WARNING: I am about to talk both politics and religion. if you do not want to hear my views on either of these subjects, please come back tomorrow ok?
this week, my country made history. and I am proud of that. major progress was made for equality, including but not limited to the below statistics:
- marriage equality passed in 4 new states [Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnestota!]
- 20 female senators were elected, the most in US history
- the first openly gay senator was elected [from Wisconsin, also female]
- the first Hindu-American representative was elected [from Hawaii, also female]
- the first all-female state delegation was elected [from New Hampshire]
my statement was not exactly a rousing endorsement of the Obama victory, but an attempt to express cautious optimism that we are [slowly] continuing to move in the right direction. that there is still a lot of work to be done, but I believe our nation made the right choice, and most of all: let's put the election behind us and get back to work.
coming from a conservative religious background and knowing many of my friends to be very openly Republican, I expected a few negative comments. what I did not expect was for the validity of my views to be called into question because I am currently an American living overseas, or for my beliefs as a Christian to be questioned because I find myself more in line with the Democratic party. a friend of mine got a little heated in her comments, as people tend to do when politics or religion is being discussed. she later apologized and deleted the remarks, but the incident brings to light that people [even those closest to me] do not know where I stand. each of us must vote according to what is in our own heart and mind, and that is something I would like to clarify.
I believe in equal rights for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. that means I am for policies and candidates that will allow the general population the freedom to make their own choices on an individual basis. if your faith tells you that gay marriage or having an abortion is wrong, then you are allowed to decide not to partake in either of those things. but I do not believe you have the right to restrict the freedom of others to act in accordance with their beliefs.
to me, this is not a conflict of faith. I feel that tolerance, acceptance, and equality are extensions of my Christianity. however, I was raised in a denomination that still views homosexuality as a sin. many of my family and friends hold to those beliefs, as is their right. I don't blame my friend for being shocked. since I have never voiced my views, how could she know that even though we had the same upbringing I now have a dissenting opinion?
I am not ashamed of my beliefs or opinions. my only regret is that I waited so long to voice them. if writing this post loses me followers or even friends, so be it. I cannot keep my mouth shut and meekly nod and change the subject anymore. I beleive strongly in these things and also that my opinion is valid and I have a right to express it. this is who I am, and I won't hide it anymore for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.
no, that does not mean I will plaster the internet with political posts or start attacking my more conservative friends. I won't rant on about my views on health care or education or social security or legalizing marijuana. I hope to refrain from making any inflammatory or insulting remarks. and likely you won't hear any remarks at all until 2016 starts heating up. but please know that I will no longer be ignoring my right to free speech.
thank you, and good night.
ps: you are free to express your opinions below, but please do so with respect.