Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Little League Prayer: Hit It Till It Breaks.

Steve Gilliard links to a post over at Kos by a mother whose son's little league team has just found the power of prayer and decided to start the games off with it and play Dobson's radio show in the refreshment stand. She is annoyed by this intentional poke in the eye, and questions what to do, basically liking the folks she is being irked by and not wanting to cause a stink. Steve echoes her concern:

"But how does one stand up for one's principles and not start a fight? Or maybe one does start a fight."

Exactly, you do start a fight. Every damn one of us should be picking a fight with our families and friends right now. As I said a few months ago, hit it til it breaks!!!!

I realized over Christmas that my family expects the more reasonable folks to just take things in stride and kind of ignore the stupider statements and politics that some members of our family and community sling around. Deference is given to their statements because everyone knows that they will blow up and not let an argument go no matter how wrong they may be. So people avoid talking politics with them and just kind of 'un-huh' s their views.

But thankfully, I am at least marginally known for being obstinant and stubborn as well and folks seem to be getting the idea that if they really want to step to me on politics or religion, they had better be ready to go the distance because I am not just going to agree with them and they won't get a pass for being annoying and they better be able to back up their assumptions because I am going to ask them their sources and I am going to check them.

After a while they start backing off. I am living away from home, but I have put every relative who I can find an email address for on an email list and I send them forwards of progressive articles and cartoons and whatever else damn near every day, often several a day. And I often write prologues to give them a little bit of an idea as to why I am sending them what I am sending. From some, I still get the occasional retaliatory letter, criticising me for criticising the prez, but I just take that as an invitation to tell them why I think the prez needs to be criticised.

I am under no delusion that suddenly my family is going to be transformed into this super liberal, progressive bunch, but the next time I am home and someone wants to crow about how great the president is, they are going to try real damn hard to make sure I am not around and if someone does make the mistake of doing it at the dinner table or in a room full of people and the rest of the room gets tired of politics, the peacemakers and soothers are going to target the otherside when they try to pick a party to calm down. Because I have taken the offensive and put them on notice that being dumb about politics will not be fun if I am around.

Be nice, don't make it personal, and don't budge an inch. Don't scream, don't huff, don't accuse, but be firm and clear and make your objections known. Become the one they don't want to piss off and those in your association who hate conflict will do the work for you.

In Steve's comments, there was a link to this article:slacktivist: And whenever you pray

The people's comments are pretty damn idiotic, but you know why they are saying them? Because they can. Because no one is calling them out for being retarded. No one is making the point this article is making (and that their preachers should be making instead of feeding their damn idiocy) that if anything, prayer should be private and that praying as a public show of faith is anathema to Jesus' teachings.

You don't have to just sit back and take it. At this point sitting back and taking it is a luxury none of us can afford. When you are confronted by idiocy, oppression, bigotry, intolerance, or ignorance, hit it til it breaks. It will take a few swings to make the first crack, but after that it is easy.

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