One such conversation in my past was about religion. A girl I worked with was a very devout Christian, of the ilk that thinks it is their mission in life to convert everyone to their way of thinking. It was no surprise then that she never stopped trying to get me to understand that I, as a pagan, was wrong and that I desperately needed to see the truth. She pushed me to tell her why I turned away from Christianity, something I knew that she could not handle the reason, as it would be too much of an assault on her beliefs, and so I refused to tell her for a very long time. When I finally broke down and told her why I refused to tell her, she said that I was wrong, and she would not react in the way that I predicted. So, reluctantly I told her, figuring that maybe at least it would stop her from continually trying to (illegally, as it was in military uniform while on duty) convert me to her religion. As predicted her response was, "Oh my God! You're going to hell! Don't talk to me anymore."
Last night, on my way to work, the full weight of several comments that were made by a friend of mine during a political discussion (which arie told me I shouldn't be having more than once) hit me, and it saddens me to realize that, despite my best efforts to not allow it to happen, our friendship is lessened for those things. I will, of course, do my best to put such things behind me, but there's only so much we can do to push aside our natural instincts.
The first of the comments he made was about predatory lending, and the fact that banks lied to people to coerce them into taking out an adjustable rate mortgage on a loan they could not afford, the situation that has been one of the largest factors in our current economic crisis. We were discussing the fact that I feel we need some kind of laws that make lending companies have to take more responsibility when giving loans, instead of coercing people into loans they know they can't afford with lies. To this his response was, "While I will agree that the practice is unethical, I do not think it needs to be outlawed. The market could handle it if the government would quit messing with it."
The second of the comments was made when we were talking about some of the reasons why I cannot vote for McCain, particularly on the discrimination factor of McCain's policies. It is this statement that makes me feel that he's not really the person I always thought him to be. That while, on the surface, he's a good person, in his heart greed truly does hold more sway than moral value and being a good human being. I will always have to remind myself not to hold this statement against him and not to let it affect how I treat him. I'm just glad that it's a long distance friendship. I posed the question to him, "Which is better, someone who doesn't have religion guiding them as they make decisions that, hopefully, will be made in a manner that he thinks is best or the man that says outright I don't care about who you are, you are different from me so I'm going to take your rights away? Someone I know will actively try and take things away from me that the government has no place in?" His response was unexpected. "Well, based on your rationale, Obama is the worse candidate. Harming people's social rights may be lamentable, but harming people's economic rights (what Obama has stated is his primary goal) will destroy this country rather quickly."
So, there you have it. He said to me that it is better to discriminate against someone for being different than to increase taxes for the rich, because the oil companies making 7 billion dollars a quarter instead of 10+ billion would destroy this country. It did not hit me until much later. It went by rather innocuously at first. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe that's not what that means, but it seems to me pretty straight forward. Am I wrong?