January 25, 2009


There's a woman who comes into the store pretty often. She's Polish, very educated, worldly, interesting, full of love and sharing. I always enjoy a visit from her, we have so much in common, and I enjoy talking with her. Interestingly, she asked today if I had hope with Obama and I expressed my joy, and how I was so glad to finally have a president that I think is forward-thinking, intelligent and grounded. She was surprised, and said how she was disappointed when he repealed the no funding to abortion-talkers. I went on to explain that I was not pro abortion, but was pro choice, and the conversation that ensued was, as you might expect, very filled with typical controversy: gay marriages, religion in schools, abortion, etc. While my heart sped up, and I could feel my face flushing with frustration, I think we both did a good job respecting our differences and maintaining a cordial, intelligent discussion. Perhaps it would have escalated if we hadn't been in a public store... Anyway, when she left, I felt very much love for this person, but also extreme frustration: she shared her stories as to why she believes the things she does, and I agreed with her sentiments, I just didn't agree with the thought process/actions behind them. How do we, as a species, listen to one another the way we did, but come to some reconciliation? There's no question that we both believe that the human race is screwing itself with greed and hate, and that love and mercy is a way to peace. But she thinks that having a mother and a father as God intended it, and teaching of God is the way to manifest this (and therefore, marriages b/w men and men or women and women is wrong), for he is the one that bestows love and mercy. Whereas I believe that peace within is what counts most. Families are important: loving families that encourage meditation or some form of self-reflection, and appreciation for the fact that Ego gets in the way of just being present (and leads to greed, war, etc). But I don't care whether the families are made up of a mother and father, or two same-sex parents, or a collection of friends.

I find the same thing when I talk with Ben's grandparents (smart people that are God-loving & somehow also racist). We agree on the end point, but not the way to get there. To me, left/liberal thinking is more similar to my leaning, while these folks are dead-sure that the liberals have already brought Sodom & Gomorrah to Earth to finish us, with their tolerance.

Why this disconnect? Why this divergence? Why is anything faith related so irreconcilably unable to be logical? This is my frustration: I don't feel like I can speak logically about my opinions (or about facts) with such people. Or, rather, I speak logically, but it's like they turn off their ears to logic. What? What? I don't get it.

(also, I admit my own ignorance as to the importance of Sodom & Gomorrah. I assume they mean apocalypse or something, but those are definitely their words, not mine).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You raise interesting and thoughtful questions, and I certainly don't have the answers. However, despite my lack of allegiance to any "God," I probably have similar beliefs as this woman from your store. I am a scientist and am intensely logical in everything I do, and I feel my beliefs are also logical. So please do not ascribe logic to one side or the other, as I think we are all very different people. I, too, believe there is harmony between divergent thinkers - we just have to figure out a way to harness it.