The Impact Of Understanding

The Impact Of Understanding

Two sides of the aisle exist for a reason.
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Growing up moving all around the country has its perks. Seeing a diversified version of the truth is the most crucial one of these. I have lived in places both where my opinion was the majority and where my opinion was the minority, with little exposure to a blend of each, which is precisely the problem. On each end of the political spectrum are people who have no idea or experience in what they’re talking about, only spewing recycled information to make the other side look bad. I have often been among these numbers of people, because winning an argument in the moment feels far better than being factual and actually getting a point across.

Of all people, I understand. Many people with more liberal politics, such as myself, are incredibly guilty of this; our smug and self-identified superior intelligence over our adversaries is just as harmful as we perceive our political opponent’s views to be. We are what we fight against. The importance of consideration and the recognition of a grey area comes into play here; to avoid this absolutist ideology, we must learn to at least try to see something from the other side. Seeing isn’t always believing, however; seeing and understanding someone’s point of view doesn’t mean that you have to be any less vocal in your beliefs - just that you have to acknowledge that other, valid ones also exist.

Before starting college, I lived in middle, mostly rural, Georgia for three years. Yes, Georgia is certainly a red state and yes, I was definitely in a red area, but it wasn’t as unbearable as you would think. I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our politics are often referred to as a "bubble." Most people here have politics that lean pretty far to the left. There is no obvious right wing here, not one that is proud and not one that shows itself often.

In discussions with people here in San Francisco I would often find that they were the parallel of their conservative counterparts in Georgia; that they often spoke on their beliefs with incredible bias and no actual fact, and that they couldn’t understand why someone would believe the opposite way. In San Francisco, if you voted for Trump, you are a bad person, and someone who hates minorities and is a Nazi.

While I disagree with voting for Trump, I can’t reconcile the people I know and love from back home who, yes, voted for Trump, with this perception that people here cultivate; just as I can’t reconcile people here with vegan crybabies who hate America, as many people down south warned me about before I moved here. Don’t get me wrong, its refreshing to be around people who sustain my beliefs so I don’t have to fight anymore; I just worry about assuming everyone I speak to will agree with me and won’t challenge my beliefs.

I’m asking people on both ends of the spectrum to understand that a differing belief doesn’t equate the person who holds that belief with the human embodiment of evil, that realities for people in different spheres of political influence is vastly varied, and usually cultivated by their environment. I urge you to look at a person holistically, at how they act and speak to determine their quality, not at what they believe.

Cover Image Credit: flickr.com

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

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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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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Double Standards Are Plaguing Our Society

What and how are double standards hurting our society?
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Why is that when a female has many sexual partners she is considered a slut, but when a male does it he is celebrated as a king? Why is it when a male wears makeup or paints his nails his shunned by the world, but when a girl does it she looks bomb? How can the pope support ending the gender gap, but refuse to allow women to hold spiritual leadership roles? It’s because we live in a world filled with double standards.

What is a double standard? Merriam-Webster states it’s “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” We see in our society that there are many double standards between races, religions, sexualities, and genders.

Many double standards are hurting our country and even our world. Many people are blind to the double standards that plague our community especially if isn’t affecting them, while some just accept these as okay in our society, but they aren't okay. Here a few double standards that are seen in today's society.

Gender.

  • Women are paid less than men for doing the same exact job.
  • If a man cries he is considered weak, while it’s alright for a woman to do so.
  • When a male is sexually harassed by a woman he is lucky, while it happens to women it’s considered rape (I’m not denouncing rape that happens to women)
  • If a woman asserts any kind of dominance she’s a bitch, but if a guy does it he’s a leader.

Religion.

  • If someone of Muslim faith kills someone the headlines are “Muslim Terrorist Strikes Again!”, but they never announce if the killer was a Christian. They say he was a “lone wolf”
  • If a Christian teacher tried to make the class pray it would be okay, and millions would support them, but if a Muslim teacher tried that the world would go crazy.
  • the KKK (who are “Christians”) is okay, they can recruit through their website which isn’t blocked in any way and even endorsed our current president

Race.

  • If a black person does anything they seem suspicious, but when white people do it, it’s okay.
  • When NFL teams win big games their fans destroy cities, but if any peaceful protest happens it’s a riot and police decide to throw tear gas.
  • If a white person uses weed their considered a stoner, but if a black person does it they’re a criminal.

Sexuality.

  • if a straight couple does anything it’s normal. If a gay couple does it, it’s an abomination.
  • Straight couples can mistreat their own kids and it be okay, but if a gay couple wants to adopt a kid all hell breaks loose.

Weight.

  • If some bigger over eats their considered fat, and unhealthy, but if a thinner person over eats no one says a word.

Of course, there are so many other double standards that affect other groups of people, but just having these few is too many. We have to do something about this! If we allow one group of people to do something we must allow all other groups to do so as well. This must change to allow everyone to feel equal if we claim to be an equal opportunity country.

It isn't impossible to change these double standards as we have seen double standards in the past be changed. such as a male could be a doctor, but a women couldn't. Or even a white person holding a higher position in work and black person couldn't. Therefore, we see a change can happen, but only if we choose to make it happen.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley8053

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