Friday, June 15, 2012

Breaking the Rules

        I think it's odd and wrong that "they" (whoever they are) caution against talking about religion and politics.  I can understand not being allowed to ask someone when she last had sex or what size underwear she wears, or even how she feels about her son's learning disability or if she ever regrets having married her husband.  Privacy and personaly boundaries do make sense to me.  But religion and politics touch the whole, all of us.  They are communal, not individual matters.  We're allowed to talk about the weather, which surely affects us in a daily way, but over which we have no short term influenc. We're allowed to talk about celebrities, sports, movies, fashion, games, all sorts of diversions and entertainments.  We're allowed to talk about ideas and theories in the abstract, at least, to build handles with which to grab at life's challenges and maybe budge some of them.  We are allowed, to some extent to talk about individual relationships and family relationships.  Often we allow ourselves to gossip and complain.  But when it gets concrete and large scale, down to talking  about religion ) our relationship to any divine foce that may or may not exist) or politics  (finding ways to get along locazlly, nationally, internationally in ways that work), there is that injunction.  Don't talk about religion or politics.

       It really bothers me.  We have more control over religious and political decisions than we do over the weather, and they affect us at least as much.  Surely they are more important than any form of entertainment.Talking about ideas in the abstract and focusiing on personal relationships is good, vital, helpful, but I need a bigger context, an openness about talking about the whole deal, human to divine to human to human to earth to animal to earth to the divine - all around in the big circle of birth and death.,  I can learn from people who disagree with me as well as from people who agreee.  There are so many obvious problems in the physical and interpersonal world, We need all our minds, hearts, spirits, bodies focused on solutions.  We need to be able to talk to each other respectfully and openly on all topics


Mary said...

In an ideal world, people would be able to discuss religion and politics. And there are some people who can do so. However, there are some people who think discussion is one - sided and consider it their mission to convince the other person rather than to sit and discuss with equal attention to everyone's point of view. I can / could discuss these subjects with you, for example. But there are some people with whom I would stay clear of these discussions. (Politics moreso than religion.) Some people consider two or three times a day bombarding 'Facebook friends" with biased political perspectives to be 'discussion.' Day after day after day, for example. I have blocked most of what a few people post because I have grown so tired of it.

Victoria said...

Mary, I agree that people who push their ideas on religion, politics, or anything else are obnoxious. I don't believe in trying to force any one's belief. I don't even think i'm always right (or even usually). I have so much to learn from others and a bit to teach too, I think. it's just sad to me that such vital areas of conversation have been shut down except between people who already agree because some people are abusive in these conversations. i'm personally not willing to stop having them, though I do hate it when they go bad. And yes, i feel like I could talk about anything with you, whether we ageree or not.

Bob Hendricks said...

I think it exists because differences in politics and religion can be so divisive and we want to get along with people in our community. So many people lose respect for anyone that doesn't share their core religious beliefs. Not knowing, they can act as if they don't know. I don't think the prohibition is for first circle relationships, where talking should be OK, although one might lose someone in the first circle relationship over it. Some of the most unpleasant conversations I have ever had were politics.

Mary said...

I am one who does not lose respect for people who have different political or religious beliefs. I do lose respect for people who continue to use whatever means possible to bombard others with their beliefs and continue to quote the same very biased sources as their authority. It seems at this moment that it is politics rather than religion. If these people think they are convincing others of the rightness of their beliefs, I'd like them to know that they are probably doing just the opposite.

But yes, Victoria, I do know that I could discuss, really discuss with you. There is a difference between discussion and bombardment.