Sunday, July 16, 2017

Confessions of a Prejudiced Man

This may, or may not, be my last blog for a while.  With that in mind I'm going to write some things which may or may not offend some people.  It is not my goal to offend anyone but I'm not going to hold back either.

Subject: American Flag | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

For years I have spoken out against prejudice.  In college I was one of the only students leaders to give public speeches against ballot measure 9 (an anti-gay bill, which would have made it legal to fire people on the basis of sexual orientation).  I always prided myself in not being racist, sexist or homophobic.  However, this week my own prejudice hit me upside the head.

Last Wednesday I gave a talk to a group of college students.  During the talk, I briefly mentioned that I belonged to a Bible study. After the talk a female student came up to me and asked if I could do bible lessons with her husband at my house.  When I asked about their beliefs, she said they are conservative Christians who take the Bible literally.  My insides reeled upon hearing this.  I instantly labelled her and her husband as naive and ignorant.

I thought about this all the way home and I realized while I am not racist, sexist or homophobic, I am conservative-ist.  I have been labeling all conservatives as the enemy.  That's wrong.  Just because one has a difference of opinion does not necessarily make them the bad guy.  One can believe in zero tolerance for drug use, a strong military, and vouchers for private school without being a bad person.

It's been said that we have more values which unite us than divide us. Most of us want to do an honest days' work for an honest days' pay.  We want our kids to be happy, healthy, productive people.  We don't want to live our lives hurting others.  It's only the details which separate us.

Go to a baseball game and look at the crowd just for a second.  You can't tell who is liberal and who is conservative; who believes in the Bible and who believes the Quran.  We're just all there to enjoy baseball and eat popcorn.  We have that in common.

I will always believe that the government should take care of the least among us.  I will always believe that the Bible is a book of metaphors designed to teach us about the values of God, rather than being a historical document.  However, I need to learn to respect those who don't agree with me. I don't believe I am alone though.  Pundits on both sides can stand to tone down the partisan rhetoric so people can come together to solve our country's problems.

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