Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Days of Truth -- Day 19: Politics, Religion and Her

Day 19 -- What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?


Sorry I used an old country song title for the headline of this post. There will be no "her" discussed, although I'm a "her," so maybe it's not as lame as I thought. Hmm...I guess you'll decide.

I would not consider myself religious, although I do believe I have a good relationship with God and a handle on my own spiritual feelings. I don't need to attend church to do that. First of all, I didn't grow up in a family that attended church every Sunday. For whatever reason, we only attended at holidays and when it was our turn to usher.  I dreaded this.  That's probably awful to say, but some experiences I had in church certainly shaped this emotion. 

The first time I went to my church, I remember kids telling me to "go back to where [I] came from" and that they didn't "want people like [me] there." This didn't create the loving, accepting environment I expected from church. I started crying (I've always had a pretty tender heart), and eventually left the classroom. I ended up downstairs helping the adults decorate the Christmas trees in the sanctuary instead. I did eventually return to that Sunday School class, but I never felt comfortable there.

A few years later, during confirmation class, it was my "turn" to lead the prayer at the beginning of class. Now, I know people who know me now won't believe me, but I was once painfully shy. I hated speaking to people I didn't know and speaking in front of people I did know. The pastor teaching the class didn't really care about this though.  Everyone had their heads bowed, waiting for me to start a prayer, and I froze. I had no idea what to say.  The pastor called me out on my silence, asking if I was "ashamed to talk to God." Of course, I wasn't. I just wasn't comfortable talking to Him in front of ten other people. But I couldn't articulate this. Instead, I rambled off some meaningless prayer and class resumed, but I felt guilty and embarassed.

All that said, I'm not opposed to attending church. In fact, I found a church I loved while I was living in Corsicana. So perhaps someday I'll find another church I want to attend.  But right now, I don't really think it's imperative to having a relationship with God.  I believe everyone worships in their own way, whether it's privately or publicly.

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I've only recently gotten into politics. They were never really discussed in my house when I was growing up, although I always knew where my parents stood on issues and which side of the ballot they preferred. While my parents' views have definitely helped shape mine, I believe I've done enough reading, watching and listening on my own to call my beliefs my own.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm quite liberal. I have never and will never vote straight ticket, I tend to lean more on the Democrat side. That said, I don't think either party has all the answers to every issue our country is facing. And sometimes, I fall more in the middle ground --- the purple area, if you will -- depending on the issue. I have friends on both ends of the political spectrum. This has created some tense conversations, but for the most part, we've navigated through our differences and learned to respect each other, even if we don't agree.

In 2007, I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to and interview several of the presidential hopefuls on both sides of the ticket as they made their way through Iowa to prepare voters for the caucus. It was amazing. I was in awe, even of the figures whose political stances were polar opposite of my own. I could respect their view and listen to it even if I didn't agree with it. In my opinion, none of these people are/were evil or out to "destroy our country." I believe they all truly love the United States; they simply had different ideas about how to make the country better. 

I also participated in my first caucus in 2008.  It was a fascinating process. I took great care in learning about the candidates and deciding which one(s) I liked most and wanted to support. I look forward to repeating the process in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. 'I believe everyone worships in their own way, whether it's privately or publicly."

    Couldn't agree more, lady friend. Love this!

    ReplyDelete

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