Monday, December 10, 2007

on personal politics and closed mindedness

"Nothing on earth scares me more than a conservative Christian." -random person at work

How did America get to this point?... this point where name calling and finger pointing are what we spend our time and energy on? When did some "open minded" liberals give in to the notion that everyone in a category is alike? That because of outspoken extremists, we are all ignorant and lofty.

To me, nothing is more ironic than a closed-minded liberal, standing on a soapbox pleading for the peaceful existance of society... and in the same sentance assuming that the entirety of a political or religious group is corrupt.

I'm not claiming a lack of hypocrisy or a wealth of perfection on either side of the spectrum, but one must realize that (for instance) the small percentage of Muslim extremists who spread terror and destruction do not speak for the entirety of their (inherently peaceful) faith.

So it is with Corporate Christian America.

You can't only focus on the TV evangelists and grand Presidential failures, but on the hearts of the people inside the faith. Most of this is often overshadowed by the media frenzies and the recent marraige between political parties, their candidates, and their assorted faiths. But look close, and hidden closely behind the flaws in our humanity is a heart of love.
THIS was and still is the real message of Jesus, who, instead of pursuing politics and personal gain, dined and dwelt among the least of us... the lowly, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, and those deemed unfit for society.

If Jesus was visibly walking through the streets of today, I think he would hang out in the corners of the world that most 'Christians' would be terrified of. With a homeless man on his street corner, in gay bars, on the front steps of whore houses, and in soup kitchens. THIS is the real message of Christianity, which is misrepresented in the church mostly because we ARE human and make mistakes, both in our thinking and our actions.

Anyway. It's a saddening thing to me that what people (including Christians) live for these days are the things that divide us instead of the things that unite us. That people would rather picket and make rash generalizations than actively pursue chage. And by 'pursuing change' I don't mean bashing liberals or putting down conservatives... I don't mean standing up for your own personal politics. Who really cares? I'm talking about feeding the hungry. Uniting nations instead of waging wars. Fighting for equal educational opportunities and for understanding among all people.

As a nation, we stand divided. As a people we are rich in our differences and perspectives. We all see the horizon differently, the light hitting our faces at different times and in different ways. Why do we find it so difficult to grasp the world of the things we share? Is it because we dwell in the realm of our differences?

In this supposedly 'great' country, the reasons we can't see past the end of our own metaphorical noses are endless. But I think mountains could be moved if we would drop our assumptions, break apart our soapboxes and recognize that the problem is not, in fact, in one political party or in one particular religion, but it is in each of us. It's me. It's you. It is statements like the one I heard in passing today.

"I am not everyone, but I am one." -Helen Keller

You have the power to choose (and I'm talking to my fellow moderates and conservatives as well as anyone else). To choose between ignorance or open-mindedness. And true open-mindedness is recognizing that we will never see the sun set or rise the same way. It is the humbling of ourselves and the understanding that the different ways we exist and were created is not a burden...not the root of another problem. But it's a blesing to help jump start us closer to getting a more complete understanding of this world we find ourselves in.

Seeing the horizon from five different angles can only help us paint it better.

But I digress.

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