Saturday, July 09, 2005

Politics, Religion, and Sexuality

AKA Holy Mood Swing, Batman!

When I came to the computer this evening, I had planned to post about funny, happy things. Instead, I started by catching up on a few favorite blogs, and that plan when right out the window.

Deb of Red Shoe Ramblings posted a very interesting piece this morning, as did Gerrie, yesterday. Much food for thought, and impetus for sadness. Something really needs to be done to stop the swing of popular dictum in America - but can it? While I would love to have something original, insightful, and intelligent to say on the matter, I don't. So I'll leave it with "I am saddened."

On other issues, the current upswing in popularity of "coming out and staying out" as Christian has me freaking out. The great article that Deb linked to beautifully expresses some of my concerns in that arena. I know that society has changed dramatically, and that things that used to be better left unsaid are now openly and regularly discussed. (Case in point - I talk way too openly about my medical issues for my Dad's taste.) However, I'm a firm believer that religion should be a private and personal thing, and not aired in public. I know that Mrs. Mel of Fibermania has strong Christian beliefs, but is never in anyone's face about it (I had a heck of a time finding the archived post about it - not a single other reference to her religious beliefs, anywhere). I love and enjoy a great many people with strong religious convictions, and most of them are good with me too, even though they know I don't share the same beliefs. And that is something I treasure.

We should all be able to believe as we choose, be happy in our own form of worship, and live our lives in a way that doesn't force opinions down the throats of others. This goes for religion, politics, sexual orientation, and many other things, too. I love fiber arts, and am an avid Quilter, Knitter, Sewer, and Hardanger-er (I know that's not a word, but work with me here, will you? I had a rhythm going). Fiber arts are a huge part of my daily life, yet I have NEVER stopped someone in a grocery store, and asked if they have been saved by the Quilting. Nor have I ever gone up to someone's front door on a Saturday afternoon, rung the bell, and asked if they have the comfort of Hand Knitted Socks awaiting them. And this blog? The title is a give-away. And if a stranger happens upon it, and is not interested in quilty things, they can simply click on to the next blog and feel free to ignore my high fiber content rantings. I'm not pushing for Quilting in schools, but if it was provided as an option, at the same time as other courses such as Fly Fishing, Sculpture, Hunting, Soap Opera Appreciation, etc, that would be great. Each student could choose the course that made them happy, without being forced to spend time doing something that makes them uncomfortable, or for which they have no passion.

I'm not saying it isn't okay to be a loud and proud Muslim, or Wiccan, or Christian. That's fine - be proud, and be loud. Rejoice in your chosen Way. But be prepared that your chosen Way may not be the same Way as that of those around you. So, if you want to loudly pontificate on the merits of your beliefs in a public place, be prepared to be ignored by some, and disagreed with by others. Just don't expect everyone else to jump for joy and start singing with you. And you certainly cannot expect that your public pontifications will convert those passing by. Nope, not gonna happen. If someone says that yes, your preaching in public changed their life and made them realize that yes, yours is the One True _____ (insert deity of choice here), then you can pretty much be sure they're not that seriously committed. It's likely that the pontificator of a different tune, hanging out in the produce isle, will swing them in a different direction, as soon as they need lettuce.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the really serious and meaningful aspects of life - religious and political affiliation - need to come from a deeply personal place. And sexual orientation? I don't believe that is a choice, at all. Some people are born hetero (only ever interested sexually in the other gender), some are born homo (only ever interested sexually in the same gender), some are born open (only ever interested sexually in people with an intellect and personality that appeals, no gender bias held) and some are born with no sexual interest at all. In fact, and I expect to get some really interesting comments on this, I believe that there is more to gender than just male or female. Yup, it's a scientific reality that not every child is born easily identifiable as either a boy or a girl - look it up, people.

Wow, where this post started is totally not where it ended. How the heck did I get into this? Oy.


Logan said...

Note to the religious members of my family - this post is not at all about you or yours. You are the people I love and enjoy, and our relationship is the one I treasure.

This post was primarily motivated by and is my really strong gut reaction to the article linked by DebR. I hope no offense is taken, but if you do find my words offensive, then maybe I haven't made my point well enough? It's about freedom of choice, and the right to privacy.

Deb R said...

Yes! It's bed time here so I'm too tired to be any more coherent than that right now. Just...Yes. To everything you said.

deb said...

Another Deb heard from (I am getting tired of following her around) - I am also in agreement with all you said. I live in the South where it is evermore fashionable to make sure everyone knows Everything about one's inner being. The storm of lies and BS in my public world is like a cloud of flies hanging over a dead hippo carcass. Did I mention that I am the High Priestess of the Tabernacle of the Highest Conclave of Low Rent Bordello Sweepers and Bail Skippers in North East Georgia?
(psst...We don't meet on Sundays)tee hee hee

Deborah said...

Of course, I must chime in. I cannot be left out of the "deb" comment fest. Logan... you're a super fantastic blogger! A shining star in our ring. I wonder, if your father doesn't like you airing health issues, what will he think of this???

Logan said...

I'm kind of hoping to goad my Dad into making a comment. If this post doesn't work, I'll have to start posting about the state of Canadian Federal politics, with specifics about some of his favorite issues. And that will just bore the spit out of everyone else.

Please, Dad, you can comment any time. You know you want to.

Sonji Hunt said...

Very good post, Logan.