... what's that saying about getting soft in your old age. I wouldn't call it softness but a gradual temperateness based on life experiences.
Two separate instances had me thinking today; one was a conversation I had tonight with a friend that was sparked by the post below titled a tired argument and the other was inspired from this post by Thom.
Here's where admit an ugly truth that needs to be acknowledged...
I have judged people based on their political affiliation. My judgements have been made with the same ignorance as those who use the race card when confronted with opposition to Obama.
I am just as guilty of making sweeping generalizations and assumptions about people, why... because they may have on an Obama t-shirt or bumper sticker on their car. They must be idiots or bleeding heart liberals. I have nothing in common with this person, they are worthy of my disdain etc etc.
So while I bitch and moan about the class mate who assumed I was a racist because I am not in favor of socialized medicine, I turn around and make the same snap judgment about someone else based on their political affiliation.
I doubt very seriously this post will win favor but I do think it needs to be acknowledged. Once we look past labels, racist and liberal, we can appreciate the person in front of us, the people we are forced to interact with on a daily basis.
I am glad I didn't shut out my friend the moment I found out he was liberal, as I probably would have done in the past. I would have greatly missed out. I am also glad I didn't disassociate with Thom after he came out, like other bloggers did. These are both very funny and insightful men.
Maturity is being able to respectfully disagree and then build on commonalities. Ignorance is not moving past differences or refusing to communicate because of them.
Thom's post had me thinking about why I no longer consider myself "trad". I consider myself Catholic and faithful to the magisterium. I don't need to label myself further with the universal Church. When I decided to start dating again I got emails admonishing me, questioning my "status" and asking very intrusive questions. Most I ignored, other I replied to. The tone was the same, a select group of puritanical letter of the law Catholics who set them selves up as the morality police. I get letters from women who tell me I should not curse on my blog claim or that I am not a "real" Catholic because I post pictures of actors I find handsome and my irreverence is not humor but near occasion of sin.
It's a good damn thing I love being Catholic so much because I can see where this behavior would drive people from the Church. I think they do more harm to the Church then any number of tambourine masses*.
There, I said it.
I am not posting this to be intentionally confrontational or shocking. I post this because I bet I am not the only one who is guilty of this; completely refusing dialogue because we know the other person is not of similar thinking. I still consider myself conservative politically and religiously, if we must use a label, but I am trying really hard to not nurture my sins of intellectual pride and moral superiority. If this post can help one person realize a middle ground does exist, not all liberals are hell bound heathens, and that ignorant snap judgments are perpetuated on both sides then I will consider my honest exposure worth the risk.
*The Crescat does not advocate the use of tambourines in mass, or any place else.