I think this expressed what has been some of the heat in the anger towards a certain VP candidate. And it was done in a great way – exposing the hypocrisy that we know is underlying this pick, while asking some serious questions that I’d love to hear the conservatives answer – in a candid way.
At the same time, I still sympathize with Bristol Palin. I was in her shoes and I made a different choice. Now, here almost 20 years later, I stand by the choice I made and I’m grateful for the life I have with my husband and my family. Different paths and options are out there for women… and that’s how I believe it should be. What is right for one is not necessarily right for another – depending on a whole sum of things, including religious or spiritual beliefs, family support, health, emotional stability and so on.
But… as I’ve said before and will likely say many more times before I pass from this life, those with extreme religious views (and sometimes those with even moderate religious views) want to enforce the “rules” of their faith with folks who don’t share it. It is no more right for Christians to force me to follow their beliefs than it would be for some other religious person to force those same Christians to follow the rules of that other faith. Yes, I know I’m picking on Christians, but I’d say the same about any other religious or spiritual faith. I will not wear a headscarf, just as I don’t believe that a woman’s only role in life is to be wife and mother. I don’t believe in the concept of sin, but I do believe that people can commit inhuman acts against each other.
Why do I say all this? Well, it goes back to the link posted at the beginning of this entry. Why is it that the religious conservatives aren’t horrified about Mrs. Palin and her situation? The writer asks some good questions about that…. How can they condemn other women (and young women), but not say the same harsh things about this candidate?
And here’s what I think about that… When I was a teenager, about 15, I attended the Lutheran church in our small community with a friend of mine. No, I’m not going to slam on Lutherans now… But what I witnessed was the hypocrisy of the flock attending. During the weekdays, these same pious folks would act one way, and then on Sunday they would act another. When I looked around, one particular Sunday, and saw with fresh, clear eyes the double-standards, lies, and ugliness around me (strictly hidden of course), I left the service, went in to the ladies bathroom and threw up.
I haven’t been back since.
In the years since then, I’ve spent a lot of time, on and off, thinking about what I do believe in… what gives me faith in humanity when so many times we as a species do the absolute worst to each other. I wish I could say that I’ve had great epiphanies, or that some beam of sunshine warmed me as I made a spiritual discovery. No. It hasn’t happened. Instead, I’ve found small moments of peace and times of connectedness that made me feel that I’m not alone. No, I haven’t found “religion,” rather I’ve found an understanding of how little we know, how alone we are in the universe, except for each other, and how, in the beauty of nature, there are things we will probably never know, but can still appreciate for what is all around us.
This sum, or perhaps impending sum, of all my experiences and background are the reason I feel an intuitive unease about the candidate. Would I express it so much if it were simply another man in that position? No, probably not, because it WOULD be just another man rising up from the conservative ranks… something that would not seem so hypocritical from the surface because it would be expected. But here is this gesture of change, of doing something grand, and instead, unexpectedly, all it does for me is raise up that same old specter of hypocrisy that I discovered so many years ago.
At least my stomach is stronger these days.