Thursday, November 1, 2012

#231 Sending conservative propaganda to their liberal children

Political proselytizing from parent to child is a time-honored tradition made even easier and more passive-aggressive since the advent of email. The wayward and disillusioned child of conservative evangelicals stands an excellent chance of receiving insistent emails of a right-wing nature in the weeks before a big election. These emails tend to escalate in frequency and tone as the election draws nearer, lavishly capslocked and feverishly warning against the global implosion that will surely be triggered by turning the collective American back on the evangelical notion of God. In acute cases, you may receive up to two dozen per day in your inbox. This is normal. The conservative parent is frightened to the point of hypertensive chest pain that the future hinges on who will occupy the office for the next four years and they figure the best thing to do is educate their prodigal offspring with immutable resolute facts about the candidates. You might do the same if you believed everything Fox News said. They're insistent little buggers.


Kristy said...

Ooooh, this post made me laugh out loud. Happily, I no longer get emails from my parents, but I do live with them right now (for school), and my Dad, especially, makes comments about religion and stuff all. the. time. He KNOWS I am voting for Obama and KNOWS I probably don't believe in God anymore. But that doesn't stop him from continually trying to lure me away from "the dark side" and back into the "grace of God."

When my sister and I were at the house and talking about how good Clinton's speech was, he just softly chuckled and shook his head knowingly, like, "oh, those silly girls. They are so naive."

Anonymous said...

Makes me sad to read such things. The greatest gift my parents gave me was not forcing their political or religious views on me at any point while raising me and thus allowing me to come to my own independent choices. I couldn't imagine raising any future children of my own any differently.

Anonymous said...

Choosing to reply Anonymously on this one ....

We are, for reasons due to my husband's job, entrenched in our local Republican party. I cannot WAIT for the political season to be over, because although I do vote conservative (with libertarian leanings)the vitriol and rhetoric that come from well-meaning Republicans (especially on facebook) drives me up the wall. I feel like I can't say anything, because of our position in the party.

We went to vote early last week, and while standing in line, struck up a conversation with the lady behind us. I said something about teaching our kids to love others (we were talking about parenting, as we tend to do when standing in lines as a young family in the midst of lots of old people), and the lady gave me a knowing look and said, "Oooh, then I know who YOU'RE voting for!" I just kind of smiled at her and didn't say anything, secretly frustrated that already she had me pegged in some kind of moral box. She said, "This election is SO IMPORTANT. Our nation will NEVER BE ABLE TO RECOVER if the wrong person is elected!" She spoke it with so much fear. It made me sad for her. If she does believe in God (as I'm assuming?), is her god so little that a mere human, whose life is but grass that withers up and blows away, could avert his plan? And is it possible that it is God's plan that a certain might-be-could-be-definitely-is-Muslim-born-in-Kenya man to be the American president?

Lastly, and this is my true belief - I think that both parties, R and D, are sides of the same coin. I don't think it really matters who the hell you vote for, because what will happen, will happen. Obama infringes on our freedoms, but only because Bush opened the door with the Patriot Act. It is what it is. I've met and personally know my fair share of elected officials, and this I can tell you - the higher up in government they go, the more slick and polished they are, and the less concerned they are about their constituency.

So my philosophy is to love the people around me, not live in fear for tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself, and be faithful to serve my neighbor.

Tony D. said...

OK, I'm not part of the Evangelical tribe, so perhaps some of you can clue me in - has the Evangelical Right suddenly shut up about the "cult" of Mormonism now that they're insisting that our country is finished unless we elect one President? I did hear that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association took the LDS church off its list of "cults" a couple of weeks ago...

Anonymous said...

@Tony D:

I know a number of Christians that are willing to overlook the whole "Native Americans were angels", "Joseph Smith found golden plates with the Word of God on them in America", and "How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods" thing because they believe either:

a) Mormonism is closer to Christianity than Islam.
b) Romney will protect the Holy Land better than Obama. This is obviously of paramount importance, since God and Israel have proven they can't do it themselves, even with large standing militias and nuclear capability and omnipotence.
c) A person's religious beliefs don't matter, so long as their political beliefs line up with ours. (Where this line of reasoning has been the past 20 years, I have no idea.)

Anonymous said...

Tony D, this may partly answer your question.
Frank Schaeffer wrote this in the Huff recently - with some interesting comments - and all in one sentence !

Snommelp said...

I don't remember right now who said it, but there's a quote out there, something to the effect of "if you believe either (a) that your candidate will save the world, or (b) that the other candidate will destroy the world, then you need to reevaluate your claims to the Christian faith. You are elevating politicians above God and claiming that they are more powerful." Granted, it's important to vote for what you believe to be right, but acting as though one candidate is the Savior and the other is the AntiChrist is warped theology.

Anonymous said...

Full fledged "duck duck damned" Calvinist here. Liberal flake too.

Snommelp, right on. To attribute that much power to a man is to give the finger to God. These are people who would take the will of God into their own hands. Thinking themselves to be doing the work of God, they discredit the very name.

The scripture is forever bringing up issues of social justice, not capitalist justice.

Tony D. said...

"if you believe either (a) that your candidate will save the world, or (b) that the other candidate will destroy the world, then you need to reevaluate your claims to the Christian faith. You are elevating politicians above God and claiming that they are more powerful."

Well, yes. That seems so self-evident that having someone say it "out loud" makes me feel like I'm in a Lewis Carroll story, and Alice is having to point out to the Tea Party (how appropriate!) what she can't believe needs to be actually pointed out.

And Anonymous: Your comment means that a Calvinist (you) and an Eastern Orthodox (me) actually agree on something! Can the last day be far behind??!?

Anonymous said...

Stephy, I'm surprised you didn't post on simply patriotism in general. I've never understood all the die-hard, patriotic "Christians" out there. Where in the world do they find that stuff in the Bible? It's just not there.

stephy said...

Here are some.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the link between Christianity and patriotism: Of course it's not in the Bible. It's more a matter of culture. The two topics just happen to attract the same kind of people--those who embrace a more "traditional" (or, some would argue, "old-fashioned") American culture. Because this group happens to like both topics, they've just kind of inadvertently become melded together, I think.

Andrew Price said...

I enjoy your wordsmithing: "lavishly capslocked."

Patricia Kayden said...

Now that the election is over, do Rightwing parents still send their kids reams of anti-Obama emails? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Getting ones about Hobby Lobby & "Christian" employer heath care from In-laws. Why won't they stop?

Anonymous said...

I liked the way a conservative priest at my Episcopalian church put it, "No matter who is elected president, Christ is our king."

I challenge Christians to adopt that notion. There are plenty of things that worry me about both parties and at a national and global level, but I'm not as judgmental about who people vote for as I used to be.

Anonymous said...

when my hubby went into the ministry one of his cousins decided to forward to us all of this conservative crap. One email was a call to boycott American Girl stuff because they supported (what used to be) the Boys and Girls Club of America who had a library of resources for LGBT parents and kids. That was it! I emailed her back saying that since I had a gay uncle and a lesbian cousin I might need those resources to talk to my girls and I appreciated knowing they were available. Yup, haven't gotten another one of those emails since! Whew, thank goodness!

Unknown said...

a few years ago when i began posting a lot of iron maiden and metallica videos on my facebook page, my former pastor sent me tons and tons of lame country gospel music---annoying sad and funny all at once

Anonymous said...

I followed a link to your blog(s) from an article I was reading because I wanted to learn more about your opinions.

I get that you are attempting to be humorous, however, the cynicism is so thick in every one of the entries that I read (about 20) that it makes my eyes burn.

Maybe you never intended to attempt to seriously effect anyone else's opinion, but if you did, consider losing the sarcasm and cynicism. They make what you are serving nearly unpalatable.

(Your podcast was even more difficult to take - combination of cynicism, sarcasm and added bitterness toward anyone who has displeased you two.)

Nic said...

As a PK, a registered Independent, and a Political Science Major my email was always inundated with garbage Right-Wing nonsense that I could (and would) quickly disprove. Did it matter that I had truth on my side? No, just that the "evil" Democrats would lose... But I digress.

Yeah, this is a long way of going "Sits in back if room. Nods with an embarrassed tight lipped knowing."

Love the blog by the way.

- Nic

Alan said...

I can understand the problem with trying to convince your kids to vote or not vote for a particular political candidate. That's going too far.

I can also understand why a parent is concerned their child doesn't believe in God, anymore. There's no - absolutely none - life after death outside of faith in Christ. When the child you love so dearly is making a choice to shoot themselves in the head, so to speak, do you let them? Or do you try to talk them out of it? As a parent, I would be heartbroken.

I will admit that without knowing how the parents raised their kids, spiritually, it's hard to know what exactly would lead a kiddo to abandon hope and life in Christ. However, the end result is still the same.

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That is a challenge for Christians to accept. There are many things about both parties that concern me on a national and global basis, but I'm not as critical of who people vote for as I once was.

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