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Addendum [Nov. 4th, 2004|04:37 pm]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

After a lengthy day of dialogue on my previous post, I'd like to address a couple issues. First of all, the myth that people only voted for Bush because they were afraid of terrorists. If so, then why did he have coattails? Dems lost seats on both sides of the Capitol.

Secondly, the notion that all Christians are fundamentalist Christians and therefore it's not worth the effort to try and talk to them. Certainly, there is a faction out there that's WAY to the right, the kind of people who won't let their kids read Harry Potter books because they are the Work of Satan. We are never going to reach those people. On the other hand, considering that the Harry Potter books sell a bazillion copies each in this country, those people are not exactly an overpowering force in the landscape.

Third, that trying to understand the center is paramount to giving up, rolling over, playing dead. Let me demonstrate what I'm talking about with a little roleplaying exercise.

Moderate American: "Gay marriage will destroy marriage as we know it."

Response 1: "OMFG, what is wrong with you? Gay marriage doesn't do anything to you! Tell me one way it's going to change your life, you bigoted moron!"

Response 2: "I understand that gay marriage seems really radical to you. It's a whole new way of thinking about a really fundamental part of our lives. I can see where it makes you uncomfortable. But let me tell you why I think it's actually good for the country...."

Can ya see where the second approach might get more people thinking that you actually care about what they think? Cut down on the fear and defensiveness? You may not change the opinion on the first go-round, but you have planted seeds instead of carpet bombing the garden.

That's what I'm talking about.

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[User Picture]From: shawnj
2004-11-04 09:57 pm (UTC)
Exactly, the way 2 is phrased is somewhat patronizing.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-11-04 10:08 pm (UTC)
Because the second response encourages people to say, "Look, here's what I'm afraid of" - at which point you can start to find the core of their fears and see whether there truly is a way of assuaging it. There may not be, but in many cases there are fears that you can alleviate, or perhaps find a reasonable compromise that'll make everyone mostly happy.
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[User Picture]From: celticdragonfly
2004-11-04 10:22 pm (UTC)
This centrist thanks you for posting good stuff.

Hm, for your question on Bush and "coattails" - if someone voted for Bush for the terrorist threat, might they believe they need support in Congress, too, for approval of military ventures and budgets and such?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-05 12:15 am (UTC)
Possible, but still worth paying attention to.
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From: tessbelle
2004-11-04 10:29 pm (UTC)
Yay, I'm so glad people recognize there are other christians out there who aren't right wing extremists.
And to illustrate your point about the two ways to respond: My grandmother used to say "you can catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar"
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[User Picture]From: ssha
2004-11-04 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hear hear!
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[User Picture]From: phinnia
2004-11-04 10:41 pm (UTC)
As someone who is utterly confused by the whole concept of Christianity in general and quite dissatisfied with hearing about the crazy right wing, I wish that we would actually /hear/ from some of the non-right-wing-Harry-Potter-hating Christians. It's hard to make sense of those types of concerns when the noise from the extremists drowns them out, and it's very hard to not discount the entire religion when most of the noise I'm hearing comes from those extremists (especially since concerns about this kind of thing that admittedly doesn't affect them personally don't make sense to me in the first place.)
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-11-04 10:52 pm (UTC)

I've said it several times. But I'm not pushing it in your face.

I find it to be the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" bit; if I preach the word consistently, I'm foaming at the mouth and thus can be discounted. If I mention it as if it was a part of my life, somehow I don't count.

Just assume we're fucking out there, and treat us with respect even if we're not in the room. We are.
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[User Picture]From: wakasplat
2004-11-04 11:28 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU for saying this kind of thing. (I came over from conuly's LJ.)

I voted for Kerry. I'm getting tired, hanging around Kerry supporters, of hearing people who voted for Bush described in these ways. Particularly since many of them are incredibly prejudiced epithets of one kind or another (class, ability, religion, etc) while telling the other person they're being prejudiced.

Like "You fundie redneck retard bigot." (I'm developmentally disabled, have relatives who'd probably be described as "rednecks", and have friends who are fundamentalists (not all of whom would've voted for Bush, but one did). But even if I didn't have these close connections to these things, I wouldn't consider this acceptable — it just hits close to home given who I am, who I know, and who I'm related to.) It strikes me as particularly weird since the first three terms are incredibly bigoted themselves, but people use those terms to call others bigots. Weird. :-/

The church I attend is Quaker, which in this particular branch of Quakerism means it's fairly progressive, and most people there are Christian. Quakers (many branches at any rate) have been progressive and Christian for centuries. (My Meeting performs gay marriages, too, and has been sitting there doing that for a long time. Not all Meetings do, but this one does.) So I am often surprised when people say the two can't go together, since I grew up around them going together. (And even my most conservative and fundamentalist friend is no stereotype and doesn't think what gay people do are any of his business given that "Judge not..." and "He who is without sin..." thing. Which is good because I'm gay.)

Anyway, yeah, I agree with you. Although I'd extend it even to when dealing with people who're considered "unreachable". People deserve respect. (Hell, even Bush deserves a certain amount of respect as a human being, he just doesn't IMO deserve to be leading this country or for his crimes to go unhindered. Of course this is all a quite predictably Quaker view — people at my Meeting frequently speak vehemently against Bush's policies while also speaking against the way some people talk about him and his supporters. It's part of the ideas in Quakerism that people are all people, no matter what they've done. To answer another poster, one reason they're not all that known is that they — again at least the branch I attend — don't really proselytize or seek a lot of personal recognition. People from my Meeting have been quietly off in Iraq and other places (including some in America) for years working for peace and not asking to be noticed, only for it to work.)
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[User Picture]From: dreagoddess
2004-11-05 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this. *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: dracole
2004-11-05 02:15 am (UTC)
I get the way of responding thing. Perhaps my comment in your last post could of done without the last line. >.>;;

However, I think how most people respond is directly influence by the manner and tone of how the initial comment is made by the firsst person. If its kind then the response will be kind. If its rude or patronizing or a "you're absolutely wrong matter of factly"ish type of comment, then I think most people will respond like wise or defensively.

And I know I have a fault in that I'm a Chirstian who is really bothered when other ones seem to forsake Jesus' teachings for what the 'religion' has become today, and use it to oppress others while acting like its what God would want. *sigh* I'm rambling again, I'll go...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-05 02:57 am (UTC)
The world needs more people like you. Or for the people like you to stop being scared by the people like Jerry Falwell.
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[User Picture]From: kashmera
2004-11-05 06:22 am (UTC)

A better map

I don't know if you've already seen this, but I thought you might like it.

A better map than the red and blue one.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-05 03:40 pm (UTC)

Re: A better map

[nod] We lost, but we are not voiceless. Nor hopeless. We just have a lot of work to do.
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[User Picture]From: selenite
2004-11-05 02:03 pm (UTC)
the myth that people only voted for Bush because they were afraid of terrorists.

That's why I voted for Bush. I can point you at a bunch of other people who said they voted for Bush for that reason. I have no idea how many of us there are, we may be a fraction of the number of anti-gay-marriage zealots, but we are NOT mythical.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-11-05 02:24 pm (UTC)
the myth that people only voted for Bush because they were afraid of terrorists.

Read the sentence, rethink your reply. Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: mecurtin
2004-11-06 09:40 pm (UTC)
Actually, I tried #2. Last year I wrote a letter to the Trenton Times about same-sex marriage, and the letter was then re-printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer as part of their S-SM debate page.

The few responses I got from conservative Christians boiled down to, "I hope you see the light soon." I think they didn't threaten me with hellfire because I clearly read the Bible, so they figure I have a high potential for conversion. (I also got a few out-and-out psychos, but that's par for the course when your name is in the newspaper so I ignore them.)

Honestly, I never had the sense of actually engaging conservative Christians in this debate, just of sliding past them as though they didn't hear what I was actually saying, or as though it wasn't "real", somehow.

So honestly? Although I've tried option #2, option #1 often seems easier and a lot more emotionally satisfying.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-07 04:04 am (UTC)
It does work, but it doesn't provide the instant gratification of moral superiority, I will admit.
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[User Picture]From: valarltd
2004-11-06 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm with mecurtin.

Until I get my own issues worked out, I'm at far too high of a risk of being sucked back into the toxic faith I escaped. You can take the girl out of fundamentalism, but you can never totally get the fundamentalism out of the girl.

So, I'll stick with response 1.
After all
"Sweet polite persuasion will give you no relief
for the kind who yield to reason aren't the ones who cause you grief."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-07 01:24 am (UTC)
You have that option.

Be prepared to keep losing.
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