Thursday, March 24, 2011

Common Humanity or the Unseen Enemy

Being a little on the left, I find myself usually listening to liberal broadcasts; yes, I am familiar with MSNBC. The stories over the last year about those crazy conservatives ruining the country. C-street nuts, the stories about all the armed tea baggers, or whoever the hell they are and so on. Now the Wisconsin protests and conservatives stripping the middle class of bargaining rights.

I think, holy shit, I need to arm myself! Laughing, only slightly, because I know there are a few of my family members watching whoever is on Fox thinking the same thing, (except they actually are arming themselves). =)

When I talk to my conservative friends, they rant and rave about the current administration; about those elitist socialist pigs ruining the country. Besides disagreeing with their thoughts, I also find it amusing that they are telling a liberal bastard how much they can’t stand liberal bastards. They forget for the moment, only thinking they are sharing a beer or having dinner with an acquaintance, maybe even a friend. We talk not only about things that we vehemently disagree on, but those things we agree on as well. We share a common humanity, which keeps us from beating the hell out of each other. We share laughs, we share family stories, interests and many other thoughts. We learn from each other, I don’t hate them, they don’t hate me, (I think).

My point being is that they know who I am, I know who they are, and it really is okay. If I was isolated in my thoughts, if all I heard was one point of view, probably it would not be okay. I would not have been able to find that commonality, they would be the enemy. I will have isolated myself from social discourse and no longer be pertinent.

A similar condition applies specifically to atheists. I think that if we decide to hide who we really are, the less of a chance there is of us sharing that common bond. Friends, family and acquaintances need to know who we are. That doesn't mean atheism is always, or ever, the discussion point, just something that is a known, that sits in the background of their thoughts, that allows them to process the thought, "Neal is okay, even if he is a hell bound liberal atheist bastard." 

There are those who may never accept your thought, who will avoid you. They become isolationists. They will lose that thread of humanity that runs in the majority. They will be the outcasts, the minority, not you.

If we are not in the open, the unseen enemies we become, not the neighbors we are.

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