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It's damned hard living by liberal Christian principles these days

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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:24 AM
Original message
It's damned hard living by liberal Christian principles these days
I'm well aware that religion is not popular here at DU -- especially considering the fundy turnout on Tuesday that threw the election to Shrub. But as someone who still identifies as a liberal Christian, I will say that the foundation for much of my political belief system comes from my religious and spiritual beliefs. I believe in the principles of charity, forgiveness, openmindedness, compassion and respect for my fellow man. It greatly pains me when I see people who reject these basic principles -- especially those who self-identify as "Christian" -- but I still try and maintain these attitudes toward them anyway, seeking out the good in others.

Well, that's pretty damned hard for me right now. After finding out that virtually all of my in-laws voted for Shrub, I want nothing more than to tell them exactly what they voted for, and that they deserve every bit of it. I want to tell them that I wouldn't even piss on their head if their hair were on fire. I know that what I'm feeling goes against everything I believe, but I can't help it, given their complete and total ignorance, lack of curiosity about the world, and selfishness that has helped contribute to this current state.

The Christian in me knows that I should be better than this, but the human in me just wants to rub their noses in it when things get difficult. I want to tell them, every time they complain about drug prices going up, every time they complain about gas prices, every time they complain about anything over the next 4 years, "THIS is what YOU voted for when you voted for Bush. Now, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DEAL WITH IT!"

I know that others of you out there are feeling the same way. The question I have is, how in the world do we get past this hatefulness? I don't want to embrace it, because then that makes me no better than the other side.
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Doohickie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. I could have written your post
Well said.
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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. I dont hate them
I want to bring them BACK to us. Because they were with us for decades until we turned our backs on them.

We cant win without them.
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bluedog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. I say
does being "born again" as bush claims he is......he was a drunk, liar, coke head.man for years and then because he just says God is in his life and that God speaks through him.makes him the person who you(the family) adore?..............the 10 commandments says
thou shall not lie......and thats all bush has done in 4 years..

if the family doesn't like it I say to my spouse.....too damn bad...I have a right to my own opinions and the right wingers have NOT taken that away and NEVER will!
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. I feel the same way as you do.
I live by Christian principals as I think all socially liberal people do. I don't know how not to feel anger when people preach HATE in the name of JESUS. It's going to be tough to reconciliate with these people unless THEY change. I WILL NOT become a hater like them, though I reserve the right to HATE THE HATERS. How can you not hate a hateful person - it is just SO difficult. This really is a cultural war and I do NOT know what the outcome is going to be. Just remember - JESUS IS A LIBERAL
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I don't know who I despise more -- the haters or the ignorant...
I firmly place my in-laws in the latter category. My mother-in-law was so happy that Bush won on Wednesday, even though the closest she comes to absorbing anything resembling news is when she reads Star magazine. She actually, for God-knows-what-reason, thought that I supported Shrub, and was shocked when my sister-in-law laughed and said that I firmly supported Kerry.

My father-in-law will sit and spend hours watching Yankees games, spends hours watching TV shows, but can't be bothered to watch news for 5 minutes.

I do love them, because they've been very accepting to me into their family, but I'm just so angry with them right now. I don't know what's worse -- those who vote for Bush knowing full well what they're getting, or those who vote for him out of pure ignorance with no idea of what they're getting.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Their moral values are wrong
Don't hate them, educate them. Let them know they are on the wrong side. They are the antichurch, they are worshipping a false prophet in George Bush. That is the message they need to hear. Use their bible to teach them that they are doing exactly what God/Jesus does not represent.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. That takes a special person - I could not do that.
We need a real LIBERAL SPIRITUAL LEADER who can enunciate these values on a regular basis. Like a one-issue talk show person who they can put their faith in. It would behoove us to find a person like that and get them on the radio.
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I have hope this person will show up
Not someone who chides them for being wrong, but someone who has the ability to spread tolerance, the ability to open people's eyes to the fact that we must accept everyone, in spite of the differences.

What am I saying? I don't even consider myself a Christian. Maybe I am re-examining my own beleifs at this point.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I really believe that liberal values ARE Christian values
We need a person like Martin Luther King who so elequently expressed these values and their interconnection. If we did have this person and they killed yet another liberal leader like they did then, all hell will break loose though.
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CitySky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. I've been thinking of doing a radio show
but haven't pitched it to the station yet.

When I get a little closer to making this a reality, I will be asking my fellow DUers for some help with it. :)
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. Go for it!
Hope you speak well...
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
42. Great idea
And we'll be here if you need us! :hi:
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CitySky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Thanks, Spock and Sparosnare
I'm going to need a lot of encouragement. I may PM you when I get a little closer to making this a reality...
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
6. Don't feel bad about being a liberal Christian
I seriously doubt that most people on DU mix together the liberal, TRUE Christians and the Dominionist hypocrites. People can tell them apart. The liberal Christians try to live by Christ's teachings. The dominionists gorge themselves on thoughts of other people in torment while they can laugh at them from their Rapture. Yeah, that's real Christianity all right...
I really wish I knew how to get past the bad feelings. And I know they are going to get worse, because the Dominionists are determined to implement their agenda of destroying the Constitution and replacing it with their sick view of the Bible, where they will get to have public stonings for any offense. The Dominionists aren't Christians-they're the Romans.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. I never feel bad about being a liberal Christian...
What I do feel bad about right now is the fact that I've allowed myself to be overcome with anger bordering on hatred regarding the election. And that goes against everything I believe as a liberal Christian. Righteous anger is fine -- but when that starts turning toward wishing ill on others, it's time to take a step back.
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CitySky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
29. it has taken me some prayer
and a focus on obedience to Christ to get back on track this week. I try to remember that no matter WHAT goes on around me, I am responsible for my own heart. I know that it's hard.

:hug:
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. I've never been one for "obedience" -- I'm now a Unitarian!
I've never thought that Christ wanted people to "obey" him or God. I always thought he was more about showing us all a better way to live, a way of life that would be much happier and much more in harmony with each other and our world. But that's another discussion for another time. ;-)

I try to remember that no matter WHAT goes on around me, I am responsible for my own heart. I know that it's hard.

Yeah, it's damned hard. And that's what's causing me the greatest grief right now. I don't know when the last time was that I was like this. I guess all I can do is perservere and know that I'll come around eventually.

:hugs: back to you.
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CitySky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. yeah, DU is not the place for an "obedience" debate
You will probably not meet many people more "conservative" than I am when comes to how I live my faith -- yet on almost every policy issue I'm left of Kerry.

I love & appreciate my fellow progressives of all faiths or no faith. And I love my brothers and sisters in my very diverse church, though the ones who vote Republican do exasperate me a bit at times.

This and a few other factors make me think I may be the right person to do the radio show... though I will not claim to speak for anyone but myself!

-Christian Progressive
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
8. I know what you mean. I am pouring all my feelings and energy into
this:

-----------------------------------------------------------
FIGHT! Take this country back one town and state at a time!
http://www.geocities.com/greenpartyvoter/electionreform...
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. I feel for you. I think you would be inhuman if you didn't feel this
way. I don't think you should feel obliged to get rid of this feeling, because maybe the "human" and the "Christian" are not so far apart. Wouldn't a Christian want them to learn from their mistakes and see how their choices have hurt people and try to remedy it? If you can bear it, you need only change your wording slightly during those future encounters you know will happen. You keep your first sentence, and then could say, "why don't you write to the President and ask him to do something about those drug prices?" It might get your point across even better, if it forces them to think, as the more honest second sentence you wrote!
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
14. It's hard
I went to visit my in-laws last week. My f-i-l is a minister. On the way to the airport I had to endure listening to the republican talking points (Kerry most liberal since Kennedy, "flip-flopper," etc.) despite his knowledge of our denomination's denouncement of the Iraq war (we're Methodists). I tried to turn the conversation towards focusing on what Bush has done and HIS track record, but it didn't really work. I was outnumbered. (My consolation: New Hampshire, where they live, went blue.)

I went to prayer group a couple of weeks ago and one of the women said, "we need to pray that people wake up to the delusions of John Kerry." I told her "well consider me delusional then, along with several others in our church." I then proceeded to tell her that what we really needed to be praying for was UNITY and healing for this country. She reluctantly agreed, but never apologized for her assumption, which I found offensive. I haven't been back since.

My bright spot is my neighbor across the street, who attends the same church I do, voted for Kerry, and hates what the Christian Coalition has done to the republican party, the churches and this country. I commiserate with him.

It IS hard.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
15. Read a book by Desmond Tutu
Any of them will do, probably. I've read "The Rainbow People of God" and "No Future Without Forgiveness," and they've been invaluable. As bad as things have been in the U.S. the last four years, and as bad as the prospects are for the next four, they still don't quite capture the downright nastiness of apartheid-era South Africa.

In a very gentle but firm voice, Tutu talks about holding true to Christian ideals and remaining in dialog with the worst and most oppressive elements of a truly evil regime.

Read, meditate, pray, and role-play in your own mind the worst things your relatives and friends will say about the corrupt Bush administration. It's tempting to blame them for the administration's excesses; resist the temptation, and point out the gap between the actions and the deeds. Do it again and again. They will soon begin seeing it for themselves.

Cite scripture: Jesus said that folks should respect and honor the religious leaders of the day, but he also said that they should watch carefully what they actually do. "By their fruits shall you know them." Mr. Bush certainly enjoys the trappings of his high office and loves to hear all the nice things people say about him. But are his actions Christian? Has he truly treated the least of his citizens lovingly?
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CitySky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. Thanks, G
I'll add Tuto to my "to read" list. :thumbsup:
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #30
45. Jon Stewart called Tutu
The nicest man he'd ever had on the program. Tutu smiled at him and said, "I like you, too." If it had been anyone else, the moment would have been sickeningly sweet. As it was, I thought Jon was about to convert.

And how did a Jew ever get a name like "Stewart"?
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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
16. You're already so much better than the other side
because you believe the actual words and teachings of Christ.

Hating evil isn't a bad thing. And people who think Bush* is doing a good job are evil. With people this stupid, things really have to get very bad before they will wake up - witness Nixon.

As far as any Repuke whining, if they try it on me, I'm going to say, like you, 'THIS is what you wanted when you voted for Bush. You got what you wanted. Quit your whining, you ignorant fool.'
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. I am a progressive Christian and proud of it
fuck them if they have a problem with it.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I'm proud to be a liberal Christian. I'm not proud to be hating right now
That was the message in my post. I'm feeling a lot of rage right now, and I'm becoming alarmed that I'm having trouble living by the basic tenents of my faith -- charity, forgiveness, compassion, etc.
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. You and me both, IC. Right now, it's very very difficult to look
at a self-declared "born again" Christian in the eye and look at that person as even a human being. Half the time, I keep thinking "if you voted for Bush, then fuck you, I'll have no sympathy for you if you lose your job or your house or if you lose your kid in Iraq"

C'mere you.
:hug: :hug: :hug:
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Right back at'cha!
:hug:
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malletgirl02 Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Could anyone send me information
on liberal Christianity. I parents made to go to conservative evangelical Christan churches my entire childhood. That, the attitudes of so called "Christian" fundamentalist on shows like the 700 club, and my parents heavy use of "spare the rode spoil the child" ideology for the smallest infractions has turn me off Christianity. Every since I started college i stopped going to church. I would like to start going against because i now know that right wing "Christan's", are real Christians anyway. Any recommendations on a liberal denomination I can join?
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Presbyterians are pretty good. I was raised Presbyterian.
Most of their denominations are pretty liberally-minded. They view scripture as a guide, not an absolute.

Alas, they weren't even liberal enough for me, so I went Unitarian Universalist. But I'm in the minority within my denomination in that I still hold on to many of the tenets of my Christian faith.

I think that the Methodists, nationally-speaking, are pretty liberal too. Despite the fact that Bush is a methodist, the leader of the American Methodists came down against the Iraq War.

You might want to check out the National Council of Churches. They're a mainline Protestant group, kind of the opposite of the Religious Right.
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Lilli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
21. You'll probably get mad at me but
Edited on Fri Nov-05-04 01:30 PM by Lilli
Its trial by fire for us right now.
If our road were easy, everybody who says they believe would be on it.

I'm going to be really annoying now and tell you that you'll find a lesson in this and that the anger you're feeling will become strength.

But I hear ya. Hypocrisy doesnt sit lightly with me right now either.

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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Not mad at you in the least. What you're saying is true.
I'm just trying to kind of step outside myself right now and come to grips with WHY I'm feeling this, and transforming that righteous anger into strength, as you say. It's just difficult considering that I used to be an Army Reserve officer while Iraq was starting up and going on, and my in-laws all saw how gut-wrenching it all was for me, and then they go and legitimize all this wrong that has been done, without even really knowing what they were voting for. It's the same with a large part of the population.

I don't know what gets me more angry -- those who voted for Bush knowing what they were getting, or those who were so steeped in ignorance that they voted for him without any real idea of what he stood for, or what those votes would be unleashing.
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Lilli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. I've been making jokes about half the population
Edited on Fri Nov-05-04 02:04 PM by Lilli
really being alien pod people who just parrot what they are told...and I was only half kidding. :) Its insanely disconcerting to see people I love walk cheerfully off the cliff. I'll NEVER understand those people. I do NOW understand, however, how Hitler happened.

I think a BIG part of the anger comes from disapointment. We have emotional investments in the people we love, and its hard to accept that they could choose to allow this horror to continue. But they did. Usually smart compassionate people making unthinkable (to us) choices.

I think thats where faith has to kick in. Faith that they may come to see the truth. Faith that there is something more to this mess than pure greed and lunacy. I think that all I can do it plant my feet firmly on a very narrow path, point out what truth I see to those around me, and keep moving forward.

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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. I have the perfect quote to describe this election...
Courtesy of DUer The Magistrate, and he credited it to another DUer (whose name I can't remember).

This election forced Americans to look into the abyss. 51% of the electorate said, 'Hmmm... I wonder what's down there?'
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Lilli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. You think they'd have learned more from all those horror movies
I "got it" when I was about 5 years old.
Guess it takes longer for some people.

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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
23. Forcing people to own responsibility for their vote is not hateful
You can do it in a way that isn't mean. You can say, OK, that was a dumb move on your part, dontcha think, now here is a better way I have, how about it?

Jesus was a human too (I believe that's all he was, but that's another discussion for another day). Was he without human failings? Hardly, I think. Beating yourself up for righteous anger does no good. You know your rage is a temporary reaction to a serious setback. Fortunately, it can be properly channeled to action. You have a grave responsibility now to carry out the social gospel (I know you've been doing this all along, but the need's even greater now to lead by deed and example).

Think of one of the definitions of "sin." It means "missing the mark." You do better next time. The deluded voter can be shown another way. You have the tools.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. No, what you describe is not hateful. But what I'm feeling seems so.
Seriously, I just have a severe, visceral, personal dislike for anyone right now who voted for Bush. If I were at a gathering with my in-laws this weekend, I think I would end up railing at all of them at the top of my lungs, then apologizing to my wife, telling them to collectively fuck off, and storm out of the house.

That's not healthy. That's not the way I want to be. That's why I'm a bit despondent right now, because the aftermath of this election, probably mostly due to the palpable FEAR I feel for the next four years and what they will bring, is taking me away from the base principles that I try to live by.
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. And it will pass (maybe like a kidney stone)
Most of us are going through it. I lashed out at my assistant yesterday (who I think is repayment for some karmic debt I owe from another incarnation). I told her not to come crying to me when her brother gets drafted.

But you know, even if she does, I'm not the kind of person to say "I told you so," and neither are you. That's what compassion does for you, and you have it. It's precisely why you're not telling your in-laws to fuck off. The place to do that is here, where you can't hurt anyone.

I truly hate the idea of living with this fear, but the best we can do is keep our eyes open and try to push the anxiety to one side and get on with it.

I'd be interested in attending one of the services at your church, by the way. Let me know when and where.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. It's the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester
On Route 172, just outside of Mt. Kisco. It's only about a mile from Exit 4, Route 684 (toward Mt. Kisco, not Bedford).

Services are 10:30 AM Sundays.

http://www.uufellowship.org
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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'll admit I'm not feeling all that "Christlike" this week myself.
It's going to take me a long long time to find forgiveness in my heart for the people who voted for that fucking son of a bitch. :(
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
31. Question
I too have family (immediate and in-laws) that voted for Bush. However, I seriously doubt that anything that happens in the next four years will bother them. I can't think of anything that Bush will do that will give me the opportunity to say, as you put it, "THIS is what YOU voted for when you voted for Bush. Now, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DEAL WITH IT!" I honestly think they knew exactly what they were voting for, and will not be disappointed by anything Bush does.

When it comes to rising gas and drug prices, members of my family will simply respond that prices are going up due to rising demand and diminishing (or flat) supplies. Prices are set by the market, not the government. I know, the fact that I come from a family that thinks this way must be a shocker :)

However, is there something else you think might happen that would surprise evangelicals? I can't.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. My in-laws are not evangelicals. They're just ignorant.
And I'm speaking in a political sense here. They hardly follow news at all, and don't really care about anything that is outside of their tiny little sphere of existence. They don't know much about how things work in the world, nor do they care much to find out. I mean, despite all my travails with being in the military over the past few years, of which my in-laws saw the whole time (we all live in the same geographical area), my mother-in-law was under some kind of delusion that I actually supported Bush, and that he stood for what I believed in!

That's why I think that they have no idea of what they voted for. I think that makes me even more angry than if they were just fundies or freeper-types.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
35. it's damned hard not throwing bricks, these days
.
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
39. You just spoke for me, Irate, I swear!
My sinful human feelings are to say:
"You lost your job? Too bad! It's YOUR fault, you idiot!"
"You have cancer from drinking polluted water, and you don't have health insurance to cover it? Too bad! YOU are the one who did this to YOURSELF!"

And so on and so forth. I know I should love them and pray for them, but I'm not good enough to do that right now.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I'll probably end up coming in on the middle ground...
When things go wrong for them, I'll be there to do whatever I can to help them -- reminding them over and over again that it's their own damn stupid fault for voting for this RW radical.
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