Friday, May 20, 2005

Democracy in Thought

Often, when talking with my Mother, old church friends, or anyone else who doesn't understand what I'm thinking/believing/doing in terms of being a Christian, I tend to feel like anyone who doesn't believe/hold/toe the Orthodox line of Christianity (whatever THAT is) is a dissenter, a heretic, even a non-believer. And those feelings arise just from the Pentecostal background that I left 12-18 months ago. Now, take into account standard American evangelical Christianity and you get an even LARGER version of "If you're not with us, you're against us." And from there, look at American political/social life where our President has even declared such, saying that, if you don't totally agree with what the government is doing, then you're unpatriotic, unAmerican, and a generally bad person all the way around.

I think that this is why I persist in being counter-culture in whatever way possible -- I don't like toeing the line because I have to or I'm forced to because "it looks good." Of course, my parents don't rather agree with my political/economic/social views and my Mom doesn't think that I'm a Christian anymore because I'm not a Pentecostal, but I try not to let those things bother me. They do, but I try to not let them.

It's like this -- I reserve the right to think, believe, not believe, act, practice, observe, and live in ways that are different from the mainstream & accepted ways of doing things. I am an American -- we still live (technically) in a democratic republic where freedoms are protected and respected. I AM SICK AND TIRED of being told that I can't be/think/live/believe differently than the status quo. I can't stand living in an America where dissent isn't appreciated, tolerated, or even wanted. Dissent IS American -- we're a nation founded upon people rising up against the powers-that-be to demand a new way of life. I just fear that there's not much room left for people who aren't what the powerful governmental/social/economic/religious elites think that we should be.

Thus, here's a link to a Bill Moyers speech where he talks about his personal struggle with not being the American that Washington and the right-wing want him to be. Read/Listen/Watch and enjoy. He and I have common experience with being attacked for not being in the box.

  • Speech by Bill Moyers


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