There's been a thing going around Facebook that's basically a woman telling about her experiences growing up in Austria under Nazi control, with a tone of, "I see these things happening in the United States now, so we need to be careful." Several of our Facebook friends shared it, and one of them received comments from people with differing opinions. One of those people linked to a blog article of someone who wrote a rebuttal, basically. The main conclusion of the rebuttal, I think, was that while the writer did feel for this woman, after having gone through what she'd been through, he thought it was sad that she was using her experience to spread more hatred, and had learned the wrong lesson. The lesson she should have learned is that instead of hating each other, which is the kind of thing that allows Nazism to spread, we need to be more loving.
He was absolutely correct about that last part, but from reading his article, it seemed like he himself wasn't making the effort to understand why she thinks some of the things happening in the United States now are similar to what happened in Austria then. The main example I have of this is how the first woman had said that the Nazis took religion out of schools, which she sees as a bad sign, and how the rebuttal said something about how she isn't looking at the whole picture, she just thinks turning away from Catholicism is bad. It seemed to me like he wasn't taking the time to consider what it is this woman sees as secularizing schools in America, or why she might see it that way. Even after considering it, he might still disagree, but he has to consider it first, or he's not taking his own advice.
...I feel like I'm not explaining this very well. That's what I get for working from foggy memories.
My point is, it seems like in a lot of situations, people have decided what they think, and that anybody who thinks differently is wrong, and probably stupid. People rarely stop to consider what kinds of experiences or beliefs the other person might have that might explain why they think the way they do. And that's why (I think) politics are so messed up in this country. It's like that one episode of Dinosaurs where they had their first war. Everyone marched around with signs saying We Are Right. (I was exasperated and amused when one of our Facebook friends posted a link to an article where the summary was basically, "Everyone thinks both sides are responsible for polarizing the nation, but it's really ALL THE OTHER PARTY'S FAULT." I really regret not commenting to that with, "I hope you're sharing that for the delightful irony. XD")
And that's my rambly introduction to this website. We tend to ignore politics as much as possible, and this website is not political at all, I promise, but it is related to the one political issue we've spoken out about. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints got a lot of publicity for taking a stand against gay marriage four years ago. I feel like this issue is another one of those "everyone knows what they think about it and anyone who thinks differently is just wrong" issues. People on one side have a difficult time understanding the deeply held religious beliefs that cause people to vote against it, and people on the other have a difficult time understanding how this isn't just another way to take away our religious freedoms, or why there's so much hurt on the side of people in favor of it.
The LDS Church seems to have come to the same conclusion I have--that we really need to start talking to each other with the intent to listen--and so they started this website. It's called Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction. It's not just about gay marriage; it's about homosexuality, and about the Church, and about how these things relate. It's about how we should treat everyone with love and respect, period. And other such things as this. I'm afraid if I try to explain it more, I'll just get all muddled and mess it up, so instead, if you're interested, we encourage you to take a look at it!
Today I'm thankful for getting to come right home after church today, getting to watch The Avengers last night, having tentative plans for chocolate fondue tonight, getting a lot more light through our window these days, and all the good meetings we had at church today.