I have opinions. Lots of them, actually. But I rarely voice them here. Unlike my sister, I want to keep my fiber activities separate from my views on politics, religion, environmental & fiscal issues.
I believe everyone should have their own views, as long as they are informed views, I have no issues with them. If I decide to only have friends and acquaintances that agree with my point of view, my world would be very very boring, not to mention limiting. There are lots of people that I like, and maybe even admire in some manner or another, but don’t agree with their political or religious views. But our shared interests keep them in my circle of friends. Going into these friendships, I know what their religious and political views are, and that they may be completely 180 degrees from mine. That’s fine. We still have shared common interests. And I still consider them friends.
This is why I was stunned when I received a mass email from a friend of mine that regurgitated the scare tactics created by the supporters of California’s Proposition 8. I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to respond. I thought that we had gotten past this point in our friendship and agree to disagree on our views.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not shy. I am more than happy to voice my opinions and have an exchange of ideas and opinions. But I’m also not confrontational, nor a masochist. I know that there are certain people that I will never be able to change their mind on a specific topic. I can talk myself blue in the face, and they won’t budge. They might as well be a brick wall. I don’t go there if I know that the end result is frustration and hurt feelings, instead of an intelligent conversation and exchange of ideas/ideals. I’m even willing to talk about the various interpretations of the Bible, differences in the Old vs the New testament, the Qu’ran. (Martin was much better at this than I am.) As long as the premise is an open mind.
Back to the email. I reviewed the header. It appears that this person just sent it out to everyone in their address book, without regard to the context of why the person is in their address book or what their views might be. Yes, you might be able to change someone’s mind by discussing it on a one-on-one basis, but never in a mass email like this. I was insulted that she thought I could be swayed by an email such as this. If this was presented personally, then I would be able to talk to her and understand her position a bit more, and perhaps have a conversation about why Proposition 8 is wrong. As it was, I was stunned silent. And I’m not proud of it.
And what about this friend? I haven’t decided yet. I do realize that I need to talk to her about this. But I want to do this in person, because I still value her as a friend, regardless of our views.
Oh, and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m voting No on Proposition 8. And if you care to keep an open mind and have an intelligent conversation, I’ll bring the wine.