Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What I Learned Today

It's been a very interesting day. Today was my first "full" day on a debating moms' site where it's been me against a slew of very conservative Christians. We debated homosexuality and religion ad nauseum! But I actually learned something. I don't know if they did, too, but I'm not there for their educational purposes. I'm there for my own.
So here's what I figured out. Christians think homosexuality has been shoved down their throats, and those (like me) that support the gay rights' movement think Christianity has been shoved down ours! Part of me wonders why they're so upset about it because by my count, their side is winning.
However, it was a very interesting lesson in propaganda and visceral reactions.
They believe that the homosexuals "started it." It started for me when Bush tried to amend our Constituion to support segregation. But as I told them, I don't have the inclination to go back in time and see who shot the first bullet. I just find it really interesting that each of our side's propaganda about it says the other one did.
I have visceral reactions to people trying to quote the Bible to me or my kids. They have visceral reactions to people trying to say homosexuality is okay to them or their children. Really, it's our own strong beliefs that make us feel so strongly about it! Because I certainly didn't care when Riley had a fellow classmate that had two mommies - but I cared a lot when someone tried to show Sylvia "Passion of the Christ!"
Looking at it as a mom, I have to recognize that my children are going to hear things from others that aren't my belief system. It's my job as a mom to deal with it, as I have. A well-meaning neighbor left a postcard for a Halloween event her church is giving. My kids knew right away that we weren't going since it took place at a church, so they've obviously learned my belief system! And she's a very nice person who simply invited us to an event that I wouldn't go to, but I think I'll just tell her, thanks for the invite but we're busy - and not get into my whole "I don't believe in organized religion" thing.
In learning to accept that our children will learn different views, we learn to accept that our children are their own individuals. I wrote elsewhere about how my children delight me the most when they say or do something that I wouldn't necessarily expect (in a humorous or nice way). If I can supposedly embrace their individuality, shouldn't I be able to embrace that they're learning from others as well? Or that they can decipher the material with both my take and someone else's take and reach their very own conclusions about it?
In other words, I'm going to try and lighten up a little! This does not mean, of course, that I will stop espousing my beliefs and values to my children, but I will try not to become such a mother lionesse about it when someone mentions JC in front of them!
Being reasonable doesn't come easy, but when it comes to being a mom, it's always the best answer.


LunaNik said...

Did this all happen on Zoom??? I'm going to have to check it out and put my two cents in...

I have to say that I agree with you whole heartedly on the "not believing in organized religon" thing...I don't either. I did not get my children baptisted (many of my family gave me heat for this but oh well) and I never plan on giving them any kind of formal religous education. I guess I consider myself spiritual, but not religous...Ok, I smell a post for my blog developing here so let me stop...I'll link back to you as my inspiration on this subject.

April said...

No, it wasn't on Zoom (although some things were happening there yesterday, too, on R & R). I joined a group through CafeMom called That's Debatable. It's open to anyone, but you do have to apply for the group, if you're interested.
Can't wait to read your new blog!