Being 'Bigger Than Political Differences' Is Not Noble, It's Ignorant

Being 'Bigger Than Political Differences' Is Not Noble, It's Ignorant

Could you really "agree to disagree" with someone who supports your disenfranchisement?


Okay. Here's the thing that I really need you all to understand.

There have been a ton of pictures going around lately of friends taking pictures together, one of whom supports a candidate of one party, and the other a candidate of another. The sentiment of such photos is almost always along the lines of, "real maturity" or "real friendship is not caring about differences in political opinion" or "not caring how our friends vote" because "friendship and/or family matters most."

Here's the thing, though. There is so. much. privilege. inherent in this mindset.

As I wrote in my last article, choosing to put politics aside and meet in the middle is a huge example of privilege, and here's why: Could you really just laugh and agree to disagree with someone who believes that you should be deported? Could you laugh and agree to disagree with someone who wants to take away your access to healthcare? Could you laugh and agree to disagree with someone who thinks it's more important to sell more guns than allow you to practice your religion? Could you laugh and agree to disagree with someone who thinks you should be fired and without access to care because of who you loved? Could you laugh and agree to disagree with someone who thinks the best way to support you after your child was murdered going to school is to say that there should be more people with guns? Could you laugh and agree to disagree with someone who wants to take away your rights to your own body?

Look yourself in the face and ask yourself, honestly: Could you just laugh and agree to disagree with someone who supports candidates whose actions literally threaten your life and well-being every single day?

Probably not. As I say in the article aforementioned, if you are able to "put politics aside" and "focus on what really matters," or "don't be a democrat or republican, just treat your friends with respect and that's all that matters," then you aren't aware of the huge amount of privilege you have by simply existing the way you do. Your life, family, well-being, and safety aren't going to be threatened by the people who may write and carry out the laws of this country.

There are posts all over the place, even post-election day, that champion friends or acquaintances "putting their differences aside" and "agreeing to disagree" as being what America "needs more of" right now. But I implore you to realize that this is not something to strive for. These decisions we make continue to contribute to the disenfranchisement of POC, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, etc. Doing this equalizes "rooting" for certain candidates and parties to something as inconsequential as a sports team. Those who run our country and whom we elect have real power to ruin peoples' lives. Doing this normalizes privilege and labels those protesting as uncivil.

Being supportive and loving each other "no matter whom they vote for" are two different things. Your vote is a moral issue. If you really loved your neighbors, you'd listen to why those disenfranchised groups are protesting in the first place. Your vote is bigger than agreeing to disagree. It has the power to change lives, for better or for worse. Remember, the personal is political.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.


While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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