Tim and I are two different people.
I left our church, after hearing politics preached from the pulpit. Our pastor believes that Obama is a sign of the end times. He believes that the goal of liberalism is to dilute God's word. Etc.
What am I?
I am a person who believes that in the end, we will all be judged on our own lives. Our own. And this means that I should be worrying about my own life, and whether it is pleasing to God or not. I try hard to avoid condemnation, because your life is not my business. If you sit next to me in a pew, I will not question your right to be there.
It's a personal thing, and so, like I said, after hearing sarcastic and angry rhetoric from the pulpit, I walked out one day, and never went back. Tim goes to that church still. It bothers me that my opinion doesn't count, but I also do not want to stand between him and God. If God puts it in his mind to be somewhere else, I know Tim well enough that he will pick up and go, so I take a deep breath and put my own feelings on the back burner, and remember that I am married to a good man.
Now that the elections are 30 days off, things are getting heated. Rhetoric runs high.
If there is anything I hate, it's rhetoric. Rhetoric is trying to win an argument on emotion not sensible discussion. It's a slam dunk. It's a verbal slap. You don't matter enough for a discussion. The goal is to shut you down and shut you up.
Rhetoric is seen locally: "OBAMA = Hitler" or "Biden boasts that he and Obama are going to raise taxes for the middle class." Rhetoric cannot be backed up. If you say, 'How are you linking our president with Hitler?' they could not do it. If you say, 'Show me where Biden boasted that he and Obama would raise taxes on the middle class,' there would be nothing to back up their words. That's what rhetoric is. Empty words designed to incite strong emotion.
I hate rhetoric, and I left a church because of it.
Last night, curled up on the couch eating a warm bowl of oatmeal for supper and watching the news, I said, "Have you decided who you're voting for yet?"
Tim answered, shortly, "Yes."
The curtness of his reply shocked me. I looked over at him. "We can't talk?"
He said, "I'm surely not voting for Obama," and the rudeness of his voice raised prickles of warning.
I said, "Really?" a bit surprised. Romney is such an elitest that it frightens me. So out of touch with the middle class, let alone the needs of the poor. On the same token, I am quick to say that I believe that there needs to be social reform, that there are people taking advantage of programs, collecting money that they shouldn't be entitled to, but I see Romney's off the cuff remark about 'the 47%' as a deal breaker. You cannot write off nearly half of all Americans before you are even elected to office.
Tim looked at me, flatly. I said, "...he's just so fake, like an actor putting on a..."
Tim snapped, "Your Obama is the fake!"
There was no point in continuing. He didn't want to discuss anything. He wanted me to shut up. I hate rhetoric, and there it was coming from the other end of my couch.
It was a quiet night. I didn't know what to say. Tim has always been a quiet person. He only discusses what he wants to discuss. We've been married for nearly 15 years, and I understand that, but this really bothered me, that we couldn't look at each other, see that we are good people with our own opinions, and discuss them.
Last night when I went to bed, I dreamt of a two headed snake. Tim had it, and I was attempting to control my fear of snakes as I watched it. Yet when I turned my back to go get a mason jar, I felt it hit the back of my neck, and the cold writhing of it woke me with a jolt.