Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I have these friends, right? And they are people of conviction. People devoted to having less so that others could have more. Devoted to the beauty and sacred nature of all of life, including the screaming toddler in front of them. And above all else, they are devoted to God. From them I have learned of the beauty of sacrifice, and I have seen God work in their midst. And my daily life is rich because they are a part of it.

They are also politically conservative.

When I commented on the deep political divide in our country, I in no way meant to imply that every conservative is hateful. Honestly, it's so far from my way of thinking that I wouldn't have said it, because I just don't believe it. There are hateful conservatives and hateful liberals, disrespectful Republicans and disrespectful Democrats. I see them all the time. But I do not, in any way, see them in my sweet friends.

I know I disagreed with them politically a few days ago. But I also know they are the most loving, compassionate, articulate people I know. Any suggestion otherwise is just plain wrong.

Before I move on, I also want to say thank you to all of you who have disagreed with me in email. Every single one included a sentiment that said, "We're still friends even though I think you're dead wrong." Thank you for that. Did I ever tell you I once lost a friend over a conversation about the war in Iraq? That was about the time I stopped talking about politics in public. Thank you for disagreeing with me in love. I hope I have shown you the same respect.

Tune in tomorrow to read more about Sibling Rivalry 101 or my latest obsession with low-sugar baked goods. Or something. Anything but politics. Promise.


Valerie said...

Thanks for posting that. I agree.

I just want to say, though, before we move on, that I wish that more of those who disagreed with you would have commented publicly. I respect their decisions not to, but unfortunately, most of the public statements about this issue have been contentious and ugly, and I was hoping for an opportunity to see some productive and interesting dialogue. Sad.

Kendra said...

Glad you have been respected. You handle these kinds of matters with so much more grace than I ever could. That is the main reason I stay away from ever blogging about politics. I don't care about "losing followers" or anything like that, it's that I have a hard time mixing grace in with my passion.

I am always impressed by your ability to do so.

Michelle said...

Hi Steph - I am working on a dissenting post, since it is too long for a comment :). A sick boy and work are just getting in my way. But hang in there - it's coming. I just hope I can be as graceful and eloquent as you.

Nick M. said...

I agree with you and I'm glad you wrote this as a follow up. I have a LOT of friends who disagree with me politically on basically everything but we are still friends because we can talk to each other and have a normal conversation about it. I hate that in this country when something big or as divisive as this has been comes up the only people we hear from (generally speaking) are the crazies on BOTH sides.

I wonder when our country got away from discourse and trying to solve problems and working together from two perspectives to find the right middle for everyone? It is too bad that with an opportunity like health care reform, that could be incredibly beneficial to everyone in this country, our legislators on BOTH sides of the aisle chose to do everything they could to win and beat the other guy that they missed a chance to solve a real problem.

Good follow up.

Stephanie said...

Michelle, I would love to read your dissent. With nothing but love of course. =)

Lisa said...

I've been avoiding my computer for awhile, but I just went through and read your posts from the past week. You know from reading my blog that I am in the politically conservative camp (although I avoid talking about it much on the blog), but even though we differ politically, I love reading your stuff because you and I seem to have similar parenting philosophies and you inspire me with some of your parenting insights.

That said, all moral issues aside, I think this health care bill is bad for us in many, many ways. The increasing debt, the wasteful earmarks, the mandate that all people buy government-approved levels of insurance, the cost to small businesses and taxpayers over the long haul, the increased intervention of government in our lives...the whole thing makes me very, very uncomfortable. Yes, the health insurance industry needs reform. I don't think this is the way to do it.