So, that happened. Lesson learned: don’t antagonize the evangelicals.
I’m starting to think that there really is no point to these conversations at all. It’s not as though I’m going to change anyone’s mind, any more than they’re going to convert me into a Scripture-quoting, pro-life, anti-gay, right-wing conservative. It’ll never happen. So why bother discussing it? Both sides are equally convinced that they’re correct in their thinking, so even trying to have a reasonable “hey, have you ever considered it from this angle?” conversation usually just devolves into name-calling and nastiness.
I mean, thank God I’m not Dooce and don’t have nearly the number of hateful commenters that she had when she wrote about abortion. Still, y’all should’ve seen my website statistics over the weekend. If only our economy would have such a spike in numbers.
The funny thing is, all the conversation did was make me realize that I’m actually far more to the left than I thought I was. I used to think of myself as fairly moderate, but the more I look at the way that the Republican party is going, the more it’s repelling me in the opposite direction. This year is the first time I’ve registered to vote as a Democrat rather than an Independent. If the Republican party keeps moving in the direction that it is, catering to its evangelical base and trying to legislate morality, by 2012 I’ll probably be a full-on Socialist.
As for the religion issue, I just want to end with a couple of things that I don’t think are all that controversial. First, a friend linked me to a blog post called The Politics of Jesus, which I thought was interesting. And unbelievably neutral toward both liberal and conservative viewpoints. Seriously, go read it. You won’t be offended no matter which side of the aisle you’re on. (Well, you probably won’t. Some people – not naming names – look for excuses to be offended at every turn, and there’s just nothing I can do about that.)
Second, my favorite quote from the late, great Kurt Vonnegut:
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. ‘Blessed are the merciful’ in a courtroom? ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
Ok, maybe not the most relevant quote, but you have to admit, he makes a good point.
Third, just to totally lighten the mood: a guy that I went to high school with created a blog a few years ago that I’ve been meaning to link to, and I just never could find a way to work it into the conversation. It’s called Crummy Church Signs, and it is friggin’ HIGH-larious. (Example: “Stop, Drop & Roll Doesn’t Work in Hell”.) Joel himself is a really good Christian guy, he just happens to have a wicked sense of humor when it comes to this stuff. Seriously, some of his captions make me laugh until my eyes water. Hope y’all read and enjoy.