Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your beliefs and political evangelism

Do you notice when you have a conversation with some one your opinions solidify. I read and listen and watch so much I think my mind will explode. But today in a conversation with a long time friend I said, "I don't believe in political evangelism." I don't think I've ever heard the term but I could be wrong.

The friend agreed and we seldom do agree on political matters.

Being me I think every one has the right to their beliefs. I also think they should be able to defend them, but whatever your thinking it is your own. I think my opinions are more correct than anyone else's of course, but I have no need to set anyone straight.

I was raised by my Mom, a woman who believed her views on religion and God were best. She told me once that it was my Christian duty to tell everyone the news about Jesus Christ and further tell them that if they didn't follow Jesus they would burn in hell. This was after I had learned to read and had discovered there were other religions in the world. She was an active member of the Missionary Society in her church until just before she died. I remember the big box of bandages sitting in her living room and the annual wrestle with the post office for the most economical way to ship it.
If I had stayed on the farm, if I had not left home and gone to college, if I had married the boy from my small town instead of a man I met at school, I can visualize myself believing much the way Mom did. But I did leave and the world is diverse.

It is a good thing to become acquainted with those unlike you. When you do you become friends with a variety of people. You discover moms and dads want the same things for their children, no matter their ethnic origins or which God they worship. You find it is necessary to listen to another idea. It also requires you to think about your beliefs and be able to defend them in reasonable debate. In a good conversation both parties listen to the other. The result is both parties to the conversation learn.

A favorite columnist wrote a rare piece for the local paper today. I lived most of my adult life reading his columns on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then he retired. By all accounts he's happy in retirement; gardening like Martha on a great piece of land in Southern Indiana, hosting a radio gardening show on public radio, writing books and ever so often writing something for the paper.

When he wrote for us regularly the paper was more anticipated. A co-worker reminded me today that on Tuesdays I'd remark about it being a good day since Bob Hill's column would be in the paper! It was like when Life magazine arrived and it felt like a better day because of it.
I've included a link to today's article: .

His newspaper writing is always tinged with a little humor. He tries to get us to not take everything so seriously and speak up being proactive when things threaten to go off the rails. There is so much hate and fear in the casual media these days. The times I wake up and turn on the TV seeing the broadcast news morning show hosts interviewing a grieving family about one tragedy or another are too many to count. I call that first 30 minutes of those shows the "grief interview."

Every news program has a "breaking news" time where the latest house fire or traffic death is breathlessly reported. I'd like breaking news to be an interview with the kid who worked two jobs and whose parents saved for his education until he finally graduated and got good work.

Those of you who thrive on the chaos of the world will now call me Pollyanna. I believe however that the way to make living worthwhile is to do no harm, lift up not beat down. It's also a good idea to seek light instead of darkness, and no matter how bad things can get, light an be found.


  1. That was lovely.

    You and I agree on many things. :-)


  2. I completely agree on how to earn a living. In Buddhism that's called "right livelihood."

  3. I don't like organized religion even if it was my own.

  4. Very single person who is the victim or surviving spouse, parent, child or immediate family member of a victim of something horrible almost immediately gets a lawyer and a PR firm to help them get on TV. It's ridiculous.

  5. Whenever I tell myself I am a decent writer, I invariably stumble across something that reminds me otherwise. I enjoyed greatly what you had to say.

    To break away from what you know, to embrace what is different; thats life, thats living. Otherwise, what are we?

    We will, without realizing, impart, a rigid(as our kids will view it) set of the "rules of life."

    In the end, all we can hope for is that our children will have the wisdom to define those rules appropriately to their own time and place in the world.

  6. Pearl: Thanks for the comment. I find it amazing, really, how there are things we all have in common.

    Secret agent woman: Thank you for the comment.

    YELLOWDOG GRANNY: I know and that's fine with me. I learn something from you every time I read your blog. Love it!

    Jay: That's right and we sit there like boobs watching. I'm fighting it. But there's this problem I have of being a voyeur. I am so ashamed! SMILE

    AnnoyingJoe: That you for the kind words Annoying. Can I call you Joe or is that a last name? SMILE

    If I had been a mother, I would like to have raised a kid who was literate, curious, kind and a rebel.

  7. Oh my, how I agree.

    I often call the local news "The Fear Report". We're always hearing what is going to kill us next, or what/who killed whom.

    I guess the hard working kid who kept his nose to thr grindstone just isn't sensational enough. Shame, really :(

  8. I agree!!! I am SO tired of negative, throat-cutting nonsense, whether it's on Fox, CNN, or MS-NBC...

    Go towards the LIGHT!! :o)


  9. I agree, it's a great piece and the political opportunism and lack of basic decency is something we go through here in Pakistan all the time. Then again, they do have a moral deficit.

    I wish the news had more uplifting stories, just to show that there is still hope in humanity. Far too often, we forget.

  10. Unfortunately, negative political ads work. If they did not, we would not get the pleasure (!!) of having to endure them.

    There are certain ads now that are so awful I hit the mute button or change the channel the moment they start. But then I read the polls and realize there are many people who are influenced by such nonsense (in my opinion).

    I certainly share your views regarding this matter.

    Take care.

  11. Very interesting post and I agree with your views as well. New reader here. Hi : )

  12. Wow...where were you this week. I was feeling so sorry for myself, I think this post would have sorted me out. You are absolutely right.
    And your writing is brilliant.

  13. I have always loved reading Bob Hill, the last of a dying breed of journalists. From the day when being "entertaining" and "informative" weren't mutually exclusive.

    Russell is right, the ads work.

    and Charlene, "Pollyanna" is not a word I would use to describe you....

  14. Ironically, there are those who believe that you will burn in hell because you no longer believe that people who don't believe in your concept of hell will burn in hell, but those people can go to hell.

  15. I hate to say I rarely even watch the news anymore. I'd just rather be in the dark about all the bad things. I'm waaaay to much of an emotional person. The bad stuff really gets to me.

  16. Mac: Thanks for your comment! The conflict between good news which is hopeful and horrible news which is negative is always there. But why is it assumed that a kid in Seattle having been abducted by a non-custodial parent five hours ago is something a local audience needs a "breaking news" breathless report.

    Red Shoes: Thanks for your comment Red Shoes. SMILE

    Alpha Za: Thank you for your comment Alpha Za. Lazy voters are the ones who make hate filled political ads work.

    PorkStar: Thank you for your comment. Welcome

    Sandra: Thank you for your comment. BLUSH

    Grant: LOL Nothing like "trying" to reinforce a belief with others' sins.

    Margaret (Peggy or Peg too): Thanks for your comment!

    Savannah: Thanks for the comment sista.

    FrouFrouBritches: Hey, it is possible to live quiet well without witnessing the hysteria of news. I always said if there was a nuclear bomb headed to Kentucky, I'd just as soon not know.

  17. Compelling stuff, as always. You should start a column called Pollyanna's Political Evangelism. On second thoughts, maybe that's what you already do.

  18. my buddy deepak chopra says don't waste your time defending your views. too stressful.

  19. What a wonderful post. I think I am the eternal optimist, I look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. But I like to think for myself, and like you, I have learned to do that by conversing with people with other points of view, and other ideas. It's only by exchanging ideas that we can formulate our own.

  20. I like this post, but there is so much to take in, I feel I need to go back and re-read it. One thing I will agree wholeheartedly with is that you should live a life that is upbeat, and do good because it will come back to you. I do believe in Karma, but not in a threatening way - in a good way.

    As far as the glass half full thing is concerned, I say - hand me a bigger glass!

  21. People say "I believe", because that's what was drummed into them. Then the intelligent ones spend a lifetime (sometimes) discarding that belief. The Catholic church is very good at instilling guilt.

    I hardly think the Tea Partiers are into exchanging ideas.

  22. Christopher: Thanks for the comment! Laughing here.

    Billy pilgrim: I was never an acolyte of deepak chopra.

    Jo: True, plus life is never boring when talking to people with other viewpoints.

    Sarah: I believe in Karma too. There are those who say they believe in Karma and do project it to be a punishment at their will.

    Wolynski: I have to agree with you re: Tea Partiers.

  23. Hamsters have no soul? LOL LOL That cracked me up! Must be why they only live a few years. :-)

  24. Great post - there is so much good going on in the world but it is not news so goes unreported. Fear only brings more fear. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  25. I agree that having an open mind is a marvelous thing. World travel, reading, reflective writing and compassion for others are all key. That is why education is so very important. And those who need it the most don't seem to realize that they do. Ironic.

  26. I like that last paragraph there.

    I wish you had expanded on your views about discovering a life outside of "the small town" mentality. I found that pretty interesting as it mirrored my own.

    Political evangelism? Do you mean people deciding on Politicians based on their views of homosexuality and abortion? I am curious.

  27. Lori: Thanks.

    I may write about instances of my past in my essays, but without an e.mail address on your site I won't go into that further here.

    My idea of political evangelism is the belief that your political views are the only views worth anything and you feel compelled to convert everyone else.


Comments are encouraged.