Two things that I read on line this weekend have been taking up some of my thoughts off line. (Getting all political on a Monday morning…might want to sit down.)
The first is the shitstorm Johnson & Johnson created when they tried to do something nice for some mommy bloggers. Unfortunately, they didn’t execute the idea so well. Who invites mommy bloggers for 3 weekdays of pampering with no kids allowed? Not a lot of moms can get away from their kids and/or jobs for 3 weekdays. And due to some misunderstandings they dis-invited a few bloggers. But a very nice thought on their part…perhaps next time they will ask some mommy bloggers to help with the planning so they can avoid a nice thing turning into bad PR. For some reason, this little train wreck fascinated me a little.
The second was a situation on a message board I sometimes visit. It tends to be a support, warm and fuzzy place. As is true in the real world, I find that my beliefs don’t always align with others on the board but differences make the world more interesting. There was a thread that started with a discussion of a psychological study recently published. Certainly no one was casting any opinions about the validity of the study – just discussing general thoughts about the findings. One person expressed her disdain for psychology and psychologists, stated that only Christians should attempt to counsel people, and cited both Rush and
Dr. Laura. She also used descriptives such as liberal (check), divorced (check), studied psychology (check), and lesbian (okay so no check here – not that there is anything wrong with that) as negatives. Anyone who knows me in real life, probably could guess that invoking the name of Rush or Dr. Laura (you all know she isn’t a doctor of anything right? Her degree is in physiology and isn’t a PhD) is like waving a red cape at a bull – using both could induce an aneurysm. I didn’t start a debate with the person for a variety of reasons: I like and respect the woman who runs the board, I’m not likely to change anyone’s mind, and she didn’t seem open to the opinions of others.
The point of all of that is this: I wonder sometimes if I am in the minority. I believe strongly in many things. I am not likely to change my views on those things. But I can usually see where the other side is coming from even if I disagree with them. I find that so many people dismiss those who disagree with them as ignorant. After hearing why people believe things I sometimes think that – but it is their reasoning, not their belief that leads me to that conclusion. Others feel that people who disagree on fundamental issues must be inherently bad or morally corrupt – they just can’t fathom that viewing the world from a different perspective doesn’t make someone bad or immoral. Differences keep the world interesting.
I am 100% pro-choice – despite the joy adoption has brought to my life. Always have been, always will be. I understand the argument of the other side – I can totally see where they are coming from. I just don’t agree with the premise that the government can or should legislate personal issues like that one. I don’t think people who disagree are ignorant (well except maybe W…but for very different reasons).
I am 100% anti-death penalty. Do I lose sleep when someone like Ted Bundy is executed? Not really. But I believe it is wrong for several basic reasons. 1) Practically speaking, it costs more to try a death penalty case and execute a prisoner than to keep him alive in prison for the rest of his life. 2) State mandated murder sends the wrong message. 3) It doesn’t deter violent crime. An eye for an eye doesn’t work. Countries and states which has abolished the death penalty have not seen a rise in violent crime. 4) No take-backsies. If someone screws up, you can’t undo it. BUT I can see where the other side is coming from emotionally. I just disagree. I don’t think people who believe in the death penalty are evil (well except maybe W…but for very different reasons).
I believe gay marriage should be legal. I have 2 issues with the argument against making it legal. The first is the religious side. The God/Higher Power I believe in celebrates love and joy – in all of its forms. The second is legal. We have a mandated separation of church and state in this country. I don’t argue that religion should sanction gay marriage so much as I argue that there is no legal reason that marriage must be defined as between a man and a woman. This is religion influencing where it shouldn’t. This is the government trying to legislate what it views as morality – which is not the job of the government. I understand why people want to do this but have a harder time sympathizing here. (And W is still an evil moron…and this is one of the reasons – a constitutional amendment?!?)
Anyway, the point of this rambling post was to talk about tolerance. I know the majority of my readers will disagree with each and every one of my opinions on those political issues. I’ve heard your slightly right leanings out there – but I love you anyway. We’ve all gotten along for this long…can’t we celebrate differences and enjoy the expanding of our horizons? Doesn’t it make life more interesting?
Are you able to see the other side of hot button issues or do you feel blinded by your complete belief in something that you have trouble appreciating the other side of things?
As always, respectful debate is welcome.