Why We Shouldn't Just "Agree To Disagree"

Why We Shouldn't Just "Agree To Disagree"

There actually is a way to discuss politics without resigning your views.
40
views

Oh God, another political article. I’m so burnt out by the last election, I’m just tired of hearing it. Can we just agree to disagree?

No, lay-people, we cannot, and here’s why:

Politics is important. If you don’t care about what happens in your state and federal government, it probably means that you benefit from privilege, which is awesome for you, but I bet you know people that don’t, such as people of color, people in poverty, women, LGBT+ people, immigrants, and on, and on, and on.

If you don’t care to have an opinion, then you are a minority these days. If you don’t have an opinion on social issues (which are the easiest to have), surely you have an opinion on economic policy, tax reform, and education. Chances are if you’re reading this, you spend money, pay taxes, go to school, or sometimes even all three!

We legislate our country through regulations, laws and standards, and because we live in a federal republic, we have an active voice in the decisions that determine what we can and cannot do.

Amazing!

Because we benefit from this type of government, you should take advantage of it, especially if you are part of a group that was not originally given a voice. People died so that the poor, people of color, and women could vote. Don’t let their deaths be in vain.

Okay, so you have opinions, maybe even strong ones, and you run into someone who feels the opposite of you. Thanks to the current political climate, as a society, we have divided our assets by views. I mean, even our Congress separates their chairs according to views. The stalemate way of resigning an argument properly is to simply say “let’s agree to disagree”, which is considered a mature way of ending what could escalate to the well-known argumentative fallacy of getting real personal, real quick.

It's also, by definition, tolerating but not accepting something, which for some, it's hard to tolerate injustice. Now, I’m not saying that we should spend our days on Twitter, arguing with someone with an egg avi and try showing them that they are wrong in 140 characters, but we should understand that you do not have to resign yourself to the fact that people are ignorant.

There’s a pretty simple way to not “agree to disagree” and still politely scream your views from the rooftops, and that is to educate.

In the day of social media politics where no one really knows what’s going on and people use The Onion as a credible source, you need to explain what you believe, why, and back it up with facts and figures that are legitimate. The only rules are that you cannot attack someone personally (an argumentative fallacy in the worst kind of way, and I know we’ve all been there) and you have to believe it for better reasons than “that’s what my parents told/taught me”.

Education is the best way to persuade, and you deserve bonus points if your audience doesn't even realize you're trying to persuade them. The problem with our polarized political climate is not that people are so blind that they refuse to others' points of views (which is a common misconception, but I'm telling you if you look at your senators' and representatives' congressional voting record, that's not necessarily the case), but it's that we cannot agree on a true set of facts.

Defining truth is another article for another week, but until we can agree on real statistics and the truth behind what is going on with "the government," we will get no where in proper debate. Just reference the 2016 election.

Standing up for what you believe in and standing firm in that is patriotic, but it's also patriotic to submit to the social contract and be educated in what you believe in. If we can all let go of our egos and pride long enough to learn something, maybe the next crop of political leaders can manage bi-partisanship, which, let’s be honest, is the only thing that makes the world go around.

Cover Image Credit: Foundation for Economic Education

Popular Right Now

I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
30028
views

Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school.

I'll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted.

Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I'm 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?"

A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?", I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week." I let it roll off of my back, I've spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back"… but I think it's time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister.

She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn't have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her.

I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn't though. I didn't let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization.

Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn't directed to what we, in today's society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one's self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so.

This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God's creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Pulse Affect

Where do we stand 2 years later?

82
views

It's been 2 years since the infamous Pulse shooting and everyone, including myself, is still affected. I remember so clearly how I was too scared to go to any pride events afterward. I knew that's what the shooter wanted, was for us all to retreat back into the closest we so bravely came out of, but still, I couldn't bring myself to leave the bed.

The news had hit me harder than any of the previous shooting. While it was still a mass shooting such as what was happening at the schools, the target was more specific. He went in there with the mind of not just killing people, but people associated with the LGBT community. The scene was so horrible, that some of the first responders have even mentioned having PTSD still from the scene.

The news had sunk everyone's heart and many flocked to social media just to find out if friends were there or not. The toll was 49 innocent people who had lost their lives to a despicable individual I refuse to name. I feel he received too much attention in the media as it was.

It also didn't take long for the focus to switch from the victims to the "how could we prevent this"—which isn't a bad question, but the two sides who seemed to differ on opinions so much just turned it into yet another screaming match. That being said, those who weren't on the extreme end of it found themselves seeking comfort from each other. For many people, this attack did scare them, but I think within the horrifying event came a new sense of community.

For those who had family or friends that were victims of such an attack, my heart goes out to you. The mourning doesn't stop, and while I know there are no words that can be strung together to bring closure, I can show my support and continue to fight for equality and help educate whoever I can. The tragedy isn't something I wish on anyone, and the wound stills fresh to me despite not having any personal connections to anyone.

To end this story on a hopeful note, today people are doing positive things in honor of the victims of the pulse attack. One article writes about a couple who spends their time cleaning up the area of litter and mentions others donating money, objects, or their own time in hopes to help anyone in need. One direct quote from this article is "Last year, more than 2,500 people volunteered their time in support of Acts of Love and Kindness, and while there was no official tally yet for this year's outpouring, it seems likely that many will go uncounted."

I encourage people today to reach out to one another, no matter orientation or identity. Love one another and don't let things strip others of their human qualities. We are all human and have the ability to do good. The shooting was tragic, but we should not let it keep us from celebrating who we are and embracing each other with open arms. Don't let the worlds hate scare you or stifle your creativity. We will not let anyone push us back into the dark, no better their best effort. Live on and keep your heart open to love.

Cover Image Credit:


https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-gathered-near-building-holding-flag-at-daytime-919194/

Related Content

Facebook Comments