Friday Challenge: A Civil Discourse (Yeah, Right)

It’s a frequent story that when a person leaves fundamentalism their politics change as well.

Today’s challenge is to tell the story of if and how your personal political stances have changed since you left the fold of fundyland. To what degree does your theology (or lack thereof) affect your politics?

122 thoughts on “Friday Challenge: A Civil Discourse (Yeah, Right)”

  1. “Just a guy” at 755AM….”but I also can’t stand being around liberals…”

    priceless…

    Also are we selecting a minister this November?

  2. Stayed conservative for the most part, but gravitated towards the libertarian side of the movement.

    Also came to realize politics is all manipulation. The manipulation scares me. Civil discourse has increasingly become an impossibility.

    I am tempted to give up politics altogether, but part of maturity is to realize your place in whatever “movement” you ally yourself with. While I may have heartfelt ideological leanings, I realize the part I play – a balancing force against those diametrically opposed, whether they be conservatives, liberals, and associated extremists.

  3. I’ve been drifting toward center.

    Background:
    My pastor is a God-and-Country transplanted American. Since the church is twenty minutes from a Canadian Forces base, we have the odd soldier come visit/join the church. Lots of flags and patriotism – which are not evil, I’ll have you know. Occasional Government Appreciation Sundays, with politicians and the like.

    I haven’t the stomach for American politics – all that religious idealism makes me ill.

    I know enough about it to know that the Progressive Conservative party in Canada may be a little to the center of the Republicans in the States.
    When I was drinking the kool-aid, oh, they were t was without a doubt God’s Own Party.

    I became a libertarian in college (mostly because I was a rightist, and found the smug, pompous nature of every Republican I met nauseating), and have voted so ever since.

    Recently I’ve been drifting toward center – I still consider myself morally and fiscally conservative, but not card-carryingly so.

    Reasons:

    1. My federal representative was kicked out of cabinet for some pretty serious allegations. Read about it here –
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/24/helena-guergis/

    2. I’ve found welfare programs a welcome safety net- it’s difficult to rail against government programs when you’re receiving them.
    I’ve been unemployed. I’ve been on pogey, and found it helpful.
    I’ve saved hundreds of dollars in hospital fees, to say nothing of family doctor’s bills.

    3. The system doesn’t need to be Conserved. It needs to be fixed, and I’m not sure politics is the answer. More than anything, I’ve become politically disenchanted. Voting for a Right, or Left, (or Libertarian for that matter) won’t fix it.

    There, that’s my journey. If it makes no sense to you, then that makes two of us.

  4. Call me a bad American, but I’m not even registered to vote in my current residence. It’s too late to do it now and make the election anyway. That said…politically I’m too progressive to be conservative and too conservative to be progressive. I don’t think abortion should be illegal, but it should be highly regulated (protection after live birth in failed abortion, no late term, etc.) I believe that gay couples should be afforded a recognized legal union, but I’m not ready to call it marriage. I have little tolerance for single issue voting (abortion and gay marriage are good examples.) I wish the rhetoric would be more focused on things that affect all of us–like the economy and how we can get it moving again. I’m not sure that my theology has changed my political views, but perhaps I have freedom to have a differing view now.

  5. My parents weren’t into discussing politics much when I was growing up, and I don’t think I ever heard politics mixed with preaching when I was young. I became a staunch Conservative when, after getting my first job in a medical office, I saw the difference between my gross and net income, and I also witnessed our many Medicaid patients who smoked, had nicer cars, and cell phones while I did without. I was, undoubtedly, an annoying person with all my political views. I was in my early twenties and had everything all figured out, of course. Let me add, though, that even during that time, I tried to make a conscious effort to separate a political candidate from his personal life. I always liked Obama as a family man, and I remember the night that he was elected, even though back then I was a strict Conservative, I felt happy for those older African Americans in the crowd who were crying as he gave his acceptance speech. Those people had been unable to sit at a drugstore counter due to segregation in their youth, and they probably thought that in their lifetime they would never see a black President. I couldn’t help but be happy. But back to the subject at hand…..As I’ve evolved from a know-it-all Fundy, I’ve realized that there are many things that I just don’t know. There’s a lot I don’t understand about religion and faith, and that’s carried over into politics for me. I don’t know know the answers to our country’s problems. I don’t want to say that I just don’t think about it, but I have found that it’s not the best use of my time to dwell on and try to come up with solutions to the problems we have. As a result, I don’t watch much news or political commentary (I used to watch O’Reilly religiously), and I don’t allow myself to get in to political debates with others. I think it’s important to vote, so I vote. My husband (incidentally, I got him interested in politics — I created a monster) likes to talk politics with people and watch Fox News, and he tells me I should care more. I just tell him, “Look, you debate people and spend lots of time thinking about and getting angry about everything that’s going wrong. Then you vote. I don’t worry myself sick about it, I just live life normally and then vote. We both get the same amount accomplished, but one of us has much more peace of mind in the process.” I’ve found that by not worrying and forming opinions all the time, I get much more accomplished that’s close to my heart. And I’m much less annoying. 😀

  6. Well, my move out of/away from Christian fundamentalism had reverberations throughout my life. Politically, I moved from being a very conservative Republican who could barely wait for my dad to finish the latest edition of National Review to read it each month, to being both economically and socially liberal. A great deal of that had to do with, as others have mentioned, finally being able to separate religion/spirituality and politics. Part of it was a realization that what I thought was most important to achieve in society was far better served in reality by a more liberal/progressive political approach than a conservative one. And part of it was firmly recognizing that America is, and has been, a secular state, and I would like it to remain so.

    I will say that I continue to be saddened, though by the increasing crazypants offered prominent seats in the GOP and in more conservative circles. One reason I rarely read anything in NR anymore has little to do with disagreement and much, much more to do with how off-the-wall things have gotten there. While I am staunchly liberal, I appreciate the need for vigorous and healthy ideological debate for a vigorous and healthy polity. Watching a prominent party sneak ever and ever closer to being completely off the rails is not good healthy polity whether you agree with the founding principle of that party or not.

    Interesting factoid, while being liberal, I am still registered R because my mother is a poll commissioner in our district, and I am actively avoiding the fallout that would result from having a D by my name. 😛

    1. Oh. I did forget to mention that in my last years in the fundy realm, I moved to a more libertarian stance. That was mostly out of rebellion in a lot of ways. It was a bit before libertarians owned a voice in the GOP, so saying you didn’t think it was the right of the government to enforce seat belt laws or drug laws or whatever laws on non-infringing behavior was a bit more risqué among many conservative circles.

      I still do like actual Reagan. SuperPatriot Airbrushed Reagan Image of the New Century? Not so much. haha

  7. Politically I’m still conservative, but I no longer pay attention to what religion or church a candidate claims to be a part of (or that other people claim they are a part of). I’m concerned about them actually being good leaders with good policies, and wherever they go or don’t go on Sunday’s is irrelevant.

    I vote for whoever I think is better, or at least who I think will do the least amount of damage (the latter is becoming more and more frequent, sadly.)

    1. I agree with you WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Since my time in the pen, I mean Hyles-Anderson, I have changed 180 Degrees. I consider myself a Liberal without apologies, and believe Jesus would have been too.

      Big government isn’t bad; Big IRRESPONSIBLE government is the problem … Oops, let me get off my soap box. 🙂

  8. Will keep this simple. Went from typical religious right knee-jerk republican to liberal democrat. Now I know neither party is to be trusted. Our country’s political problems are way beyond the radical right and looney left as portrayed by Fox News and MSNBC. We are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. Our government is no longer responsive to “we, the people”. I think republicans are totally crazy and while democrats may say things I agree with during the election season, they are only beholden to big money/corporate interests. The idea that Obama is a communist or even a socialist is absolutely laughable.

  9. I was in the “Taxpayers Party” before it turned into the “Constitution Party” party before it ended up as the “Tea Party.” I was so worked up and upset about the state of our nation and felt so powerless, that if a militia would have invited me to join when I was 18, I would have left and never come back. Republicans were liberal and morally repugnant to me and the Democrats were messengers from Satan or people that just hated God.

    That’s how I was.

    Now, I’m closer now idealistically to being a Democrat, but the abortion issue and simply not trusting politicians is what keeps me from being a card carrying member of any party. I’m simply not ok with some things, so I don’t vote. When I do vote, I normally write in the name of a good person I know.

  10. Our church was a fundy lite church, and my family were conservative democrats. As I got older and we changed churches, I became a radically conservative republican. Then Towards the end of high school, I became a Catholic and an anarchist. I haven’t the slightest idea whether I’m liberal of conservative,I have enough positions to offend either group.

    But the gist of it is that I’ve gone form believing that we need the government to save this nation from apostasy and debauchery,and being a fiscal conservative to believing that the state is an evil institution, and that if there is a state, that it should neither control nor be controlled by religion. I rarely do any sort of voting, and certainly not for presidents. I do support freedom of marriage. I’m pro-life, and I do not support the HHS mandate with it’s current implications for religious groups,particularly Catholics.

  11. Well, I became a Libertarian after I left the fundyverse. I know longer think that our support for Israel is vital to the survival of our country since I gave up dispensationalism.

  12. Absolutely NOT. In fact since allowing myself to really THINK about things and not swallow the company line in something as vitally important as religion, I also gained the freedom to think about everything else in my life…politics and philosophy being at the top of that list. I am a VERY hard-core conservative because it’s the philosophy I see at work in Scripture, in the founding of the country and in every time of prosperity in our history. I also believe that Biblical charity and taking care of the (truly) poor and needy are not opposed to this but actually enhanced by this. It’s funny that the same people who crow about keeping the Christian faith out of politics (both Christians and non Christians alike) want to quote Jesus where social policy is concerned and they want the government…the one they already declared should NOT be openly influenced by Christianity…to “do what Jesus did”. Okay fine…you want to open the coffers to everyone who claims to be poor and you want free health care in Jesus name? Then you banish the thought of Gay marriage and you get serious about abortion laws and creeping jihad.

  13. Have become more and more libertarian with every passing year. The only thing I’m still pretty conservative about it abortion – but I am disgusted by the “They should have to pay for being sluts” rhetoric. My problem with abortion is the murder of a child, not with the woman or the fact that it is connected with the apparently unforgivable sin of sex. Everything I;m pretty much at, you make your choices about life and I’ll make mine and we don’t have to agree with each others and the government just needs to stay out of just about everything.

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