Politics and Religion

On Friday I received a surprise phone call from a friend who is a medical representative, saying that she was in my area and wanted to know if she could pop in for a quick coffee. I am always up for a cup of coffee, even more so when shared with good company, and so of course I shifted things around in my schedule to make time for her to come over and visit.

We haven’t seen each other in a few months. Four, to be exact. Where has the time gone? I don’t like the times that life gives me things to do when I’d rather be doing something else. But it happens. A lot. And I have come to accept it. It’s made ‘catch up’ time something that is that much more dear to my heart, and I treasure the times I get to do the things I want to be doing.

I greeted her with a giant bear hug, and the first thing she said to me was, ‘I’m so glad it’s finally Friday’. I laughed out loud, because of my recent post referring to naming my days. She hasn’t read it, because ‘who really has time for blogging and then still reading what everyone else has to say’? Um, like with everything else that might possibly be important to you, you make time. I can’t be offended by her opinion though, because it’s her opinion and I respect that – and I also accept that while blogging is somewhat important to me, not everyone needs to share in that feeling. I did tell her about my post though, while pouring our coffee, and she loved the thoughts and ideas.

We moved on to other topics, and as only women can, we jumped from one subject to another – returning back where we started when another reminder of the ‘more’ we had to say on that topic entered our minds. Thankfully, we think alike, and neither of us were out of breath from the exercise 😉

There is one topic that I always try and avoid with this particular friend though. Most times that we’re together, I am successful. Friday was not a ‘most’. I guess now would be a good time to mention that her husband is in politics. I happened to mention to her that I was thinking about doing a few blog posts on where I live, but was trying to find a way to do it without ‘focusing on all the negatives’. I explained to her that I don’t want to harp on our current political climate – and then realized my mistake, too late! I blame it on the fact that I had not had sufficient coffee yet that day to equip my brain in the topic of avoidance.

I won’t go into great detail regarding her reaction to this, but suffice to say that she was not impressed. Apparently I am ignorant when it comes to politics, and if people like me were more committed to getting ‘the truth’ out there, then we wouldn’t be in the place we currently are in our country.
By the time she left, we were still friends. I think this is largely due to the fact that I was willing to admit to my political ignorance, and apathy.

Here’s the thing though: I am not ignorant to what is happening in the political climate of my country (although I am confused by the weather climate, since we have experienced such strange weather lately). I think that when you have a social media account, it is difficult to be ignorant about things like politics, and religion. My Facebook news feed is constantly inundated with the ‘latest political shortfall or scandal’, and the same goes for religious problems and issues.
When I was 23, I shyly admitted to my father that I felt like I was finally growing up. He asked me why I felt that. To which I responded, “I now read the newspaper and watch the news, almost every day”.
So I don’t just have Facebook to rely on as my political source – but I definitely have facts from the news too. Although, admittedly, these days I don’t watch the news on TV and I don’t buy a newspaper. I visit a variety of news sites via my web browser, and when I get tired of reading about all the horrible things that are happening and my heart feels like it can handle no more of seeing what people are doing to each other, I just click close. I wish I could do that in real time too sometimes.

If I absolutely had to get involved in a political debate, I think I could hold my own – for a short while, at least. I’d be able to hold my own a little longer if the debate was centered around a religion – particularly if it was focused on mine.

But here’s where one of my favorite words comes into play: choice.
The second definition at Dictionary.com seems to suit my post better, and so that is the one I will quote: “the right, power, or opportunity to choose”.
(I love the example they use: ‘The child had no choice about going to school.’ I tell my children this regularly.)
I have a right to choose my battles, even when it comes to matters that are of great importance – like politics and religion. And that’s what it boils down to for me. I find in my daily life, with a preteen and a teen who is almost a man, that I am constantly having to choose my battles. I also choose my battles with minor things – like when something breaks in the house. Am I going to get upset and have to call someone in to fix it; or am I going to Google this little challenge and fix it myself?
(I successfully fixed the leak in my drain pipe the other day, and for me this was a major achievement, and I’m proud of it!)

I am not trying to avoid any truths, and I am certainly not trying to ‘hide them from the world’ either. I am not entirely apathetic. But the world has Google, and if they really want to know the terror of my country, then they can look it up. I do not need to be political, and immerse myself in every bit of negativity associated with our current political climate. I am not sticking my head in the sand, and refusing to do anything – I still vote, even though it appears that it makes no difference. I try and assist those who have been affected by the horrible things that are happening; I give of myself as much as possible to my local community.

But there’s a reason why I am not a politician. And I never want to be.
I will do my small part with everything I have – but don’t expect me to focus and dwell on the negativity. I will ‘tell it like it is’ when necessary, but apart from that, I choose to not get caught up in the hype and choose to not participate in those conversations.

I think it also comes down to respect – and this is where religion comes into it too.
(I didn’t always feel this way, but as I have grown and had more life experience, I think I may have matured in my thinking. Although if you do not agree with me, you’re probably finding the faults here and have written me off as apathetic and ignorant. And that is your right, and your choice.)
Not everyone is going to believe what I do when it comes to ‘religion’. And those who do may be either more passionate, or less passionate, than me. And that’s okay. Because we are all different.
I have the right to believe what I believe, and am fortunate enough to be able to have the opportunity to choose, and live out that belief – because in some countries, people are dying for their Christianity.
And I respect the fact that others may have very different beliefs. I don’t involve myself in religious debates, or try and prove my point, simply because as far as I am concerned, no one has the right to judge me, and by the same token, I do not have the right to judge them.
I could say a whole lot more about religion, but then I fear I would be swaying towards giving you my opinion – which I am happy to do in a more personal way, if you wanted to really discuss it – but harping on about religion in this setting is not my style.

In the same way, I believe in respecting political views. I know a couple who are American, and they keep abreast of politics there, and their Facebook wall reflects this, as they post links and statuses relating to political happenings, and failings, regularly. That is their right, and I respect it. Do I ever comment? No.
Another word comes to mind though : Passion. It’s all about where yours lies. I am not ‘passionate’ enough about politics and religion to constantly be pushing for others to be more aware and agree with me, and that is my choice. I don’t criticize your passions, so maybe you could just please leave my lack of them alone?
Each and every one us has the right to choose to either be politically minded, or not. We have the power and opportunity to try and make a difference – even if it is just by voting, but we are not ignorant and apathetic if we choose to not share constantly in things revolving around politics.

And I suppose, at the end of the day. all this applies to life too. I wish we could all try and respect each other enough to be careful with our words, and afford each other the right to make choices. I wish we could stop using social media to attack each others opinions on things. I wish we could just agree to disagree. Most of all, I wish we could all respect human life enough to not take it in the name of politics, religion or whatever other reason we may have. But then again, if we were all doing all these things, then life would be perfect – we would all be perfect, and although the world would be a better place, it may not be as interesting.
I guess we ‘need’ politicians to spice things up a bit 😛

Reading through this entry, I do wonder if perhaps ‘I’ am what is wrong with the world (which was something else my friend hinted at). Perhaps if we were all as passionate as ‘them’ things would be different? I don’t know. I suppose I am entitled to my opinion, as everyone else is to theirs.
am working on some posts about my country, because it’s always great to learn about a new place – especially if you’re considering travel – and I will do my best to keep both politics and religion out of it. I guess there are some truths that will need to be told as I go along…but I am taking some time, and trying to present them in a way that are more entertaining and informative, than just an endless stream of negativity.

I leave you with this funny little thought, “If women ruled the world we wouldn’t have any wars – we’d just have a bunch of countries that were not talking to each other”.

12 thoughts on “Politics and Religion

  1. There are a lot of things that are wrong with the world but you are not one of them.

    If everyone were passionate about politics then we’d be in big trouble since not everyone would be on the same side. It’d just be one long argument that never went anywhere. My experience with politics and religion is that I’ve never been in a debate on either topic in which the end result was that someone’s mind was changed. I’ve seen many and heard of many more conversion stories in my life as a Christian and can’t recall one of them that started out as an argument between two people. I’ve heard many that were essentially arguments within a person’s own mind and soul but those are to be expected.

    You summed up pretty well why I don’t write about politics or religion on my blog, particularly religion. I’d rather discuss that in a more personal way. I’m always happy to share my faith and discuss it with others but I think it is better done in a more direct way. You may have given me an idea for a future post, however. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Casey. And yes, things usually end up being an offensive argument, as opposed to anyone changing their opinion about anything – so a whole lot of hurt and anger, for no reason at all.

    I am glad I could be of some inspiration to you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. If only everyone examined themselves this well. I too use the internet for my news source along with a public radio station. Our “news” here in the states just has become so canned and shallow, I just can’t choke it down. Online I’m able to find various perspectives and more in-depth information. Like you, though, sometimes I must step away as it all becomes so overwhelming.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the comment 🙂
      I love the phrase you used, ‘Just can’t choke it down’ – what a great way to describe it!

      I am glad I am not alone when it comes to needing to step away – sometimes I think I may be too sensitive. But rather that than cold, and hard, I guess.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Countries not talking to each other. Love it. And probably quite true!

    Politics and religion are always hot topics because in order to get involved we are expected to pick a side. Then once allegiance is established the gloves are on and the fight begins.

    These issues conjure up so much passion that the fights get out of control really fast and there are no winners just a bloodbath. It’s ugly and it brings out the true colors of individuals.

    If you are capable of finding someone willing to discuss these issues amicably then by all means they are worth keeping as a friend. It’s so hard to find people capable of engaging in intelligent conversation these days. Especially when it’s easy to talk with them on ANY topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thankful to have some friends that are able to discuss these things amicably – so it’s not all bad 😉
      I agree though that when one party is adamant that they are right, and everyone else is wrong, it only causes heated disagreements and never ends well – so those are the ones I try and avoid 😉
      Thanks for the comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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