I write about things that bother me. During the course of the day, if I hear my brain repeating the same comments over and over, I know it's time to type it out so it doesn't eat me alive. Many of the things I'm about to say here, I've had spinning around my brain for a few months now, but this past weekend has encouraged me to finally get it all out in the open... I'm just not sure if that's good or bad.
Last week, I visited my home state of Indiana. Most of the state is quiet, comfortable, friendly, and generally very courteous to everyone. This could be due to many small towns focusing on family, and helping/loving your neighbor... which is fundamentally very Christian.
I don't want to get into whether Christianity is good or bad, because I've spoken to many people who dislike the idea of religion. So if you are against religion, that's fine. Really. Personally, I think religion can be a very beneficial for some people, no matter which you choose. And at it's core, the Christian Golden Rule is a great idea. Sadly, some religious leaders make Christianity bad (Spanish Inquisition, Westboro Baptists, Jim Jones, etc).
But honestly, you can say that about every religion. If your religious leader interprets your holy book in a way to suggest that you kill, torture, or hate someone, that's a clear indication that something is wrong with your religion. Take time out of your busy schedule to research various religions online. We have the internet, so please educate yourself. Whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or any of the 4,200 other religions in the world, there are plenty of examples of good and bad ways to worship in each one.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, come with me now to my small hometown of very conservative Christians that hate Obama. Yes, hate. The small loving community that is all about forgiveness, loving and supporting others, and prayer is proudly talking about how much they hate Obama.
To me, this never seemed very Christian... but fine. You hate our President, and want to put him in jail for the rest of his life.
And again, like religion, I'm not going to debate whether that's right or wrong. But, there is no such thing as a perfect President. Nobody will ever agree on everything any leader does 100% of the time. Obama has made mistakes, but remember... half the country loves him and thinks he's one of the greatest Presidents we've ever had. So why are we so divided on this issue? Are we becoming such a stubborn nation, we refuse to do some research and listen with an open mind to what each side says? In everyone's defense, sadly, your views/opinions could easily be swayed, depending on which media coverage is your favorite. Each side might have some very good reasons for their love or hate. But the most important thing is, we need to listen to each other and stop fighting about it. Nothing makes us look more pathetic and weak as a country than when we are fighting amongst ourselves. America starts to look like it's falling apart, and turning into a pathetic disorganized joke.
So with all this in mind, let me tell you about an 'incident' I had over the weekend.
For the most part, my time in Indiana was very relaxing and peaceful, as you can expect. Well, okay, it was cold and rainy, but still nice to relax for a while. I could spend time with family, and friends and talk about what I've been doing in my life, as well as what's been happening in their lives.
And discussing politics is something I deeply wanted to avoid.
I wanted to steer clear of politics because it is such a personal and passionate topic for everyone, especially in 2016. I doubt there is anything I could do or say to change someone's opinion, and I don't think they could change mine as well. Maybe we could discuss the election peacefully, but there is always an uncomfortable stigma if you disagree. It feels like you're creating a rift. Everyone wants to save the country from ruin. "So, why are you voting for someone who will destroy the America...???"
Nobody can predict the future. But fortunately we have three branches of government and not a dictatorship. So even if we have a horrible President, making horrible decisions, he (or she) needs approval from the other two branches to make any successful changes. Which is why Obama has not been able to do many things he's wanted to do in office... again, whether that's good or bad, I leave for you to decide. But it does slow down forward progress in our country when none of the politicians can agree on anything.
Anywaaaaaaaay... there I was, relaxing quietly with some decent Indiana citizens (or folk, as we like to call them), when someone suddenly announced they learned the Russians have a plan to go to the moon and start mining operations and the first thing they'll do is take down the American flag.
My initial reaction was to laugh at the ludicrous notion. Yes, I actually 'face-palmed', feeling my brain cells melting from the comment. Maybe they felt my reaction was in frustration to those darn evil Russians, but in my heart, I knew I was surrounded by a group of people that believed everything they read. Which was particularly frustrating, because it was in my home state, so I want to feel proud of them. And of course, if you read this in 2018, maybe you will say, "Ha! He was right, Comrade Deeesher!". But seriously... for many reasons, it was an eye-rolling moment for me.
But this mountainous molehill was just beginning...
Someone else suddenly said, "Maybe Obama would let them take down the American flag, but Trump won't! Are you voting for Trump??"
I can clearly say that's exactly when the aneurysm in my brain began. I'd been mentally wounded, but was desperately searching for a new topic to completely maneuver around this horrible conversation! How could I clearly, diplomatically, and respectfully answer that kind of question??
I think I shook my aching head slowly and mumbled something like, "I can't...". But maybe they could see the blood coming out of my ears by then. Everything after that was a blur, but I think I heard them talk about what a criminal Hillary Clinton is as well. For the most part, I just blacked out at this point.
And days later, I still feel the scars in my head from that experience.
How can I easily explain the sheer volumes of reasons not to vote for Trump??? Do I mention that 42% of the time his statements have been outright lies (fact checked here), so he's worse than most politicians? Do I mention the multiple failed businesses he's been involved in, or the lawsuits against him (here)? Should I talk about how his speeches are equivalent to a fifth grade level and how he isn't giving anyone any real information about what he plans to do (here)?
Let me say this, I do have a basic understanding of Trump supporters. They are eager (desperate) for a change. They want someone who speaks their mind. They want someone who isn't a career politician. All those ideas are very respectable, and if there was a candidate who did all those things, who spoke truthfully, and gave clear detailed plans of what he wanted to do while in office, I could completely respect that. But this isn't Trump at all.
But the most painful part of Trump supporters in Indiana, is how hateful he is. How can conservative, gentle, peaceful, neighbor-loving people of Indiana truly support someone who has clearly said in videos:
"I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding..."
"you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families..."
"It's about 10 degrees below zero outside. ... You can keep his coat; tell him we'll send it to him in a couple of weeks..."
"I'd like to punch him in the face..."
"You know, it really doesn't matter what they write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she's got to be young and beautiful..."
This is just a tip of the insult iceberg. The videos are clear, and I don't understand why any civilized human beings would support this type of hatred, especially Christians, who I thought were supposed to be promoting loving your neighbor. I don't recall the Bible promoting punching someone for disturbing your speech. I'm pretty sure Jesus never suggested you torture your prisoners and kill their families.
In the end, the President of the United States has a huge spotlight on him, and he represents each of us. I do not want the rest of the world thinking that we are a nation of hate-filled, unintelligent, attention whores.
I sincerely weep for anyone who feels Trump is the best solution to represent America, and even more so, I am very concerned about the common sense morality that has been completely lost in this country.