A considerate person doesn’t talk religion or politics, but if you’re reading this, you must be my friend so you can’t be too courteous. So here we go.
I hate arguing. Even mild disagreements make me sick to my stomach and keep me up at night. But I continue to engage because I know that honest discussion can change people, has changed me.
I hope to always be kind. I know that I am not. If you are on the receiving end of my unkindness, please tell me so I can make it right.
I have read over 500 books since 2007. I am certain I know less now than when I’m started, and I hope I know even less at book 1,000.
In some areas, I have a lot of knowledge. In others, less. I don’t always know the difference but I am comforted that everyone seems to have the same problem.
Becoming aware of the endless wars during Obama’s last term turned me political. Trump getting the Republican nomination turned me angry. I’m working my way back to something in the middle. But I think the anger can be good, if harnassed. Didn’t Jesus say, “Be angry and sin not”?
Speaking of Jesus, I try to be like him. For me, that involves doing what I can to advocate for those weaker or less privileged than myself. On a personal level, it means learning patience, love, humility. I find the former easier than the latter.
I was raised very conservatively. I was taught not to compromise. I’m not as conservative as I was anymore, but for that foundation, I’m eternally grateful.
I believe in free will. I’m not a Calvinist. But I also suspect that our will is not as free as we are tempted to believe. I’m not sure what that makes me. I’m not sure figuring out free will is really that important.
I am pro life. I oppose abortion. I also oppose war, though I admit that it may sometimes be the most ethical choice to protect the oppressed. I oppose the death penalty, due to the disproportionate execution of minorities and “the least of these” and because the number of exonerations points unavoidably to us having gotten at least a few wrong. Life is precious.
I’m a reluctant capitalist but I think socialism has some good ideas. I do not believe that completely unfettered capitalism or individualism will save us. We need each other.
I oppose racism in all of its insidious forms, and don’t have any interest in discussing it with anyone who hasn’t done their homework. It is America’s original sin, and it is not over. I have not always felt this way.
I support both gun ownership and gun regulation. I know that many consider that a contradiction, but I don’t.
I love to read theology and philosophy and it pains me to see people mislabel things. I’m also pained when I read my past self doing just that, and I am sure I’ll feel that as well in the future.
The biggest influences on my life have been my parents, my grandma, and Jesus.
I believe that any ideology or dogma that leads to inaction in the face of injustice is negative. We don’t have to agree on those dogmas or those actions. But we have to act.
Writing something like this is terrifying. No doubt everyone can find something to disagree with. But, if it is a comfort–if you care that much–I have changed in many ways, and I hope to never stop.
This is a little about me.