Donna recently spent the weekend with several evangelical Christian friends. Religion and politics was discussed, but there was no fighting, name-calling, yelling, etc.
I’m sure that’s the case for most of us. Even when serious topics on are the table, friends can find a way to talk about them without resorting to the kind of rhetoric you see so often on television news shows.
Why is that? Maybe it has to do with the notion of “others.” We don’t mind getting worked up when we’re talking to people we don’t care about. But when we’re among friends, we don’t let our emotions get the best of us.
The liberals (including most atheists) are terrorized by the idea that the religious right is going to make our country a theocracy and take all of our rights away the conservatives (including many Christians) are afraid the progressives are out to destroy morality, eliminate religious freedom, and take all of our rights away. Both positions are ridiculous in the extreme.
The scary part is that if we keep going in this cycle, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone has to tone down the rhetoric first. I want to be part of the group that spreads reason and hope instead of buying into fear mongering…
This is one of the reasons I think we should be working together with our religious allies (and we do have them). There are many people on the other side of the fence who agree with us when it comes to church/state separation issues, science education, a woman’s right to choose, etc. Too often, we include them in our condemnation of religion.
Our focus should be on the people who are trying to Christianize the nation, politicize churches, and take away the rights of others.
And even when we deal with them, we can lower the decibels and stick to the facts instead of leveling insults their way. We know how they act in church — louder is better. The more fanatical you are in the pulpit, the more donations you get. We shouldn’t have to stoop to their level.