My So Called Life - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Embrace life -- both the sweet days and the bitter...embrace the joy and the sadness...the successes and the defeats -- for all of these things, both good and bad, have made you who you are.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cranberry, Vodka, Politics, and Religion - A Talk With My Sister

I talked to my sister last night for about 1 1/2 hours on the phone. At first it was a normal, casual catch up session about our lives. Then the conversation turned to religion, politics and the like. My sister is much more conservative than me, probably votes republican 90% of the time, and is a very devout Christian. I am the liberal dark horse who now votes democratic 90% of the time, and am also a Christian (you can read my testimony on this blog if you want). So as you can already tell this was definitely meant to be an interesting conversation. I will give you just some of the highlights. We agreed on some points and disagreed on many.

Gay Marriage

Why waste time. Of course there were differences here. My sister has a huge problem with gays taking the word marriage and applying it to their unions because in her view the bible clearly states that gay marriage is wrong and not condoned. I told her that it was a matter of semantics at that point. If she did not like the word marriage, then substitute the phrase civil union or whatever she wanted. I explained to her that the main objective in the eyes of many gay couples was to obtain equal rights. There are over 1100 right given through marriage that gays are not automatically given. My sister stood by her argument from a theological standpoint but I told her that you do not govern from theology.

She went on to say that she does not like activist judges legislating law when that is not their job. She states that the judges are there to interpret the law...not to make the law. She states that activist judges have allowed gay marriage and civil unions to occur without giving the people the right to decide for themselves. I reminded my sister that back in 1954, 9 activist judges on the Supreme court basically re-wrote law and stated that separate but equal was to be no more. They in essence created the new "law" of de-segregation. I further told my sister that in my opinion if it had been put to the American public, there would be no way in hell that in 1954 a majority of Americans would have voted to desegregate. If not for those "activist" judges, equal rights and opportunity would have been denied to the African American community. Just like those groups back in the 1950s, there are groups of people today like my sister that want to deny rights to certain people.

Now my sister in no way believes that gay people should be discriminated against. She just has very strong religious beliefs that influence her ideas. It is likely that my sister and I will continue to disagree on this point.

Politics - Democrat vs Republican

Our talk began as a general Democrat vs Republican ideology discussion. We talked about the midterms, etc. My sister started off by saying this wonderful phrase:

"Well the democrats have 2 years to prove themselves so lets see if they can do any better"

To which of course I responded:

"Two years...are you kidding me??? Bush has had SIX years and hasn't done shit to balance the budget, decrease spending, or save social security. He hasn't done anything in 6 years and you and other republicans have supported him during that time so now you are going to require the Democrats get hard core results in only 1/3 the time? It is that kind of thinking that makes our country look backwards to the rest of the world. That logic makes no sense...no wonder Bush is your leader!"

My sister further stated the following:

"The problem with the democrats is that they run their politics from the left but we will have to see if they can govern from the middle."

Oh god...to which I responded:

"Heather, if you would research the house seats that the democrats won, you would see that most of them came from conservative republican districts...these democrats did not win these seats by running die hard liberal campaigns. They were moderate democratic platforms. And speaking of governing from the middle...when was the last time that Bush ever governed and ran his Presidency from the middle. Bush is a right winger and everyone knows it. So do not criticize the left wing of the democratic party until you are ready to face the demons on the right!"

And...Oh how we talked about Dubya...and talked about him...and talked about him...and talked about him some more. Being from Texas, I have an interesting perspective since he was also my governor. My sister likes Bush...a lot more than she is willing to admit. I used to like Bush...a point I do not like to admit. I voted for him the first time. Then came to my senses and voted against him the second time. My sister and I talked about him as President and here is how that went.

The Iraq War

I disagree with the Iraq war. That is not to say that I do not fully support and hope and wish the best for our troops. My brother is in the military and is serving in the middle east so this point is very sensitive to our family. I told my sister that the United States is now borrowing money to finance our wars. China has become our 2nd largest "lender" nation behind Japan. We are in essence borrowing money for this war..etc. Needless to say, my sister supports the war, and supports the moves that Bush is making around the world to attack "terror". I think Bush has taken advantage of people's fear to advance his political agenda. We would not need to borrow money if George W. Bush would handle our finances better....which leads us to our next topic of discussion.

Finances

George Bush has some idiotic thinking that you can CUT taxes, INCREASE spending, and decreased the deficit and the national debt. Well its not going to happen when you give oil companies and big business massive tax breaks and expect the middle class to pay the rest. Bush acts like a kid in a candy store with a black American Express card...you know the kind...the one with no spending limit...he just spends and spends...borrows and borrows...and he does not care...

My sister and I did not agree on much. But I will say this...she held her ground on what she believed and for the most part was able to explain why she believed what she does. Even though I disagree with most of it, I am very glad that my sister and I can have these discussions. Even though we disagree, I believe they could actually bring us closer together..

How ironic...

3 Comments:

  • At 10:23 PM, Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said…

    Yes, I have a Republican brother and his wife who are the most loving, genuine, sincere, and generous people I know...we totally respect each others' politics - it's gotten a little heated only once, we stepped back, regrouped, and realize the boundaries - we are very close. They are totally okay with the gay thing as I am okay with the straight thing.

     
  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger deanos said…

    I am the ONLY person in my immediate family that is NOT a Republican. Actually, most of my friends it seems are Republican as well. Probably due in large to the fact that I live in Texas, Houston as a matter of fact, near the Bush clan. One thing is nice though, we listen to each other when we debate, and though we do not change the others monds, we are still friendly about it.

     
  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Yeah - I am pretty much the only democrat in my family but I love my family completely. I am glad that my sister and I are able to talk about those things...always good to have the lines of communication open.

     

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