Cliff Gardner

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm prejudiced against prejudiced people!

I've been increasingly aware of my own assumptions lately in two specific and frequent circumstances, and in both cases, I am getting extremely frustrated.

First, when I see someone with a "Support Our Troops" bumper sticker, I assume they mean "Support the War. Support President W. Bush. Don't support those hippie liberal protesters." I assume they're redneck and macho. I assume I have nothing in common with them. I assume they own lots of guns and a Confederate flag. The thing is, I do support our troops--my brother Patrick served in Iraq and my dad fought in Korea...Believe me, I love the troops, but I don't support the war. It really frustrates me that supporting the troops has become a euphemism for supporting the president's war.

Second, when people go out of their way to tell me that they're Christian, I make lots of assumptions about them. This one bothers me more than my assumptions of the support our troops folks because I know a lot of really kind, compassionate and wise Christians who love and respect people of all sexual orientations. I am one of them. However, when someone goes out of their way to highlight their faith, by a bumper sticker or in a conversation, I assume their doing it to point to their views on a lot of hot-button political issues, like abortion and GLBT rights. I feel that Christian has become code for Republican.

Mandy and I had a long conversation about this the other day and I thought I would ask for feedback. Does anyone else feel the same way? Is this a problem and if so, does anyone have any suggestions?

5 Comments:

  • I think you pinpointed something that a lot of us feel--or at least I do, and I count as a lot because I'm so amazing ;-). I actually heard a radio interview with Arundhati Roy the other day (God, I love NPR), and she was talking about how the corruption of power into American imperialism has led to a redefinition of words. Democracy now means oppression, capitalism now means extreme consumerism, and I suppose that Christianity and patriotism can be added to that list in their worst versions. Is it prejudiced of you to be aware of that? No. Prejudiced would be you not giving average people a chance to prove that they're indeed normal, not hate-mongering rightists. And I think that you do that already, so no worries.

    Damn, I am missing my WUers!

    By Anonymous Christine, at 6:39 AM  

  • Thomas, I know we agreed to not discuss politics but I have to admit, I was a tad offended by this post although I have no right to complain because its your journal. My faith is very personal to me and I keep that way but sharing that faith with other people is a pillar of our religion that I respect other people for doing. Also I know many people who support the troops but do not necessarily support the war. Also, I found myself being quite offended by the term, "the president's war." This is America's war regardless of who started it. We are in it now and it rages on. Saying that would be like saying that the war in the balkans was not my war because I thought Bill Clinton was the worst thing to happen to the US since the end of prohibition. I guess I'm really offended by the separatist attitudes of most liberals. The "he's not my president" attitude is something no conservative pulled under Clinton. We got mobilized and impeached the guy. I guess I just wish your party would do something to futher the political discussion instead of just complain. Again, sorry I stepped the political bounds and posted. You can delete this if you like.

    By Anonymous Sharl, at 2:55 AM  

  • Sometimes the political discourse in this country makes me sad. Maybe it has to do with my anger at the religious right, maybe it has to do my mixed feelings about being angry at someone for there views. I feel that both sides aren't really listening to one another any more. I'm not quite sure how that ties into prejudice. Just kind of my thoughts.

    By Anonymous Moses, at 6:07 PM  

  • HAHA! Well, I support the troops and am Christian, but I never go out of my way to announce either, unless it is asked, I never force my opinions on any one. You also know I am a democrat and cannot stand the moron we have in office.

    The only time I assume something about someone is if they have a "W" bumper sticker. I assume they are retarded, and I am usually right. Every once in a while they are greedy instead of stupid, but you get the picture...

    By Anonymous Kim, at 9:45 AM  

  • I often have the same feelings. The way I battle them is by realizing that those feelings are my prejudice and making sure that (no matter what I think or mutter to myself in my car or while watching TV) I never stop treating people like people. That's what I do.

    By Anonymous zayne, at 6:47 PM  

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