I was going to call this post “My Republican Neighbors” but it is really about more than them.
During the election, and the rest of the time, I work very diligently to keep a hard line attitude about free speech. It only works if everyone has it so I support and protect your right to spew whatever illogical nonsense tickles your fancy. Few republicans, or tea party patriots, seem to appreciate what a tough stance this is.
In order to live by my values I have to make sure that Republicans/religious right/tea party yahoos, are able to work within the societal and political systems to undermine my civil rights.
For 72 hours this month I lost my ability and desire to do that.
I worked all day Sunday the 4th so I didn’t get back until after dark. The next morning I saw that my republican neighbors, courtesy of the Catholic diocese, had put another sign next to their Romney sign – “Protect Religious Freedom”. That felt like the final straw, the last insult, the point of no return. I lost my mind and descended into 72 hours of venom laced swearing and vitriol.
The idea that republican catholic religious freedom was somehow in jeopardy when in reality their version of religious freedom means imposing their religious views on me – well lets just say that frosted my cake.
I know it’ss business as usual to accuse the other guy of what you’re guilty of, but this seemed especially egregious. I have a personal dislike for the Mother Church with its special political status, unlimited funds and hypocritical, damaging policies crafted by men, in the name of God. So to have the catholic contingent act as if the democrats would limit their rights (the flat out lies about the ACA contraception rules) made me lose all patience.
I remember saying to my husband. “I can’t talk to them ever again, they have crossed a line.” All I could focus on was the fact that my political views and values do not force anyone to do anything, but support every ones right to make their own choices.
Have an abortion or don’t! Use contraception or don’t – hope you can afford all those “rhythm method babies” without government assistance. Marry who you want – or don’t! Ain’t none of my business!
My neighbors values however want to impose on, limit, or remove my rights.
- Their religion does not believe in abortion, therefore no one should be allowed to have access to an abortion.
- Their religion does not believe in gay marriage, therefore no one should be allowed to have gay marriage.
- Their religion does not believe in separation of church and state, therefore everyone should have to pray and acknowledge God.
- Their God of course.
Thankfully Obama won the election and the neighbors took down their offensive signs the next day. I calmed down a bit and by the following weekend I made a point of making neighborly chit chat with them.
I helped the man carry his wood rack to the porch and inquired after the health of the wife. We made nice for a bit and went back to our yard work when the husband came out and asked if we wanted any fresh herbs from their garden. I thanked him and said we would use some parsley which he picked and left in a bag on our front swing. It felt very much like a peace offering and I am back to my high road tolerance of their opinions.
Unfortunately, other people in the neighborhood have left their religious freedom signs in their yards so I still have to look at them. They are allowed. Because my side won.