I find it interesting to hear that conservatives are closed-minded, when I find that liberals always think they are right. As a centrist, I find it much more difficult to discuss politics with liberals. They are really more closed-minded than conservatives, seldom budging even a millimeter.
Religion and Politics.
As I don’t belong to any organized religion, so follows with my politics. I am an independent thinker. Although I do agree that Republican politicians tend to seek the Christian-right vote, many of my Republican friends are quite secular, and many of my Liberal friends (mostly the Hispanics ones), are VERY religious. Go figure. Many Liberals believe that Prop 8 passed due to the conservatives. I totally disagree. The gay marriage issue is not an exclusive conservative/Republican issue. I will agree that Christian right conservatives may (emphasis on may) not want to accept same sex marriage; however, I do believe this is NOT a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s a personal issue. Many of my Republicans friends simply don’t care about gay marriage. It’s “to each its own.” Prop 8 passed by over 52% of the vote in California. In a state were over 60% of the voters elected Obama, then we must assume that not only conservatives or the religious right backed Prop 8. In fact, Democratic Hispanics and Blacks overwhelmingly supported this gay marriage band. I find this very hypocritical “let’s vote for Democrats for social issues (entitlements and freebies), but let’s vote like conservatives on family values issues.” Obama also is not an advocate of same-sex marriage, as he clearly stated that he believed a marriage to be between a man and a woman in one of his debates. No one seems to remember this.
The Patriot Act.
Regarding the Patriot Act, a sore issue for many Libs, Obama extended the Act with minor revisions for one additional year, when it was due to expire earlier this year. It was easy for Obama to criticize Bush's attempt to keep us safe, but now that he is charged with the same task of keeping Americans safe, he extends Act that he criticized during his campaign for President. This does not sit well with me. If protecting my family from radical Muslim terrorists or from anyone that means to harm them means wire taping my entire home, office and car, and sticking a surveillance camera on my butt, then so be it. Funny how no one seems to complain about supermarket stores tracking everything we buy with those "value cards," or Google having live cameras everywhere (where even cheaters have been caught by spouses), or most of us posting or blogging our lives away on the Internet, but we take issue with an Act passed specifically to protect us from harm. I just don't get it. It's just all about hating Bush, not about the actual Act. Interesting how little coverage or opposition Obama extending the Patriot Act received. Not even a peep.
The Pledge of Allegiance/Prayer in Schools.
About prayers in the school…as a kid, I said the Pledge Allegiance and a small prayer each morning (mostly about God protecting our country and our families (you know, awful stuff), and it did not seem to hurt me one bit. Our country was founded on the Judeo-Christian faith, those who wish not to worship, have the freedom not to, but I find issue when someone tries to take that right from someone else. A child siting quietly at his desk for a few minutes, without participation, is not going to kill him/her. If the child can listen today's rap music, certainly a short prayer will not burn his or her ears. Look at what is going on with our youth today…beatings of other kids for no reason, disobedience in the schools, truancy, destruction, harassment of other kids, crime, sex, drugs, etc. Growing up as a kid in the 60s and 70s, where religion did play a role in our lives, was a good thing. It was easy being a kid when I was a kid. I am glad I am not a kid today, and that my daughter is 25, and beyond the craziness that is today’s youth. If this is what it means to oppose prayer in schools and pledge allegiance to our country, and stomp on family values; honestly, I want no part of it. Having faith should not be criticized so readily, my co-worker just spent his weekend in Mexico building houses for the needy through his church. People of faith and faith-based institution's positives far outweigh the negatives, if one can call them negatives. One should try to see the goodness first, before decrying what is perceived to be the constraints of faith.
The Sexual Revolution.
Another example of progress gone awry, is the sexual revolution, essentially the rebellion against puritanical thought, but look where it has led us...children in poverty and/or neglected due to women having children that they cannot afford, and raising them without a father. You obviously know about the statistics of single mothers on welfare, or how many in the prison population come from single mother households. I am not knocking single mothers. Many work very hard, and keep the family together, but this is just reality. The numbers are there for everyone to see.
Being Republican or a Democrat, or whatever, should not be a label that is affixed to anyone permanently. Peel back that label sometimes, and one may be pleasantly surprised.