Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Gave Up My Debates Access

I've been embroiled in a debate on my message boards that really deals with one of those issues that separates the liberal view from the conservative. It has to do with paid maternity leave for women. Something that, on the surface I love, but then, when I really think about, I don't like so much. I would probably benefit from this kind of a program, since I plan to have more children and we lose my income for a time. And we're definitely a family that lives paycheck to paycheck, and isn't high income! But I don't like the idea that it's not based on need. It gets into economics from there, but the debate completely broke down since, apparently, I'm just a cold-hearted conservative who doesn't care about families. On top of that I'm a big fat hypocrite because I took AFDC for less than a year while I was a 20 year-old unwed mother trying to go to school. It was very frustrating because I felt that people weren't listening to what I was saying. And I deeply dislike personal attacks in any debate. It generally signals to me that there's nothing left to discuss. And yet, my stubbornness can't seem to let those things go.

So, I was sitting at work tonight, thinking about all the reasons that they were wrong (not necessarily about their positions but about me) when I had an epiphany. I really don't care if they disagree with my position on this issue. I think disagreement is healthy, and vital in politics. And I also realized that it's a huge waste of my energy to argue about something that none of us has any control over, especially since half the people in the debate were Canadian.

Then a scripture came to mind...

Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
2 Timothy 2:23,24

I'm wasting my time. And I becoming resentful against people who are beautiful creations of God, and whom I am commanded to love. I'm spending my time engaging in foolish and stupid arguments, which serve no real purpose.

I realized that I represent my faith on that board. When people read what I write, they read it as a Christian perspective. And even if the topic isn't religious, what I say affects what they think about people who are religious. So, if I'm accomplishing anything, it's making people more hostile to Christians, Christianity, Christ, and to me personally. And who really needs that?

For those who know me, I'm not a judgmental person! Even when I disagree, that just doesn't equal judgment for me. If I judge anyone harshly, it's usually myself. I've made so many mistakes in my own life, I don't feel that I have any right to stand in judgment of someone else. I'm a terrible stereotype in that way, because I really like people so much.

So, I sent a PM to a moderator to have my debates access revoked. I've just come through kind of a rough place emotionally and spiritually, and want to follow what my faith requires of me. For now, that means to stop quarreling. I thought it would hard, but instead I feel like a weight has been lifted. Despite what some people think, I think sometimes going was simply an exercise in self-abuse. And, as I said, who needs that?

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