A Little Disheartened

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm a little disheartened that my experiment to move away from divisiveness has gone so poorly. I have to admit I'm surprised.

I know there are people who are much more concerned with what someone is rather than who, who confuse a label with a personality or assume the worst about any diverse group that bears a particular label, whether that's atheist or Christian or Islam, whether that's homosexual or conservative, whether that's liberal or immigrant, whether that's black or female, fat or poor. I thought most of us could see past the label. Perhaps I was wrong.

I don't know about you, but I very much fear that my earlier predictions for this country are going to be wildly optimistic if this isn't an issue we can overcome.


  • Jeff King

    I am with you...

  • Roy

    Huh! You want a perfect world, and we're nowhere near achieving that. If we ever will; maybe it's not actually attainable. Or if it's even desirable. Maybe argument and disagreement are necessary, on the adversity-makes-us-stronger, no-pain-no-gain principle. We live in a very paradoxical universe, and this might just be another one of those paradoxes. It's worth pondering, I think.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Perhaps my optimism, unreasonable as always, will return when I don't have my earache any more.

  • The Mother

    I have now had a full hour of mandatory chauffeuring in Houston traffic to figure out what to say about this. So here it is:

    Divisiveness is a term derived from "divide." For a position to be divisive, it must be intended to separate.

    My position is not the divisive one. Arguing to remove religious labels is "inclusive," not "dividing."

    Just as we have (largely successfully) done with gender labels and race labels, it's time we did that with religious labels. We will include more people when we stop branding them by their personal faith or lack thereof.

    I'm sure that many people considered Martin Luther King to be divisive. No doubt there, whatsoever.

    I'm sure many people considered Alice Paul and Lucy Burns divisive, as they stood up for women's suffrage, especially during wartime.

    Social reform is always hard. But necessary.

    Religious labels have always been used to create "us" v. "them" dichotomies. If you really want everyone to work together, then dropping religious labels, religious intolerance, and religious wagon-circling is a good way to start.

  • Relax Max

    I hope you don’t stop trying to bring people together or at least trying to find a consensus, just because you are meeting a bit of resistance.

    As misguided as you are about things like the role of government in people’s lives, I know very well that you DO care about our country, and you DO care about taking better care of our planet, and more. That’s why I follow you and bother to argue with you. If I didn’t think you cared, if I thought you were merely demagoging, I wouldn’t bother with you.

    So don’t give up. When you meet other views, remember that is a compliment to you: you are making people think.

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