Religion and Politics

Aren’t those the two things you’re not supposed to talk about in polite company? Well, here goes anyway…..

When did religion hijack politics?

I don’t remember it being this way growing up. I never saw politicians talking about their particular religion or justifying policy “because the Bible says so” .  Maybe that’s because I’m from the northeast, which is an admittedly liberal kind of place, or maybe it’s because in the past I’ve tried to avoid political debate because I find it intimidating to discuss.

Things have changed and like it or not, I feel like I have to jump in with both feet. It’s increasingly hard to be a moderate nowadays because the tone of the conversation has definitely amped up. In high school I had a social studies teacher who would compare the events leading up to each upheaval in U.S. history saying it always begins with “the polarization of the moderate attitude.” (See, Mr V, I was paying attention in class!) And that is exactly what’s happening at this point in U.S. history. It feels like everyone around you wants you to pick a side, and PICK IT RIGHT NOW!

I’ll admit it…..I’m angry at the Republican Party. And the Democratic Party. And pretty much every political party, especially the Tea Party. I’m angry because all I’m looking for is an honest debate about the most important issues our country is facing, like the economy, our educational system, our infrastructure, how our country is going to compete in a global market and foreign policy. But no, what we’re talking about is whether birth control pills should be covered by insurance (Yes) and which talk show host is the bigger jerk, Bill Maher or Rush Limbaugh (Probably a tie).  Are you kidding me??????

I really wanted to be able to follow the Republican debates this primary season, but I just can’t anymore. Each candidate is trying to “out-conservative” the others and they throw around “Moderate” like it’s a four letter word. They are doing a damn good job of turning issues with all sorts of shades of gray into issues that are black and white. Even worse, they are spending an awful lot of time and energy arguing over who’s the better Christian based on his track record and implying that the biggest test of your faith is in who you vote for in November, and it better not be for that Muslim in the White House (wink, wink).

I don’t care what your religion is, that is a private and personal matter. I don’t care how closely or loosely you practice the tenets of your faith because again it is personal and private.  Its time to get back to discussing secular issues on the podium and issues of faith on the pulpit because what I do care about is whether you want to change or impose laws based on your religion and force the rest of the country to live by your faith which we may or may not agree with.  That, my friends, is a theocracy and we all know how well it’s worked in the past.

The Start of a Revolution?

You know what the problem is with moderates? We tend to be quiet. Those at the opposite ends of an argument tend to be very passionate and vocal. Moderates? Not so much. We see both sides of the story and so we don’t tend to get so heated. We just wait things out and dismiss the radicals as radicals. You know what the problem is with that? The radicals get all of the airtime and start to sound not quite so radical.

So here I am, The Passionate Moderate. I am here to talk about being in the middle of polarizing subjects. I am here to be the voice of understanding and tolerance. I am here to give a voice to cooler heads.

So who am I?

A non-conservative living in one of the most conservative political counties in Texas.

A former Catholic, Unitarian Universalist in the bible belt.

A RN/midwifery student who absolutely appreciates obstetrical care while practicing in an out-of-hospital setting.

A vegetarian who cooks meat for her family every night……amongst other things.

So, have you characterized me as a flip-flopping, wussy, fence-sitter yet? Well, I am here to tell you that is not the case. I believe with all my heart and soul about the choices I’ve made for myself, and amazing as it may seem, I believe you have the right to make choices for yourself without my help. What frustrates me to no end are the people out there who want to make my decisions for me or tell me what kind of person I am based on the decisions I’ve already made.

Over the next few posts, I’ll tackle a number of divisive subjects, and I welcome all respectful comments and debate. No name calling or insults on either side will have a place on my blog. I’m here to encourage a civility that seems to be lacking in the current culture. Who’s with me?