Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Freaking Rant (DH's idea of appropriate title)

Good Morning to all.

Actually, I guess it's more along the lines of afternoon. What do I know? My brain is scrambled. Too much work all at once and suddenly no work. Yes, I am at work, with all actual work finished, typing a post so I can amuse myself instead of sitting at my desk staring straight ahead at a white wall (notice: wall, not window), looking completely obvious to everyone that I have no work to do. As I've told my sister-in-law (you will notice her blog in the sidebar, Oliphaunt Knits), if I ask for more work because I feel guilty for going online when I have nothing to do then I am asking for trouble and really and truly need my head examined. The reason? Usually I have so much to do that I am busy every second of the day and don't take my breaks because (I might be anal) I want to make sure everything is done and done well and not hanging around like some old emotional baggage...(breathe) if I ask for more work and they give it to me it might be fine and dandy that particular day or two or five but come next week when the normal work load builds back up and just watch me start pulling my hair out one by one and creating sculptures on my desk with this hair...(breathe)...and then frogging the sculptures so I can knit something before I realize that this idea really is just disgusting and should never have been considered in the first place (phew!) This and, of course, if I finish all my work and have nothing to do (since I'm a SuperStar at my job and quicker than Speedy Gonzalez) then I can go online and browse all our wonderful knitting blogs, yarn stores, etc. and build up some inspiration without the guilt. Keep in mind this is only a theory. In practice it seems that I still feel guilt about this. The life of me at work...what to do, what to do? But enough of that. The window into my guilt-ridden, knit-addicted heart is closed. Now to the actual point of this post.

Just about an hour ago I opened my email and saw something from "AFA", aka American Family Association. I made the mistake of thinking that I agreed with something they were supporting once and so I clicked somewhere or the other and have been receiving their emails ever since. This wouldn't be a problem except that it seems I have a conscience that pulls me in two different directions on certain things, many of which are brought up with the AFA's "Call to Action" emails, and I am left in the position of feeling guilty for not acting on something "moral" (one pull of the conscience) and simultaneously annoyed at the email (2nd pull of the conscience). Let me put it more plainly by using this email as an example. Once you hear my thoughts on this, please please feel free to comment. I would love to hear what others out there think about this type of thing.

Fact 1: I have beliefs. I try to live by those beliefs. Included in those beliefs is my view that homosexuality is not right, is yes, a "sin". I know many people disagree with that right off the bat, but if you can get past it, that is not the point right now.
Fact 2: I belive that many other things as well are not right, are sins, including things like stealing, lying, selfishness, wrong motives, less than beneficial thoughts and actions toward others, etc.
Fact 3: I believe that all of us are guilty of any number of these things throughout our lives. I also believe that this is the whole point of Jesus coming and taking our just consequences on himself and then giving us his Spirit as a means of not doing these things anymore. That being said, I think that homosexuality is a sin like any other and not any better and not any worse.
Fact 4: I don't think that it is my responsibility to force people, companies, and countries, to agree with my views. my opinion the below email is singling out homosexuality and anything that is created by the homosexual community (in this case a magazine) as so bad that no one should have anything to do with it. Evidently businesses should not be able to advertise in this magazine and if they do we should boycott them. Now, my problem with this is as follows: If I boycott Ford because they advertise in a magazine that I don't choose to read and fundamentally disagree with on various levels, why don't I boycott any company for doing anything that I disagree with? Why don't I boycott the cable company for showing TV shows I don't agree with or wouldn't let my children watch? Why don't I boycott the company that produced the show? Why don't I boycott anyone that watches that show and so supports it and the companies associated with it? This just gets ludicrous. At some point don't we have to decide to stop being nazis about what we believe versus what others believe and instead decide to live the way we believe and teach our children the same while allowing other people to be who they choose to be whether we agree with it or not. Isn't this what America was established for in the first place? The original immigrants came over for, among other things, religious freedom. Does this mean only freedom for one group's particular beliefs or does it mean freedom for everyone? I believe if we dictate to others the values that we require them to have this puts us in the same category as those who the original immigrants were escaping from in the first place. And isn't this exactly what we are dealing with in Iraq right now? The terrorists who are strapping bombs to themselves and blowing themselves and us up to make a point believe strongly in their own values. The west is transgressing those values in their eyes. Does this then make it ok for them to do whatever they want to us so we will change? I think not. And yes, I know, AFA is not committing violence against anyone in order to produce the change they want but as I see it their tactics are still those of pressure and force instead of more beneficial vehicles of change. The underlying principle of forcing others to do what you want remains, whether you are referring to violent groups in Iraq or to our boycotting groups in America.

Deja vu? This same group, AFA, called for boycotting Target and some other businesses around Christmas time because instead of posting Merry Christmas all over their stores they were posting Happy Holidays. The reasoning of the stores? They do not only have Christian customers and so to recognize the varying backgrounds, customs, and holidays celebrated during this time by their customers (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Ramadan, etc) they acknowledge them all with Happy Holidays. The position of AFA? Evidently that Christmas is the holiday of priority, or of the majority, and that to call it anything different than Christmas is to start to take away our Christian traditions and values. So...we boycott them because they don't do what we want? What about the other groups? What if they want to boycott them because the store is not referring to their holiday specifically? Wouldn't more be accomplished if those same efforts to get people to boycott went instead to building up in your own like community those beliefs you want preserved? Each of us are a part of myriad communities. Our family, church, school, city, knitting groups, states, countries, etc are all communities to which we belong. Do we as knitters get disgruntled with the larger communities of which we are a part, such as our cities, if they do not recognize us in the particular fashion we want? No, we worry about building our own smaller communities the way we in those small communities want them to be and create the atmosphere and behaviours that we want in them. Sock knitters don't get mad at Aran knitters because they don't knit socks, they just create their own sockknitters group and focus on what they want to do while letting the Aran knitters knit what they want to knit. If you want your kids to grow up knitting socks instead of Fisherman's sweaters than it is your responsibility to teach them that instead of railing against those who knit Fisherman's sweaters. Yes, I know knitting is not a "deep social issue" or a "moral issue" but the principle stands. People should treat other people as they would like to be treated and bullying people into standing on the same side of the right/wrong fence, even if you sincerely believe in the rightness or wrongness of something, is not the way to do it.

I would love to know your thoughts as well. Thinking about it I guess my "conscience dilemma" is simply that I believe my point of view expressed above is correct but knowing that a lot of Christians who believe the same basic things as I do disagree with that. I guess that makes me question my position although after writing this I think I more firmly agree with myself (can I do that?) than I did at the beginning. If you, however, do agree with AFA's email, please let me know why. I am genuinely interested to hear your reasons.

That being said, here is the email. (All active links in the email were put there by AFA)

Ford Makes Historic Move in Support of Groups Pushing Homosexual Marriage
AFA ActionAlert

Donald E. WildmonFounder and Chairman
May 11, 2006
Ford Makes Historic Move in Support of Groups Pushing Homosexual Marriage

Dear abbie,

Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company sponsored a program showing two lesbians passionately kissing each other. Now the automaker has made an in-your-face move against traditional marriage advocates with the historic step of advertising all their name brands in a homosexual magazine. This followed a request by AFA that Ford withdraw from supporting any homosexual magazine. In the May issue of the homosexual publication OUT, Ford has advertised all eight of their brand automobiles. This is first time in history that Ford has advertised all their brands in a homosexual publication.

In this issue of OUT, which Ford supported with their advertising, are articles such as Nightlife: Party All the Time. Here is the description OUT gave of that article: "Rockin' and raunchy queer clubs are making a comeback, and we tell you where the three hottest places to play are." Another article was The Mix: Scary Lady, Porn 2 Go. Here is the OUT description: stars cook up their favorite meals for your pleasure..." Under the title The Long and Short of It, we find this description by OUT: Ronni Radner goes inside Runt, a weekly party for bite-size gay guys and the men who love them, and looks at the rise of the vertically challenged queer man.

To view the front cover of OUT, click here. To see the Ford ad supporting OUT, with all their brands, click here. Notice the wording at the bottom of the ad: "Standing strong with America's families..." Since this ad was run in a homosexual publication, evidently Ford considers two homosexuals to be a "family."

Take Action
If you have not already done so, sign the Boycott Ford Pledge by clicking below. Forward this email to family and friends so they can know of Ford's support of homosexual marriage.
Click Here To Sign the Pledge Now!If you think our efforts are worthy, would you please support us with a small gift? Thank you for caring enough to get involved.

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and ChairmanAmerican Family Association

P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!



At 5/11/2006 7:53 PM , Blogger LisaB said...

I understand completely what you are saying. I have such a problem with people "forcing" their beliefs on others. It's why I have such an issue back when missionaries were in Africa "converting the heathens". It is utterly ridiculous to me. People went about it in the wrong way. Because of what I have gone through in my own faith, I have started to feel that if somebody's faith (different than mine) get's them through, let it be. Just because somebody practices a different religion doesn't make them a bad person. It doesn't matter that I may not agree with it, who am I to judge? I don't know if this makes me a bad Christian

I too believe that homosexuality is a sin. But I am not going to beat people over the head about it. I have an aunt who is a closet lesbian. She won't even admit it to my grandparents (for obvious reasons). I feel that SHE has to deal with it and face God in the end. It is the same way with abortion. I believe it is morally wrong and should not be done...but then I am pulled in the direction that I have no right telling somebody else what they should do.

The boycotting thing just gets stupid in my mind. In reality, if you are going to boycott every objectionable thing - those people would end up living in a cave. What good is that going to do?

All we can do is pass on our values - to our children, people in our church, our community. These people who boycott start to show fear and hatred and I don't think that is Christian-like.

I don't know. After all that, I feel like I am avoiding responsibility. But I don't feel that condemning people and bullying them is the right way to go about it. Whew, now I have given you a slight rant. I'm not sure if it stuck to topic, but there it is!

At 5/11/2006 8:18 PM , Blogger Tammy said...

So, it leaves the question of WWJD? I have never used that phrase except with my kiddos, but it's true. How would Jesus act towards AFA? I could see him doing the same thing he did with the Pharisees when they wanted to stone Mary Magdalene was it for adultery. Sure Jesus didn't like the sin, but he wasn't going to condemn her to death. Does that make sense or am I off on my own views of this. I do agree with you totally on this. Sometimes, what I think in my mind, doesn't exactly come across once I try to put it to paper/email.

At 5/12/2006 3:06 PM , Blogger Jenni said...

We don't agree on the subject of homosexuality. That being said, we do agree on the rest of your post. Just my point of view.

At 5/12/2006 9:28 PM , Blogger Catiya said...

I don't believe it is right to beat people over the head about what you believe. But on the other hand, I believe that God is the one true God and there is only one way to get to heaven. Just because someone feels right about their beliefs doesn't mean that will get them a spot in heaven. There is a fine line between sharing your beliefs and beating someone over the head and forcing them to believe what you do. We need to search the Bible and pray in order to allow God to guide us to the truth. How will you answer God when He asks you, "Why didn't you share with others the truth about Me and what My Son did for you? Didn't you love your neighbor enough to try and save them from Hell?" These questions scare me quite a bit since I know I'm not perfect and don't always take the opportunity to share my beliefs.

I do agree that we would end up living in a cave supporting ourselves if we boycotted everything that supported something we disagreed with.

At 5/14/2006 12:55 PM , Blogger Devorah said...

While I might not share some of your beliefs, I agree wholeheartedly that we should not shove our beliefs down others throats. By my words and my actions I teach my children my beliefs and point out when they do something that strays from them. I do not force, even my own kids, to beleive as I do, just to understand my point of view and make up their own minds. DH and I feel somewhat differently about the role of religion in our lives but neither of us force the other to our point of view nor do we force the kids (except that I insist that they attend religious school until at least their Bat/Bar Mitzvah).

At 5/15/2006 10:20 AM , Blogger SheKnits said...

I agree, with everything. Im 110% with you.

This is my take on how *I* think these commercials should be run.

I have an Uncle, of which I love with every ounce of my soul... who is gay. I love him. I love his partner. I love ... the love between them.

I dont condemn them on their love for each other... b/c they dont condemn my husband and I for the love we have for the other.

We also have an understanding... no touching. My husband and I... and my Uncle and his partner... agree on that. We dont hold hands, we dont kiss... in honor of the other people's love and respect.. and beliefs.

I know there are some commercials out there... showing a man and woman who kiss... but I really dont think that type of affection is right for a commercial setting... and that should go for both straight and non-straight couples/commercials. Kissing is a no-no in my book. Hand holding, fine. Kissing no.

There are many many many ways of implementing a certain life style choice... rather than making it blantantly obvious. Straight couples, homosexual couples.. shouldn't exist in the commercial realm. We are all human. Whatever product the commercial is promoting.. should be done so on the premise of love, respect and integrity.

And if we, as christians, are going to ban things... honestly... then I dont want to be Christian. Jesus broke the bread and shared the wine... WITH EVERYONE! His love, grace and compassion should be the foremost of things that I as a christian promote, respect... and uphold.

I could go on and on and on about this.. haha... but I just wanted to let you know... you aren't crazy.

... Or... at least if you are.. I'm right there with you. Being a Christian... doesnt mean perfection, it doesnt mean you're always right or mature in your spiritual walk with the Lord... it just means you have chosen to believe that Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega... the one who died on the cross for you and I.. for the sins of the world. God loves us. It's an unbreakable promise.

(I'm having one of *those* moments.. where I want to re-write everything written above... but then I will confuse the heck out of myself.)

At 5/16/2006 11:03 PM , Anonymous melody said...

yeah, i agree with you. people are dumb. I don't know, whatever, I'm kinda annoyed. I hate it when people force their views onto other people as if they're actually ANY better. All sins are equal, remember? ugh. anyways, I'm going to bed. Night.


At 5/26/2006 4:39 AM , Blogger mlj1954 said...

I have a co-worker who, among other things, sent around the AFA info that you referenced. She will stand there and profess her love Jesus and then lambast anyone who disagrees with her about anything . . . politics, religion, sex . . . she is one of those ignorant people who believes that everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it agrees with her's. Very annoying.

To be honest, I have never felt the need to boycott any organization . . . unless, of course, I have received inadequate service or the quality is poor. I just wouldn't be able to keep track of who or what I was boycotting and why.


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