I’ve tried hard to avoid politics on my blog, but I really need to work through some feelings that have to do with politics.
My husband and I supported Senator Bernie Sanders during the last two election cycles. We donated to his campaign, a first for both of us. We never felt a politician, before his candidacy, represented us, our values. We hadn’t really ever discussed politics with anyone other than our closest of friends.
My family never talked politics. I have no idea whether or not any of them even voted. My husband’s family seemed to be Republican, from what little they had to say, but again, it was never really discussed. Occasionally his mother would comment on a particular issue, usually something concerning seniors, but otherwise the subject wasn’t really brought up.
Being on Facebook, we reconnected with some distant family members, classmates, met some new people who were like-minded and shared our interests.
I have to say, the worst thing about social media and reconnecting is that you find out things about people you’d rather not know. I liked it much better when I didn’t know the political leanings of old friends, family members. I’ve really been stunned by the things some folks have revealed about themselves and their thought processes.
Throughout my childhood, growing up, I spent a great deal of time watching adults, family members, representing themselves in one way, but behaving in a way completely contrary to the facade they put forth.
As an adult, I’ve tried to be consistent in my values, behavior, I don’t always succeed, but I try hard. The environment I grew up in definitely shaped my values, though not to follow those of my family, but to strive to be more genuine, even if it’s not popular.
I would describe myself as a pacifist, not comfortable with conflict, violence. I try to be the mediator, to be diplomatic. I try to avoid name calling, personal attacks. I prefer to talk about things, listen to one another, rather than fighting and hurting feelings. I really do try to hear other people, learn from them. I’m anti-gun, anti-hunting, pro-life (as a personal choice but not to impose on others). I have strong opinions, as one might imagine. Never being allowed to have an opinion, or to express it, while growing up, made that a priority in figuring out who I am, who I want to be.
I’m not a religious person, having had bad experiences with religion and religious people. Too many contradictions, too much hypocrisy in the experiences I had.
This bring us to politics… I have family members, friends, former classmates, who feel the need to profess their religiosity on a regular basis. They claim their faith shapes who they are, their beliefs, the choices they make, their political stances.
I have a lot of friends and family who are Republicans, conservative, evangelical Christians. I don’t have a problem with that, people can believe what they want, everyone has their own reasons for their political leanings. Recently I learned that a lot of those friends and family members were/are Trump supporters. They believe all the misinformation that’s been promoted by the former President and other Republican politicians. They honestly believe that Democrats, liberals are all hateful people with one goal, to strip them of their rights, to gain power at any cost, to take their guns, to prevent them from practicing their religion, etc. Even though there is no actual evidence of any of those things. Even in the face of what the former President and his most vocal and ardent followers just did in trying to alter the election results, storming the capitol building to prevent the electoral college votes from being certified by congress, they refuse to see those things, to acknowledge the truth.
When Joe Biden, whom I’d not supported, signed an executive order ceasing the Keystone XL pipeline, (a decision I whole heartedly support) my cousins began posting that Christians should “pray for the pipeline.” They started to complain that it meant jobs would be lost, jobs we need, we as in Pennsylvanians. They didn’t even understand that the Keystone pipeline didn’t reference the “Keystone state”, they didn’t know where it was even located, just that if a Democrat wanted to end it it was an attack on working people. They didn’t relent even when people told them it runs through Montana and the Dakotas, on sacred Sioux lands, that it has leaked 21 times in 9 years, the most recent a 383,000 gallon leak in wetlands. There was justification for halting the project. To them, the jobs outweighed the environmental damage.
To these folks, Covid-19 is a hoax, a plot by Democrats to take over control of everything, to manipulate and control the populous, to make us dependent on the government. Anyone who is scared by the virus, who follows mitigation protocols is stupid, being a sheep, willingly being controlled. Those of us who’ve followed social distancing guidelines, wear masks, refuse to gather in groups, we’re destroying everything for everyone else. We destroyed thanksgiving, christmas, are preventing others from going out to eat, going to a bar, enjoying their lives. Even those of us they know have had Covid-19 are looked upon as just being scared by everything, living in fear, making a bigger deal of it than necessary. We are somehow complicit with the Democratic plot to destroy the country.
These same people profess to be pro-life, but don’t seem to value the lives of even their family members when it comes to Covid. I had one family member actually say they were not required to sacrifice anything for anyone else, not for me, for a friend, no one.
All the Christian posts, the memes about prayer, about God and country, but they can’t be asked to unite for their fellow human beings, for their family members, friends in a time of crisis?
One of my cousins has all but stopped talking to myself and our Aunt. They can’t be bothered to interact online, even when called, it’s like pulling teeth to have a conversation.
I don’t understand how one reconciles Christian beliefs with a lot of the things they’re supporting, positions they are taking. They don’t see the hypocrisy. They don’t see the contradictions. They don’t seem to feel any remorse at the loss of relationships with family members, friends, over political views.
Who are these people? I honestly don’t recognize them.