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Monday, April 9, 2012

Tolerating the Intolerant

It never ceases to amaze me.  With the mighty cry of "Resist the Oppressor!" people will begin to oppress those around them with a vigor and zeal unequalled since the Crusades.   Proudly proclaiming their own side/vision/opinion to be free of hatred, they will proceed to refer to their opponents as stupid.  They base this on their opponents' refusal to agree with them. 

I saw three posts on FB today from the same person.  One of the posts referred to a study done that asserts that those who are conservative in their thinking are lousy thinkers.  It is almost identical to the same studies done about five years ago by another think-tank that 'proved' the inherent stupidity of 'progressive' thinkers.  Another of her posts quoted Thomas Jefferson and his hatred for 'the priest' because of the 'priest' being linked to oppressors and authoritarian regimes.  She quoted, apparently without any flinching of conscience, a man who raped his slave woman under the cover of authority and later instructed his bankrupted family to deny the children he fathered by her lest they lay claim to any of his future earnings.  Later, she posted another cartoon of Rodin's The Thinker with a variation of the Descartes philosophical assertion "I think, therefore I am" - changed to "I think, therefore I am dangerous".  Of course, she did THIS without any knowledge of the fact that Descartes was a devout Catholic who was instrumental in the conversion experience of the Queen of Sweden.

I firmly believe that part of the problem we have in this country is due to the poor education offered people at the Public School level.  We have determined that everyone must have an education.  Ok, that's great.  Unfortunately, because we never thought out exactly what constitutes an education beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, we have produced several generations of people who have never cracked open a philosophy book and would not know how to read a quote within historical context if a gun was held on them.  The posts by this woman, God bless her, demonstrates why teaching someone HOW to think is just as important as teaching them WHAT to think.

The best part of a classical liberal arts education is the imparting of critical thinking skills - look at a problem, think about what it entails, come up with a solution.  If you have several solutions - which you will, if you have more than two people in the room who have been taught how to think - do not attack the PERSON who has come up with a solution differing from the one you present.  Rather, with cool head an warm heart, look at the solutions presented and see if there is any common ground.  Look for ways they overlap.  Consider the other point of view.

Because, if you cannot come up with a solution, you can always go to WAR.

What I cannot figure out today is why so many of us want to immediately  go to war.  We do not want to take the cool headed, long term, practical look at a situation and try to come up with a solution.  Today, both sides of the political aisle are infected with a kind of gang-banger mentality.  You disagree with me?  That means you Dis'd me.  In response, I shall grab my crotch, turn my hat on backwards, and shoot you in the head.  If I aim poorly (which I usually do, because my aim is controlled by my ability to THINK) or if you return equally poorly aimed shots, what the hell?  Who cares?  So an innocent is caught in the cross least I posted my idiotic cartoons that attack another person's religious values and made my point.

And the point is...?

Well, apparently, the point is to insult people.  It is not to try and convince anyone by using logic or history or facts.  It is to hurt and insult.  It is not to try and understand another's point of view.  It is to hurt.  It is to insult.  It is to inflict a wound.

Right now, I support Rick Santorum for president.  I have no doubt Mitt Romney will get the nomination and that makes me very, very sad.  I do not like his record.  I do not trust him.  I do not like the way he made his money by gutting companies and firing people.

I do not like what the Obama Administration has done to religious liberty in this country.  The man I thought would be reasonable has caused more uproar than was necessary and has shown a marked lack of integrity on many levels.  Much of what went on under the Bush Administration has continued under the Obama Administration - can you say, "Waterboarding?".

So I will not be voting for either candidate.  I will, most likely, be writing in Rick Santorum and 'wasting' my vote.  I will do that because I cannot just vote against President Obama if I am convinced that the person getting my vote is just as untrustworthy, just as conniving and just a eager to cause rifts in this country in order to advance his own personal agenda.

I have never believed the President was born in Kenya but I absolutely believe he runs by a Socialist agenda and I do not think Modern Socialism is successful.

Now, I do not believe those who support the President are stupid.  I think they are mistaken.  I believe the wide swing to the left is as dangerous as a wide swing to the right.

And I think it is interesting that people believe if one is a Catholic then one is somehow anti American. Sounds very 'retro' to me, very old-fashioned....very (gasp) CONSERVATIVE.

And for those people, I will pray.


Leslie K. said...

There was a mistaken belief that I do not allow comments on my blog. Not true. Hmmmmmmm

chimakuni said...

Ah yah - we had our Cathedral in Seattle vandalized early Easter morning with stupid graffiti and red spray painted on a statue of Madonna and Christ. The graffiti was nonsense - but it cost the faithful money, to the tune of a couple of thousand to have the statue and building sandblasted to get the graffiti off.

Now - come and sit down with me - talk to me about what is bothering you - I will listen. I will talk - but this going to war against all that is good and holy - just because - this is what bothers me...and the thinking that we don't need to have any critical thinking, i.e. our education consists of "the lowest common" ... is just entirely wrong.

Love you and I know you permit comments!!! Lord hear our prayer for those who are angry, disenfranchised and lost - let them know they are worthy of being heard, worthy in and of themselves to learn how to think critically ... that they are LOVED

Leslie K. said...

OMG - on the way in to work this morning I heard Reverend Jeremiah Wright railing against the European Power Structure and he expressed the same disdain for Thomas Jefferson that I have! LOLOLOLOL....well, I guess being student of history can make for STRANGE bedfellows (figuratively, not literally - like the gangster description used in the blog)