First and foremost, I’d like to make one thing clear: this is not about to turn into a political blog. It’s not really what I do; god knows that there are many folks who are better informed on matters of the state than I am. That said, I read this blog back to the beginning earlier today, and I noticed a few places where it seemed almost like I was playing coy with my personal political and religious views. In the interest of not seeming evasive, then, here’s a bit about where I’m coming from.
To put it as simply as possible, I’m pro-everything. One of the things I love most about America is that, at its best, it affords equal say and opportunity to everyone under the sun. Are you a pacifist vegan who donates half your check to PETA every month and marches for your causes whenever possible? Glad to have you aboard! Are you an avid firearms enthusiast with the text of the second amendment tattooed on your shootin’ arm and a poster of Ted Nugent hanging over your fireplace? Glad you could make it! Are you, like me, not even remotely either of the above? Well, there’s no reason for us to stay home from this party, either. The ability of all of the above, as well as everybody in between, to coexist and (gasp, horror) maybe learn a thing or two from their differing perspectives is, in a nutshell, exactly what America means to me.
I believe in full and equal rights for all. I believe you actually have the right to be racist, sexist and/or homophobic, and I also believe you have the right to thusly be dismissed and ridiculed for your archaic views. I honestly fail to comprehend what the big deal about gay rights and gay marriage is; it makes perfect logical sense to me that two people of any gender in a long-term, committed relationship should have the same legal rights and an equal right to recognition. The same goes for religious persecution: honestly believing that all Muslims are terrorists or that all Jews are money-grubbing thieves or that all Catholics are child molesters is your right. It’s also so 1952.
I believe that social programs, including healthcare, should be made available from and funded by the government. I fully understand that the moment something is put in place to do good, someone will find a way to subvert and abuse it. I don’t believe that’s reason enough to stop attempting to give folks a hand up: the needs of the honest far outweigh the greed of the duplicitous in my book.
On the official books of the state, I’m a registered Democrat. This is merely so that I might vote in the primaries that I’m most likely to have a strong opinion about. If the candidate I consider most qualified for a position happens to belong to another political party, I’ve absolutely no misgivings about voting across party lines. In most Presidential elections, I find myself voting for the candidate I consider the least of all available evils. I mourn the fact that we’ve made the Presidential vetting process so personally invasive that the best and the brightest likely wouldn’t even begin to entertain the notion of putting their families through it. Lord knows how many truly qualified candidates we’ve lost out on, simply because someone somewhere has a picture of them with a bong back in their old college dorm.
As far as religion is concerned, I’ve forged my own spiritual path throughout my life. Atheism has its allure when you’re young-and-angry; ultimately, I’ve come to view it as an organized religion like any other. It has its rigidly drawn structures and its self-appointed arbiters just like any other denomination. To my mind, it also fails in exactly the same way as organized religion: it pretends to have the definitive answer to a question that those who have not yet died can’t possibly possess. For me, spirituality is an ever-evolving concept, always open to new ideas and paradigms. I feel no need to push my beliefs on anyone else, and I have full respect for whatever you wish to believe – or not believe – in.
I think that about covers it. My hat is tipped to you, dear readers, for allowing me to put this out in the open and move on. To those of you for whom the preceding doesn’t matter one bit or change anything about what you may have enjoyed elsewhere in this blog, my hat is completely off.