The other day I linked one of our troops preparing young men to go out and fight the war. I asked people to go over and give him encouragement. I received a few messages that I want to paraphrase.
The comments went along the lines of "I can't support the troops or I don't feel comfortable supporting the troops. They volunteered to be in the military and therefore they have decided to fight in an unjust war."
In one of the most wonderfully ironic replies I've had the pleasure to respond to in a great while, I explained,
I served so that shitbags like that could have their opinion without governmental intervention.
I don't require their thanks.
Those shitbags spouting their filth is thanks enough for me.
God it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
What I appreciate most about my response (other than getting to use the word, "shitbag" twice) is its ability to withstand criticism. I helped defend your right to accuse me of unjustly defending your right. Brilliant! Are you allowed to have your own opinion? ABSOLUTELY! And I am allowed to have mine. As our freedoms are slowly dissolving away, I look for every opportunity I can to reinforce the ones we still have in place. I swell with pride when I hear of some liberal college student screaming anti-American sentiments. You go girl. And you're welcome ;)
Which brings me to this election.
And my own demons.
The candidates scare me. I am constantly questioning my own motivations and basis for opinions. I go back and forth. Ignorant people tell me that my opinions are prejudicial, but my opinions are not based prematurely, on preconceptions, or without merit. This does not, however, mean I cannot be swayed by additional facts. I am eager to absorb information about the candidates. That is, from sources other than mainstream media, or from people who get their information from mainstream media. It really is hard to conduct an independant study when the media covers only what they want you to know.
And since we are free to base our decisions on whatever criteria we feel is important for us...
For me, its all about choices. Being born in a different country, or a different color or a different sex is not a choice - and I'm good with that - I don't even see it as influencing my vote. However, we choose whether or not to do drugs, tap prostitutes, dance in public wearing only leather chaps, or follow a specific religious path. Its the choices people make which interest me - and why.
drax0r summed it up as such:
I expect to be allowed the freedom to practice whichever religion or lack thereof that I desire. That does not, however, mean that someone's religion should be considered irrelevant when it comes to a person's vote for representation.
I don't care what religion someone chooses to practice as far as it extends to their personal lives. If, however, I form an opinion that following a particular religion is a nut ball decision then the fact of their religion comes into play when I decide how I'm voting - not because I wish to limit how they practice their religious freedom, but because they've got a demonstrated history of making nut ball choices.
Religion is a personal decision, but its one of many thousands of personal choices that make us who we are. It's odd that almost all of our choices are fair game attack - their sexual preferences, their gambling habits, the time they smoked pot 30 years ago, their marital indiscretions - fire away.
Religion? That's a touchy subject and it's considered out-of-bounds.
You can turn the flame thrower to someone because they believe X or Z about global warming or the economy but you're not allowed to examine what conclusions a candidate draws about the origin and nature of the universe? That's the big question, man. It seems that one's religious choices would be an excellent barometer for people to use to figure out how one person's decision making process compares to our own.
Alas, to discuss it critically is taboo. Why is that?