliefs that dictate the party for which they vote. I know a metric buttload of conservative Pagans. Two of the biggest turds (in terms of political discourse) I know are a conservative Republican and a progressive Democrat (and watching them snipe at each other makes me want to eat my own face.) Our Founding Fathers were progressive: they sought PROGRESS away from a stifling political system. They also owned slaves and didn't count women as human beings when it came to political representation. They were Christians who refused to give our country a religious affiliation and who, when drafting a motto for our country, came up with one that is pretty much Communism in a nut shell. My point is: do your dang research and stop listening to what "they" tell you.
- Pretend I didn't yell, "My president has got BIG BRASS CAJONES!" during the State of the Union Address.
- Don't argue with me that a person's private life is their private life and shouldn't have any bearing on their presidency and back that argument up with the statement that you have to have a person who prays the way that you pray in the White House and that a president's college transcript should be public domain. I mean, you CAN argue with me about that, but then I'll have to point out your vast hypocrisy and make you all flustered so that you type in all caps. I'd hate to do that, mainly because it causes eye strain, but also because it makes you accuse me of smoking Teh Drugs, and I don't smoke anything these days. Heck, I don't even smoke my own Boston butts.
- Don't blather on and on about entitlements and then complain that you're going to lose your Social Security. I mean, I don't want to lose my Social Security, either. But if you don't know what the word "entitlements" means, don't use it, mkay? Further, do me a favor and don't pretend like the public assistance programs aren't screwed up seven ways to Sunday, mainly because the states do a craptastic job of monitoring how money is spent. In fact, how about everybody actually figure out how public assistance works in their state before they start talking about it? THAT would be awesome.
- Don't tell me that the past doesn't matter. Seriously. Because that means that you have no concept of...um...anything, particularly if you are a believer in a monotheistic religion that centers around a man who rose from the dead roughly 2000 years ago. Because that was a looonnnng time ago. Or if you are a believer in the Constitution, which was written roughly 200 years ago. Or if you were ever at any point in time affected by things that happened to you more than one second ago. OF COURSE THE PAST MATTERS. Gah. What Newt did twenty years ago? Matters. What happened to Santorum's family 10 years ago? Matters. How President Clinton lied about Teh Oral Sex in Teh Oval Office? Matters. If it didn't, we wouldn't still be talking about it.
- Don't be mean and don't lie. I guarantee somebody will get their feelings hurt, or be mean back at you, or expose your lies. That somebody will probably be me and I will CACKLE at your discomfiture as you backtrack and finally resort to calling me "ignarant." I do not ENJOY getting angry at you when I go on Facebook, but I am no longer rising above it and asking myself what Jesus would do, because while I've got much love for him, it is baldly apparent that some of his most vocal followers discount the red parts in the Bible, so I'm giving myself permission to ask what my high school debate coach would do instead. She was a steel magnolia in every sense of the word and she was not above telling somebody exactly how much of an idiot they really were.
- Don't point out the way a person salutes (or does not salute) the flag, goes to church or doesn't go to church, is like you or is not like you is the criteria of being a good president. However, you may use aspects such as intelligence, voting record, military experience (or lack thereof), college education, marital status (you heard me...I loved me some Bill Clinton, but I honestly don't believe that we'd be in the mortgage mess we're in or be suffering under DOMA if he'd kept his junk in his drawers), diplomatic aptitude, and political history. I'm cool with that.
- Don't cite any email you got as fact. Don't tell me straight up that you haven't verified something but you're going to post it anyway. (You're doing this to stir the pot and, dude, that pot is about to boil over, so back away from the damn pot.) Don't tell me you "believe" something as an argument in a political debate. I believe that a rock I found on the farm contains the essence of Mother Earth. Do you think that makes it so? No? Then don't tell me you believe our president is being funded by Islamic extremists unless you can trace the money trail for me.
I am not talking to any one person here. Well, that's not true. There is one person in particular who got me riled up over the past few days, but I doubt highly that this person reads this blog. So. I don't care if you are conservative, liberal, Democratic, Republican...whatever. Don't be an asshat. Because then I'LL have to be an asshat, and I promise I can be a bigger asshat than you. I don't WANT to be an asshat.
But I have to be honest and tell you that being an asshat felt so dang goooooood yesterday.
I'm back to being all civil and junk today. It feels more like myself.
But just to let you know, my inner Morrigan is awake, y'all. She looks a lot like my high school debate coach.