“Mom, I have been dating someone who I am crazy about and I am going to marry him.” Mom said, “I sure hope he’s not an atheist or [worse] a democrat!” And so this is how my beloved Mike would be introduced to my family. Each time I introduce Mike to someone now I am tempted to say, “I would like to introduce you to my democratic, atheistic, husband whose name really doesn’t matter to a closed minded, conservative, hypocritical Christian, such as your self because you can’t look past the differences.” There would be several things wrong with that. First of all, it was a run-on sentence with punctuation errors enough to get me arrested by the editing police. Secondly, I don’t believe that everyone views people of different political and religious beliefs as the enemy.
I enjoyed coffee and conversation with Mike’s sister this week and at one point she asked, “does your mom know you’re a democrat?” She does and she’s not happy about it. She IS however happy that I got a chance to love again. She maintains that Mike is her favorite son-in-law. (the only one too)
There is so much that could be learned from this little example of life and the differences that we each have. At the core of every person is what makes each of us unique. My values have been shaped by events and people; good and bad. My approach to politics and faith has been uniquely shaped by the same. Does any of this really matter when it comes to caring about others? I spend time with people who are Re-troub-lican and Demon-crat. I can be seen with those who are gay and those who are not. Sometimes I worship with Christians and later share conversation with those who are not. They are all welcome in my life because they have something in their core that we share in common. They are people who celebrate the successes of others and are there to pick up the fallen no matter their background. They are people who really don’t care whether I vote one way or another; or if I vote at all. This special group of people I call “friends”.