Our new home is a politically interesting place. In the city of Seattle you will find mostly progressive liberals, blue as they come pretty much anywhere in the U.S. But venture too far east and you’ll meet the real Washington State — conservative, sometimes to the point of isolationist, and generally religious and occasionally backward.
Although I’m a Christian, in the past I’ve been clear that I’m not aligned with the Christian right in the US. A Canadian Christian Conservative is something very different than a Republican, and much of what Romney’s party stands for I do not agree with. But I learned after a few years of trying to align my beliefs to the liberal agenda that that won’t work for me either. The assault on absolutes in the name of making everything either OK or some kind of social condition gives me the creeps. And besides, I’m proud of the life my hard work provides for my family — I’m grateful for God’s blessings, and the many people who have helped me along the way, but the reality is, I work my butt off. And so should everyone else.
So it is as a parent that I find myself behaving much more like a conservative.
My kids will spend at least a year or two each at a small, somewhat isolationist, definitely Conservative, private Christian school, where they will get a superior education to what the public system offers. And like a rich snob I will spend money on that, and complain that my tax money still goes to funding public schools.
And even though I shudder when Christians refer to the mormon candidate as “God’s obvious choice” for President, grimace when someone muses that dressing kids up for halloween might actually be a subtle form of devil worship, and gag when Fox News is on, I’m still more at ease with their biases than some of the other crap that people want to be truth these days.
Given the choice between raising my kids in the city where they will learn that the earth is a billion years old and that marriage is for any combination of genders, or living in the mountains in a sheltered Christian community where they will learn that the earth was literally made in 6 days and that sex is shameful… the latter sounds less uncomfortable for me.
Its ridiculous that there is no middle ground in America — no wonder the country can’t get anything done! As an adult, I can stand in between the two, picking and choosing what I believe is a balanced truth, and steadfastly laughing equally at the ridiculousness of both sides’ rhetoric. But when raising my kids, the reality is that all the institutions available to them belong to either one faction or the other..
When my kids ask me about creation, I’d rather explain that 6 days might have a different meaning than their teacher believes, than try to explain that a billion years might actually be 6 days.
When they ask me about love, I’d rather help them love the 10% that don’t fit the norm they learned in school, than have them believe that the world is made up of people who routinely engage in gay sex before their 16th birthday.
And when they ask me about money, I’m going to teach them that those who do not work should not eat… but that those who cannot help themselves should be helped. And I’m going to demonstrate what’s right in both categories.
And while they grow up, I’ll pray to God that by the time my little dual citizens have to vote, either they, or their (other) country, will have figured out how to sort it all out. Lord knows my generation hasn’t got a clue…
But for the record, conservative though I may be leaning, there’s no way on earth that I could be convinced to vote for Romney. That man doesn’t have a clue either.