I had a friend of mine get blasted as a “full blown liberal” recently, and as I watched the forum thread of people going back and forth, I felt a light bulb go off in regards to this game we call government and politics. (Note: This person, while leaning towards what people consider “liberal” also supports “conservative” thought when it makes sense, and will blast “liberal” thought when it does not.)
Over the course of the past week I have written about and had discussions on “The Game.” The political circus we find ourselves drowning in on a day to day basis, full of hate and name calling, full of what my mother would simply call strife. If she read this she would point out that the Bible says: “Where there is envy and strife there also is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16 – paraphrased). Now, your don’t have to be a Christian or a Bible-thumper to understand the simple truth in that statement, and as i have said before, this is what the politicians and those in power want. They want you to be confused so you can be molded and shaped in their image. The want “evil” to persist because it forces you into fear, which enables them to control you.
Let us talk about control. To be controlled we first must be divided. This great nation, formed under the principle of unity, equality and justice, is divided by its own government and political entities. I don’t care about political parties as much as i am concerned about how my beliefs and your beliefs are hijacked and forced into a gutter that spits us out different downspouts depending on what we may or may not belief. The first enemy of the people is is labels. The labels: liberal, conservative and moderate. We don’t need Webster definitions, if you are reading this, you already know what those words mean, or at least you do in the context of politics. you know someone who does not support abortion is a conservative. You know someone who supports gay rights is a liberal. Set in stone. Wait… hold on… What if you don’t support abortion, but support gay rights? Ah yes, moderate. But what if I support gay rights, I am prolife, I want to tax the rich, lower taxes for the middle class, want universal health care, but I also want to be able to walk down the street with a gun on my hip, and I want less government control over my life, but I support the police in this violent age. I also want the government to spend big on the military, but also space exploration, but I want “our boys” home and not at war. I believe in evolution and climate change, but I also like driving my F350. Many people would say you are simply confused, I would say you are human. Note: This is obviously an extreme example of multiple belief systems at work, but rarely do I find someone who fits the liberal or conservative mold 100%, yet because of certain beliefs, they are led into that room and left there. If they are too outspoken in the opposite direction, they are then shunned by those who have previously welcomed them in with open arms and told they are stupid, misinformed and ignorant. In short, you are considered a fool. How could you be pro gay but prolife? Impossible they say. How could you believe in climate change but continue to eat beef? Impossible! You are left to then attempt to fit in, and to do so, you must conform or hide your beliefs and opinions.
Again, our beliefs and opinions have been hijacked by groups who force labels on us. These groups force us to conform or become pariahs. The people in power in these political parties as well must conform to a platform or be blacklisted by their parties. We are a people who claim and believe in free will, yet deny it at all costs. The game uses labels to control and manipulate us, to give us fear and lastly to tell us what to believe – in essence, brainwashing us to further fit into the mold. The mold is not pliable at all, the mold is made out of steel. We will either fit or be broken by it.
We MUST break the mold, and shrug off the labels if we are to ever get a foot ahead. We must accept that we believe the way we do and other people believe the way they do, and that doesn’t make them on one side or the other, it means only that they have beliefs that may differ from ours. Belief is okay, it is what we do with that belief that either saves us or damns us. If you don’t believe that climate change is real, as an example, that is fine. I might think you are ignorant, but you are entitled to your belief. Does that mean you go out of your way to try and pollute the atmosphere? I would think not, because that doesn’t make any sense, whether you believe in climate change or not. You believe abortion is a women’s choice, I believe abortion is wrong. My belief that abortion is wrong does not change the law of the land, and I am obviously not going to pay for an abortion. It, however, does not mean that you have to have five abortions to prove your point. It means that your morality and belief structure is different then mine, and in terms of the political world, THAT is OKAY. I will come back to this in a minute – but one more example. You believe that healthcare is a privilege, I believe it is a right – I am prolife after all. You want taxes to pay for a strong military, I think our posturing is too much – again, goes back to me being prolife. My belief and yours does not change the fact that we will be taxed. Our labels suggest that it is one way or the other, it is either the conservative way or the liberal way. I would suggest it can be both ways – they key is not the political issues at hand, but rather the fixing of the system from the top down. We are simply told that we can only have one and not the other, and this forces us to argue which is more important. But, what if truly both a strong military and healthcare are important? Think about it – without healthy people our military suffers. Without a strong defense, our healthy people potentially suffers. To have a strong military the people themselves must be strong. To have strong people you must have good healthcare and not only that, but access to it. The argument that the military itself has good healthcare for those who are in it – once they are in – is totally bogus. I know, I served five years in the United State Marine Corps. Note: I fault not the doctors or the nurses, but the system itself.
Going back to abortion. I am a believer in the Christian faith – I struggle to consider myself a Christian because I am a sinner and my “fruits” do not always indicate my belief in Christ. However, my religion helps shape my moral structure – yet, to dispel the notion that we have been talking about, does not define it 100%. I find faults in religious institutions just as i find the faults in our civil ones. However, I personally am opposed to abortion. Though I am opposed to abortion on both religious grounds, as well as simply my personal beliefs, I do not force that opinion or belief on anyone. Nor do i let it control who I would potentially vote for or support politically. “Blasphemy” you cry! How could I belief in something as strong as I do and yet not support someone who claims to believe the same way I do. Simple, I understand that even with a prolife president, a prolife House and Senate, and prolife Supreme Court justices that the political and legal reality will not change. I also understand that if I continually push my beliefs as an agenda or a platform, you will not change, but instead become increasingly vitriolic to my position. This does not mean I should not be vocal about this issue or others, it simply means that I must be respectful of your beliefs and opinions, understanding that they are that way for a reason, and hopefully, vice-versa, you will be equally respectful of mine. I don’t expect you to change your mine, but I do expect you to listen to my opinions. Likewise, I wouldn’t expect you to change my mind, but I am willing to listen to your beliefs and opinions. I am willing to talk, in words, discuss our difference as well as the beliefs we may share.
The “TL:DR” – this is the answer that we must have to being labeled, and how to “unlabel” ourselves – We must be willing to sit down and have a rational discussion of both our differences and agreements. Without rational discussion, we remain enslaved to the current political climate, we remain divided as a people, and nothing good will come. We will continue in strife, and therefore confusion and evil will continue to thrive. We will continue to hate, we will continue to fight and we will continue to lose.
To finish this up, it is not racism, bigotry, scientific ignorance that is the evil in this world. It is our actions based on those beliefs. If thoughts could kill and destroy we would all be dead a million times over, it is our reaction to those thoughts that destroy us. I am not saying that, for example, racism is not a bad thing, but beliefs are one thing, it is how one acts based on those beliefs that is something else. Bigotry is bad, yes, but it is the actions of those who are bigots that defines it, not the feelings one may have. The key is not to stop the beliefs or opinions of others – many of these are so ingrained into society that there is no hope for that, at least immediately in the current generation. The key is to quell the behavior, to silence the rhetoric, to dissolve the division. I know it is not that simple, I get it. Yet, it is a start to unchain our believes from those who use them to control us to remain in power.
Exercise: We have the right to apply ourselves in a manner of respect and rational thought. We must exercise that right and not let anyone or any entity force us otherwise.