Sunday, April 14, 2024

Gray Area

 We worked on the house yesterday. It's a frustrating time for me, because there is not really a lot I can do, so I stand around a great deal of the time waiting for him to tell me what to get, or what to do. Sometimes, I can stand around for quite some time. We are doing the wiring for the ceiling fans/lights/exhaust fans, etc. We have the bathroom exhaust fan, and the recessed lights for in the bathroom, We will need to make a decision on the kitchen exhaust. 

So that was yesterday. 

Coming home, I had an unaccountable craving for a veggie pizza, and so we placed an order for one to pick up. 

I find myself just not wanting to be around people lately. Sounds awful, doesn't it? 

People just want to argue. An acquaintance really began blasting Christianity. She really feels it is responsible for so many evils in the world. There is no God! She proclaims this long and loud and will argue the point with anyone who dares to believe differently. 

Now, I don't disagree with her. She's right in my opinion, but I countered with, "Leave people alone!  For heaven's sake, I know people who call themselves Christians who are every bit as horrified as you are at what is happening in the world. Their belief does not affect you. " 

She was quick to let me have it. I think that she just assumed that we would be in agreement. The thing is, we are. I just don't understand the need to hold all Christians accountable for the acts of some. I guess my point is that I am completely willing to debate ideology. Evangelical Christianity and their ideology is doing a lot of damage, and I will argue that ideology because it affects me. Ridiculing everyone who believes in God is simply religious intolerance,  no different from the Christians she criticizes proclaiming that all other faiths are not 'right' or 'true'. 

People want to see things as black and white, and yet, life is rarely like that. If you don't agree with the actions of Israel, you are quick to be labeled 'pro-Hamas'. Or antisemitic. If you don't agree with the Evangelicals, you are a 'liberal', a word that cannot be uttered without contempt dripping from every syllable. If you don't agree with Islam, you are an infidel. It goes on and on, doesn't it? 

Yesterday, I disagreed with a liberal, and watched her take a page from the far-right republican playbook. If I was not with her, I was against her, and she tore into me. I recognized the gaslighting immediately. She was trying to discredit me by picking apart my words, making a big deal out of semantics, all in an attempt to miss my point, to ignore the big picture. 

I wished her a good day and ended the conversation, which she seemed to find hilarious. I'm sure she thought she won, that her argument was so overwhelmingly 'right' that I had no comeback. I had plenty to say, but what was the point of saying it? She wasn't listening to me, and I was sure as shit not going to stand there and listen to her. There was nothing to be won by continuing the conversation.

In the end, I think our world will be destroyed by intolerance, the refusal to respect people as fellow human beings with every bit as much right to live their life by their own rules as we have. 

Live and let live. 

It sounds so simple, doesn't it?



56 comments:

  1. Veg Artist here. I agree with you. My husband thinks that one day mankind will set up colonies in space, on planets and so on. I tell him that exactly the same thing will happen there. No matter the good intentions, the integrity of the science, the initial goodwill, people do not seem able to help themselves when it comes to disagreements. It is beyond sad.

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    1. It is. So many people are suffering because one side of the equation sees them as not quite human. That is horrifying to me.

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  2. People are intolerant. I often find myself not wanting to engage with people - it's just too much hard work to talk commonsense to those who don't have any.

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    1. I don't want to be around people right now. Any of them.

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  3. I agree with you, both on the point about Christianity and the bigger issue of overall polarization. Even if God doesn't exist and Jesus is a myth, faith sustains a lot of people through hard times and accomplishes a lot of good. But all that happens QUIETLY, and unfortunately all many of us see is the louder evangelical side of Christianity, which -- in my opinion -- is actually less Christian.

    I don't know why so many people believe in either/or. Very few issues in life are that black and white.

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    1. I've always felt that the answer is not either/or. It is and.

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  4. I would guess that person is NOT a true liberal but rather a MAGAt in hiding!
    I'm a proud Liberal ... Vote Blue 🔵 down the line and try to help get rid of the MAGAs aka maggots!
    Enjoy your Sunday!

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    1. Whooo, boy, Marcia. If she ever heard you say that, her head would explode. Nope. She's a liberal. As am I. Just as the right has their militants, the left has their own, I guess, which is disappointing.

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    2. Of course, you're right ... I guess I have just never met a real militant liberal! I don't think I want to, either! Steer clear of her, Debby!

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    3. Everyone has their opinions. That is a simple fact of life. But when you feel that your opinion must be shared by everyone, I guess that's where I lose patience.

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  5. I've recommended this book before and will recommend it again. It's a lesson in tolerance, but those who most need to read it never will.

    "I Never Thought of It That Way" by Mónica Guzmán

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  6. We seem to live in age of New Atheism Debby. People should take a walk in the park or countryside , see the new Spring born lambs, or grow their own flowers and vegetables. Then they will believe in a God or even Mother Nature. I wouldn't stand there arguing with negative people like your acquaintance.

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    1. You know what is interesting to me, Dave? I do see those things that you speak of. I see that there are things bigger than myself, and I take the time to appreciate those things. Nature is one of them. And appreciating nature brings me some measure of peace.

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  7. I more or less agree with that lady but not just about Christianity. All religions cause harm that I don't think is mitigated much by whatever good that they do. However, I wouldn't go around and about proclaiming this to all and sunder.

    That being said, there is a quote that goes something like: "There are good people and there are bad people, but for good people to do bad thing, it takes religion." I am sure that the actual quote is better than my rendition. 😊

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    1. You know, though, I've seen plenty of examples of religious people doing perfectly awful things. I have also seen plenty of examples of peope who weren't religious doing perfectly awful things.

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  8. I always tend to walk away from any form of confrontation. It may seem cowardly but it is better for my mental wellbeing.

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    1. I believe that some things must be said out loud, but I would never dream of forcing my ideals on to someone else. That's oppression.

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  9. I can relate to standing around waiting for something to do during a construction project because I don't have the required skills to be DOING whatever Farmbeau's doing. It drives me bonkers though, to stand there. Often I excuse myself to make lunch or supper. It takes me 2 hours to make a good full-course meal, but it does seem that particular effort isn't acknowledged by those who assume "men's work" is more important. Two things: I save the "skilled" worker a lot of steps during the day, and I'm the one who keeps him well fuelled. That counts just as much, I figure.

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    1. Today, I found something to entertain myself. I gathered up the scrap wiring and stripped it down to the copper. I'm making plant supports and restringing a windchime. That made me happy.

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  10. Whew! My face got flushed and itchy just from reading all this--well Debby, I'm a true blue liberal too--but I was once guilty of hating on all Republicans, and that was wrong. I don't agree with most of their politics, but they're not all part of that horrific MAGA tribe either. Hey I hope you're feeling better.

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    1. There is no sense of wasting breath talking to a MAGA mind. But you are right to say that not all Republicans are MAGA. I believe that we are beginning to see a shift.

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  11. It's encouraging to me, and, I hope to you, to find so many who agree with you. Count me among them. I have been on the devout Christian road, but encountered so many who acted totally contradictory to what I had been taught, that I decided that road led nowhere.

    I hear you regarding wanting to avoid people, too. I am unfortunate enough to live in Texas. Seeking social interaction, a friend of mine is in several needlework groups. She says most are Republican, and on T's bandwagon. She pays a price for company by listening to them. Not worth it to me! Meanwhile, it's comforting to me to know that my view is shared by many other people. Thank you for posting!

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    1. Oh, Rose. I send you a hug. I cannot imagine living in Texas or Florida right now.

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  12. This country has become so polarized I don't know if it will ever recover. This "you're either with us or against us" stuff just wears me out. The intolerance is awful.

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    1. You know, Steve Reed took a photograph of some street art today. It said, "World peace is coming!" In parentheses below, it said, "Otherwise, we're screwed." Peace cannot happen until people begin to see everyone else as human beings.

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  13. You put it so well. Each to his own if they live with good heart.

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    1. And if a person lives with a good heart, they aren't trying to force their opinions on you.

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  14. Agree 100% . Life is not black and white. Or it shouldn't be.

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    1. When we let go of that expectation, we are opening ourselves up to other opinions and other thoughts on the same subject.

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  15. I have no idea how humans will rebuild the chasms that have been built by zealots, but it does need to be done. I guess it's not anything new, this us and them mentality, but it makes me feel sick.

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    1. Pixie, I cannot bring myself to watch the world news anymore, and I know that seems cowardly. I read about it, and that's bad enough.

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  16. This saying sort of goes well with this post and the last. "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink, people, people everywhere and very few who think.

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    1. I don't know if I agree with that. Words like that allow people to dismiss anything that they disagree with by saying the other person is dumb. That happens way too often, in my opinion.

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  17. I think lots of evil happens via all religions, but it’s not as simple as that, is it? People are people, both good and bad, no matter what religion they live with or not! Like you said- intolerance and disrespect is the biggest evil. I wish ‘ live and let live’ was as simple as it sounds!
    Btw, I have purchased 4 new perennials and 4 blueberry plants..! Although I said just last week that I would not buy any more plants! But the key word is ‘perennial’, OK? Retirement garden!😁 XO, Rigmor

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    1. Oh, Rigmor! A woman after my own heart. I do not buy annuals. My thoughts are, if I'm going to take the time to plant something, it needs to have the good grace to stay planted!

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  18. I have a friend who has gone wild on this anti-God thing. He rants and raves at people and insults them terribly. I am a liberal. I believe that people should have the freedom to make their own decisions as long as they are not hurting others. If people want to go to church on Sunday and pray for whatever - who cares? (I mean I care about the tax exempt part and much more, but anyone who does want to do all is free to do it without insults).

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    1. I guess that's my take on it too. I really do believe that if someone is quietly worshiping, what does that have to do with me? How does his/her belief affect what I believe? It doesn't. If someone is in my face about God, I will state my thoughts on it, but I know on a personal level, if I ever caused someone to doubt God, I'd feel awful. I think that is something that people need to decide for themselves.

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  19. Whenever I hear all inclusive statements, my hackles immediately rise, mostly because I’ve spent most of my life in the middle gray areas. Like you, I tend not to respond though until I’ve had time for them to get to know me a little and understand that I’m not their total opposite by simply disagreeing with one aspect.

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    1. I think it's a matter of "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction'. If you've got someone aggressively insulting and calling people names, that evokes a much bigger response than someone who voices an opinion that is different from my own. Personally, when it reaches a point of degrading people, I'm out. I'm not responding to that.

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  20. Yes, it does work both ways. Unless extreme and they affect others, people's beliefs are their own. I just wish everyone would keep it that way and make less moral judgements.

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    1. Christian nationalism is doing a lot of damage to my country right now. This insistance that we've all got to be ruled by their beliefs is quite scary. I wish they would keep their beliefs to themselves.

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  21. I wonder if this country ever again will be civil to each other. Keep opinions to oneself or wear them on your sleeve, but be civil.

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    1. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Not everyone accepts that we are all entitled to our opinions, and there won't always be agreement.

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  22. Live and let live is certainly simple and should work. People have a hissy fit over the smallest of things. Corporate worship is beneficial to the individual. People can choose what they want as long as they are not saying the other guy is wrong. I really get upset with the people who are obsessed with making others agree with them.

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  23. You can't argue with crazy and I put fanatics in the crazy basket. Live and let live. Believe what you wish and let me believe what I wish.
    No wonder you want to stay at home!

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    1. It is a frustrating time to live in this country. In this world.

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    1. You are in a dangerous situation, and I understand your fear. I know that you feel strongly. I do too. I am a bit wary, because I do not wish to quarrel. Understand that I think of you often and I do hope that you are safe.

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    1. You are of course forgiven. I understand. There is no need for you to give it another thought.

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  26. I feel like I could write volumes in response to your post, Debbie. Don't worry- I won't. I'll just say that I don't like being around people these days either and that's just the way it is for me.
    As I have gotten older, I am NOT as tolerant as I used to be. And I am also not afraid to speak up when I think it's appropriate. The way things are in our divided country now make it almost impossible to find common ground. If I know that someone is a DT supporter, I pretty much just write them off my list because I absolutely have no respect for anyone who thinks there is anything about the man to support. My kindest thought about them is that they are delusional. And it goes downhill from there.
    As to religion- well, you know how I feel. I become more enraged about the subject every day. Perhaps to a non-healthy degree. Recently a man went missing on the little Mexican island that I love (I follow several FB groups about the island). He had dementia and after more than a week and intense searching by both professionals and citizens, he has not been found. And EVERY post about the search has had hundreds of praying hands emojis along with things like, "Fervently and continuously praying for Brad." And I do not know why but these comments enrage me. What good do they do? It's like people think that Jesus is up in heaven counting your praying hands emojis on Facebook and with every one added to the list you'll be closer to getting into heaven. I just want to scream- THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE IN PRAYER! Christ told his followers not to pray in public but to go into their rooms and do it in private.
    And let's not mention that all of those praying hands have not done a thing to help find this man.
    That's enough. I'm sorry. I guess what I'm saying here is that yes, I am just as intolerant as those on the other side of the Great Divides. And it's just easier for all if I stay away from other humans.

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    1. I understand your feelings. I do. But people are going to people, if you get my drift. I have trumpers in my family. If we cannot agree not to discuss it, well, sad to say, I am just not close to those people. I don't want to hear their delusions. Life is too short. But there are plenty of trumpers who believe what they believe but can find other things to discuss. I'm okay with that, and I too can look for common ground. But yes. I understand exactly what you're saying. The same thing with Christians. I'm married to one. Most of my family claims that name. I just don't discuss it with them. Our journey is our own, and we are entitled to take the path of our own choosing.

      One of my biggest complaints is about women who will broadcast that they are goddesses but then they tear other women down, criticizing and mocking and publicly shaming them. I don't think you can call yourself 'divine' if you cannot see the divinity of others. We are all a part of that.

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  27. I know it's important to try to talk to people and share ideas so we don't end up with a country so divided, BUT... many times... many, many times it's really difficult. What an unpleasant lady you happened upon.

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I'm glad you're here!

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