by Tiffany Willis – Originally posted on Liberal America
I’m a Southern girl. Born in the South, raised in the South, and have rarely lived anywhere BUT the South. I actually love the South. I’ll die in the South. Being a Southern girl, I have more than my share of right-wing friends, neighbors, and family members — and some of you have in recent years crossed the line into nut-jobbery.
The fact is — I love you guys and that will never change.
I’ll admit that I’m disappointed and disturbed to see intelligent and/or educated people who are willfully ignorant. But while it does change my opinion about you on some level, more than anything I’m embarrassed for you. It hurts me to see you post conspiracy theories on your Facebook timeline, only to have them debunked with a quick Snopes link. It hurts me to see you expressing unapologetic and blatant racism and ignorance. It absolutely tortures me to see you being on the wrong side of history on so many issues.
Although I’ll always love you guys, I have had to quit — for my own sanity and for the sake of our relationships — attempting to engage in intelligent conversation about politics and social issues with most of you. From now on, we’ll talk about the weather, recipes, our mutual friends, our children, our illnesses, thrift shop finds, and our old memories. I want to know what’s going on in your lives. What books are you reading? What home improvements are you planning? Hell, I’ll even follow you on Pinterest!
I very much appreciate those of you who can still have an intelligent conversation and listen to another point of view. Hopefully this small group of sane conservatives never changes.
Here is why I have to abandon attempts at intelligent conversation with most of you.
1. You support revisionist history.
When I was in a high school history class, I’ll never forget one thing our teacher taught us: what you read in history books isn’t always accurate. The example she used was history books in the Soviet Union, now known as Russia. She informed us, to my shock and horror, that the Soviets pretty much included what they liked in the history books and left out everything else. As a result, she said, there were generations of Russian students who were misinformed.
Oh we were dismayed, my classmates and I! Those poor little Russian kids who were being taught false history. But wait….you guys on the right are trying to do the same thing right here in the Good Old U.S.A.
Last year, I wrote an article about Texas’ plan to revise history and include Moses as a Founding Father. When I shared the article with an educated Texas adult and asked “is this OK with you,” his response was:
“Why teach our children at length regarding the horrors of slavery as we have eliminated that curse from our society? We don’t deny it occurred here or anywhere else in the world, but, why dwell on a segment of our past that has been corrected? I don’t think it is appropriate to drag our dirty laundry through our history lessons at length.”
Because it’s HISTORY. You don’t get to just rewrite history books if it’s unpleasant. What are you thinking? Shall we rewrite the Revolutionary War? “A minor disagreement with Great Britain.” How about the bombing of Pearl Harbor? “A spat with the Japanese.”
2. You cite Jesus as your reasoning for rejecting marriage equality.
Yet the Bible only mentions homosexuality six times. Six. Times. 6. This many:
So why is this one of the biggest issues on your agenda? Why are you putting so much energy and hate into an issue that clearly wasn’t one of God’s major concerns?
As Christians who are pro-family, why would you deny people the right to the sanctity of marriage? If marriage strengthens families, why would you not want everyone to have this, even if you disagree with their choice of mate?
YOU (we) have destroyed the sanctity of marriage. There is no possible way that gay marriage can do more harm to marriage than heterosexuals have done. Yet we seldom hear a sermon bemoaning the divorce rate or people living together before marriage. Why is that? Because the pews would be empty.
3. You use Biblical scripture to excuse yourself from feeding the hungry.
There is nothing you do that makes me more disgusted with you than your abuse and misuse of 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
You are deliberately taking the scripture — ONE VERSE! — out of context when you use them to justify your own hatred of poor people. And again, you’re showing your ignorance.
From Liberal America reader Eric Susee: “2 Thessalonians 3:10. are NOT the words of Christ. They are the words of Paul of Tarsus, a man who never met Christ.”
Biblical scholars have pointed out that the author of 2 Thessalonians was referring to Christians who stopped working in anticipation of Christ’s return.
4. You lie when you say you value “freedom of religion.”
I had lunch with some conservatives a while back, and the topic of freedom of religion came up. They expressed concern at the “war on Christianity.” I cited a recent event that had occurred in which protesters interrupted the U.S. Senate’s first Hindu-led prayer. The response from my fellow diners? “Good.”
I don’t know how educated people can be so ignorant. Seriously. You can’t even see your own contradictions.
5. You claim God speaks to you and tells you to do things.
Over and over and over, we see right wing nutjobs in the news saying they’re doing this horrible thing or that horrible thing because God told them to. This is, to quote the Christian Courier, “a very convenient method of authenticating what you want to do.”
He does NOT do that.
God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son. Hebrews 1:1
But conservatives believe these nuts. Here is what I think: not only should sensible conservatives not believe these nuts, you need to start speaking out against them. These are the false prophets that the Bible warns us about, in my humble opinion. Most of you lack the courage to take a stand against these idiots even when you know they’re nuts.
6. You question my faith.
“Christian Left is an oxymoron.”
Oh my, I’ve heard that so much from the right, and believe it or not, I often hear it from my “friends.” First of all, your questioning of my faith genuinely means very little to me. What it does is destroy my opinion of you; I now view you as self-righteous hypocrites.
Recently, I found out that a woman from my church questioned her teen son for spending time here at my home with my children. I believe her words were “why would you want to be around someone so liberal.” I’ve never had a conversation with this lady. We’ve never even made eye contact. But alas, her comment (and more that she said) has forced me to now see her differently.
Keep questioning my faith, though, my people, because you can be sure I’m questioning yours. One thing I won’t do, however, is accuse you of not being a believer as you do me. What I will suggest to you is that my faith may be stronger than yours. I’ve educated myself, dared to question all things, and STILL believe. Most of you are too afraid to even learn. It may, after all, test your faith.
I’ll pray for you!
7. You care more about your guns than you do about children.
After the Sandy Hook massacre, and following other similar tragedies, I asked many of you if you loved your guns more than you do children. I made the statement of “I’d give up my gun forever if it would bring back even one of those children.”
I asked you if you’d do the same. You admitted that you would not.
8. You get excited about people dying.
You really, really like to see death. And not just to terrorists. You love the death penalty. You love war. You love seeing kids like Trayvon Martin being shot. They deserve it, you say. But his murderer has shown — again and again — since his acquittal that he is a dangerous person.
9. You assume that everyone who needs help are losers and parasites who refuse to work.
Approximately 47 million people receive food stamps, and most of them are children or the elderly, in addition to people who are employed. The numbers, from a 2012 USDA report:
- 45 percent of SNAP recipients are under 18 years of age
- Nine percent are age 60 or older
- More than 40 percent live in households with earnings
10. You weren’t concerned about uninsured people– including me.
Most of you know that when I made the decision to become self-employed that I would be giving up my employer subsidized health insurance. I’m 47 years old, and like most people my age, have at one time or another had preexisting conditions that would cause insurance companies to deny me a private policy.
I didn’t want a free ride. I was eager to pay for my own insurance. Obamacare opened that door for me and millions of other hard-working Americans and disallows insurance companies from rejecting millions of Americans who were previously rejected. But without even knowing fully what the Affordable Care Act is, you chose the path of ignorance. You didn’t care.
11. The Creation Museum — that is all.
You think this is OK. It’s not. These people just make stuff up. Do you really think kangaroos floated from Africa to Australia on rafts? Why are you condoning this ignorance?
12. You’re liberal in youth, yet grow conservative in age.
I call this the Dead Peter Syndrome in men and/or the Formerly Hot Syndrome in women.
A couple of years ago, a man confronted me on Facebook about my liberalism. I knew him when I was growing up; he was a friend of my parents and his children were my playmates. He called me a stupid, misguided, amoral, liberal. Yes, those were his words. I had one question for him:
“When I was a little girl, didn’t I sit on your lap while you smoked a joint and drank beer?”
I’m afraid I burned the bridge of that friendship — and good riddance.
Similarly, many women who embraced the sexual revolution are now taking a stance against women’s rights and suggesting that I’m killing babies with my IUD.
You don’t get to live it up as a young person and then try to take a moral high ground when you get old and aren’t interested in living anymore.
13. You don’t want people who disagree with you to vote.
Oh, Gerrymandering, you ugly devil, you. But do we question why this is so common and seldom questioned by people on the right? It’s because you, my conservative voter loved ones, agree with it. You think it’s perfectly acceptable (and necessary) to suppress the vote. It’s for the “good of the nation.”
I once heard someone tell his wife to not inform her Democratic friend how and where to vote. “She’ll cancel out your vote.”
There you have it.
14. Some of your best friends are black. Or Mexican.
A conservative I know professes that “my best friend is black” and balked when I called him and his wife racist. Why did I call him racist? Because my little girl — at that time about 12 — went to a movie with one of her African American friends and his mother. The conservative and his wife were “very concerned” about me allowing my little girl to consort with “blacks.” But oh, no, they’re not racist, are they?
I don’t care how many black or Hispanic friends you have. If you think that mentality is OK, then yes, you’re racist.
15. You scream about undocumented immigrant children at the border, but you hire Mexicans to do your dirty work.
I live in Texas. Duh! Every single upper-middle-class or wealthy person I know has at one time hired cheap labor to do their menial tasks like home repairs, yard work, housekeeping, and childcare. They actually seek out Hispanic people because they know that they do good work and that they’ll work for cheap.
16. You insist on calling undocumented immigrants “illegals” and “aliens.”
They are human beings. They are undocumented immigrants. Many of them are children. It reallyyyyy makes me furious to see you deliberately depersonalizing these human beings who are doing nothing but seeking the American Dream that you are so proud of.
And you do this on purpose. You know what you’re doing. You’re proud of your very unethical and un-Christian attitude towards these human beings.
17. You don’t mind using force against “lesser” groups to get what you want.
Case in point, protesting outside of abortion clinics.
Or protesting at the funerals of gay people. And yeah, I know that is Westboro Baptist Church and not you, but if you refuse to speak out against them, then you’re a part of the problem.
18. You love war, death, and destruction.
And why do you love war, death, and destruction? Because ‘Murica. Because you think this somehow makes us superior. We may be militarily superior, but we are ethically inferior.
Even when confronted with the lies, now confirmed officially, that got us into the Iraq war, you don’t care. You like for America to be the world’s largest terrorist organization and the world’s most formidable bully.
19. Speaking of war, you think draft dodging is OK and military service is for the little people.
Why doesn’t it bother you that Dick Cheney et al are draft dodgers? Or that Mitt Romney has an entire baseball team of sons and not one of them served in the military? Or that none of the current generation of Bush children have served in the military. Let me tell you in one sentence, as was told to me personally by a wealthy draft dodger:
“Wouldn’t you get out of it if you could?”
Dying for your country is such a noble cause — if you’re not one of the elite. Right?
20. You claim to care about the Constitution, but in reality you don’t.
Oh yes, you scream “CONSTITUTION” at the top of your lungs, but when idiotic Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently tried to strip the Constitution of the 5th and 6th Amendments, where were you? Where was your outrage?
You love the parts of the Constitution that please you personally — NOT the entire Constitution.
21. It’s impossible for you to see your privilege.
If you were born into a family and a place that allowed you to thrive, you’re blessed and fortunate. This isn’t the norm. A lot of success and stability depends on the structure that we have during our formative years. The vast majority of young Americans have not had your advantages and I can’t seem to make you understand that. I’ve stopped trying.
22. You don’t care about children.
You care about fetuses. Once those fetuses begin to breath outside the womb, your concern is gone if they’re born into a poor family that needs help.
Or how about poor children who are in school? Most of you want to do away with free and reduced lunches, for God’s sake. And let’s not even talk about free breakfasts for kids. What is wrong with you people??? There is no better investment that we can make as a nation than in the early childhood health of our children.
23. You’re greedy and miserable.
You spend more time bemoaning what is being taken from you that you do in being thankful that you have enough to share.
24. You think our religion is the only one.
I’m a Christian — a proud follower of the most amazing man I’ve ever studied. Most of what is good about me comes from the teachings of Jesus. I love my religion and my Holy Book. I use the Words in Red as a compass. But who am I to look at other people who feel exactly the same way about their own religions and judge them?
We’re all on this earth doing the best we can, making the best decisions that we can.
And we’re all taking our best guess. The evidence for and against their religion is no different than the evidence for and against ours.
25. You are lazy and you refuse to read.
I provide sources for you that will debunk most of your BS, or at least help you to see it a little differently. You refuse to read it. You stick to Fox News, World Net Daily, etc…You refuse to ever entertain another point of view.
I have a conservative friend who I adore. He and his wife grew up with me. I think he’s awesome because he did something amazing for me: he recorded Rachel Maddow for a week and watched her show. Did he agree? Meh, not really. But him being willing to even listen to another viewpoint won him favor in my book. Thank you, Michael.
26. Your misfortune is God’s blessing.
When something bad happens to you, you sanctimoniously think it’s God testing you and making you stronger. When something bad happens to me (or gay people or atheists or etc…), you think it’s God punishing them.
27. “Everyone has their lot in life.”
Except you, of course. Well, no….you do have a lot. Your lot is to have every privilege and entitlement and make sure your children have the same.
28. You think you’re the only one working and paying taxes.
“My tax dollars….” Here’s a clue: you’re not the only one paying taxes. Liberals pay taxes, too. Just how far do you think your $2,000 a year in income taxes goes? Or your $10,000, or even your $50,000? No matter how wealthy you are and how much income tax you pay — and most of those complaining aren’t paying that much — you’re actually probably paying more for wars (that you love) than for food stamps for children in poverty.
So anyhow….tell me, my loves, what are you cooking for dinner tonight?
All of this said, let me say this: I’m very grateful and appreciative of my sane conservative friends who can actually participate in an intelligent and respectful discussion. To name just a few (and if I leave anyone out, I’m sorry — these are just the ones I interact with the most on these issues): Michael, Laura K., Whitney, Laura M., and my pastor, Brent.
Thank you, my dear ones, for being sane. For understanding that things aren’t always black and white. And for disagreeing with me without belittling my very existence. And for not rubbing midterm losses in my face. And for never once calling me stupid or amoral for being a liberal.
About Tiffany Willis
Tiffany Willis is a fifth-generation Texan, a proponent of voluntary simplicity, a single mom, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with “the least of these” — disadvantaged and oppressed populations, the elderly, people living in poverty, at-risk youth, and unemployed people. She is a Certified Workforce Expert with the National Workforce Institute, a NAWDP Certified Workforce Development Professional, and a certified instructor for Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. She also has a grossly neglected personal blog and a literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion. Click here to buy Tiff a mojito.