Politics, religion, and philosophy

7 Nov

Sometimes, we all make the mistake of voicing our opinion in the wrong place at the wrong time about our personal views on a subject.  Particularly hot topics that have been known to inspire violence are politics, religion and philosophy.  I don’t have a history of being publicly particularly outspoken on any of these topics, but recently I have questioned my reticence to discuss those topics and whether my reasoning was particularly valid.

I’ve actually had someone threaten to take a shotgun and say they were going to “blow your head off.”  (meaning me, of course.)  The reason? Because I had made the smallest comment about how not everyone would agree with their particular conservative views in regards to religion.  I found the threat to be rather contradictory, since the person professed to be a devout Christian.  In those situations, the best choice is to remove yourself from the increasingly dangerous situation.  The lesson learned there was to avoid anything but the most innocuous of contact with anyone who was likely to have a rather fanatical stance on a topic.

Now, my opinions are shifting.  Why should I have to yield MY right to free speech in order to not upset others?  At least I’m not going to be advocating the use of a shotgun to adjust anyone’s opinion.

Politically, I am a conservative liberal.  What does that mean?  It means I think everyone is wrong and everyone is right.  Not literally and totally correct, but it works as an ultra simplification.  I have some conservative views and I have some more liberal ones.  I have a lot of moderate views too.  I’m pro a lot of things, and against a lot of others.  Some things, I think we need more information about before we choose our side on it.

On a lot of issues, I think too often, we all fail to look at both sides of the issue objectively.

Some of the things about the new health care bill are good.  I’m suspicious, like a lot of other Americans, because of the way it was passed, the incredible complexity of the bill that was passed, and the rumored facets of “truth” about the bill that may or may not be true.  I don’t like the idea that we are being ordered to purchase health care insurance-mandating commerce is definitely wrong.  Encouraging purchase of this insurance, through a variety of avenues to make it affordable, are good ideas, as is preventing insurance companies from disallowing “pre-existing conditions” from coverage.  I’d love to see it where we could all afford health care and health care insurance,  for myself, my mother, my daughter, and my granddaughter.  We pretty much represent a slice of Americana right there!

As for our current president, anytime I say anything negative, I’m racist.  If I say something positive, I’m racist.  I honestly don’t care about his race, his parents, etc.  Our current state of affairs with our political situation isn’t his fault–the executive branch is only one of three branches.  I do care about the image he projects, the policies he supports, and the general way he conducts affairs as the current head of state.  I don’t think he was particularly well prepared for the position he holds.  I think he has made some incredible errors in office.  His wife, as First Lady, has done some things that spoke well of her, and other things that did not project a particularly endearing image of her.  As for his daughters and his dog, I don’t think they are relevant to his position, but if we’re going to say they are…then they have done a good job.  I don’t agree with some of the things he thinks are good ideas, and I don’t agree with some of the methods he chooses to push things his way.

And guess what?  If McCain was president, I’d probably have complaints too.  I did when Bush was in office.  I did when Clinton was in office, and I did when the elder Bush was in office.  I’ve had complaints about the current president since I was old enough to understand the news, which I guess was when Johnson was still in office.  That’s the nature of the job–nobody is going to be happy all of the time.

I know I’m a bushel of contradictions.  I may be anti-abortion, but I’m pro-choice.  That’s almost where I stand everywhere.  You can’t legislate common sense or morality.  Unfortunately, we’ve legislated ourselves into a massive government that pretends to be our “daddy” in almost every facet of our lives.

But…I deeply resent people who continually feel a need to put America down.  We might not be perfect, but we’ve got an awful lot of foreign citizens trying to get into the country!  I don’t know of any place that is nearly as good as America, at least in my opinion.  We’ve got a lot going for us, and that’s an even better reason to take care of what we have, and work to make it even better.

Don’t just sit back and passively watch it happen.  Get up off of your duff and make it all happen, from your life outward, it’s like the ripples in a pond.  I can’t change national policies or put bills through Congress, but I can speak up, I can make noise, I can make changes in my own corner of the world, I can be the kind of citizen I think we should ALL be, and get other people to wake up and smell the coffee too.  So can you.  We all love to hate politicians, but at the same time, how many times have you contacted a congressman or senator?  A local councilman?  A state representative?  A county commissioner? The mayors office?  Anybody?

Yelling at a clerk about unfair tax rates does nothing except ruin his or her day.  They don’t set the rate, they just hired hands.  Go to the ones who can make a difference and let them know what you think.  Write to the editor of the local newspaper.  Call a reporter.  Get INVOLVED! Don’t just be one more automatron doing what Big Bubba tells  you to. and remember…the only wheels that get greased are the ones that squeal each and every step of the way.  And if you are of the practical sort, look at government as a corporation that is overseeing things.  Government employees are then all customer service agents.  What kind of “customer service” do you get at the hands of government employees?  Your senators and representatives are also your customer service agents of sorts.  They are there to serve you, and what kind of service are you really getting?

If you don’t like the way things are going, there are ways that were put in place by our illustrious forefathers to change them.  Use those methods and create real change.  Don’t just whine and snivel and slobber…get involved!

 

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