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#012; yes, I happen to enjoy guns, church, AND tofu

May 13, 2009
“We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.” – Stephen R. Covey
Catherine Favazza has a great blog post up this morning (by Kirsten Wright of Wright Creativity) about the stereotypes and assumptions conservatives face when involved in social media. The post got me thinking – I find that it’s not so much my social media networking that surprises people when they find out I’m a Republican, but the fact that I consider myself one at all.

I make no secret of the fact that my history in policy has focused on green energy, women’s rights (reproductive rights especially), and GLBT equality. However, people seem to forget that there are a whole host of other issues one can disagree with the Democratic Party on. Military force, global strategy, free markets, trade, taxes, lobbyist influence, the death penalty, mandatory sentences, privatization of anything, education, states’ rights…

I’m not trying to use this post to start a debate on the issues, I just find it so frustrating when I’m accused of being a ‘faux’ Republican because I happen to be a blogger who’s into equality for all. I can, of course, argue until I’m blue in the face that my Party also agrees with equal rights (or, realistically, that neither do – particularly when the heads of the Dems – Obama, Biden, and Reid – are against gay marriages), but then you get into a discussion about evolution of policy, national platform, and personal belief. I’m not here to convince you of anything, and so I won’t try.

My belief that a woman has a right to choose doesn’t mean that I believe any less in my right to own a gun. It doesn’t mean that I am for extravagant spending policies or that I have anything but absolute respect for our armed forces. It’s become increasingly frustrating to feel that perhaps I simply don’t have a home in either Party. The Libertarians are too laissez-faire for me. Independents can’t vote in primaries and don’t have young groups of activists like the DCYRs and Young Dems of America.

And so I cling to my Republicanism, feeling much more comfortable in discussions of small government and cigarette smoke and brunches. I wear pearls and cardigans because I happen to like them no matter what my artist friends and housemates may say otherwise. I am not putting on an act by enjoying time with fellow conservatives (because though I am partially socially liberal, I do consider myself mostly a conservative) or by going to Mass on Sundays.

What stereotypes do you find most insulting? Politically or otherwise? Do people assume things about you because of your religion? (One I get a lot? “Oh, you’re Catholic, so you hate gays, right?”) What about your upbringing? I think my problem with all of this is the disgust on the faces of those who learn my truth. The fact that it’s assumed that I’m liberal or a Democrat doesn’t bother me, so much as the attitude that’s taken once it’s found out that I’m not. As if I should know better or just haven’t found the light yet. The assumption that I’m somehow faking this, that for some reason I’m taking a stand on behalf of things that I don’t believe in at all. I want to be trusted to my own beliefs – if they evolve (which they have before) I am someone who admits as much, but until then, I find the assumption a very trying one.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. atlimbo permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:53 PM

    sweetpaperdoll said…

    Do people assume things about you because of your religion? People often think Unitarian Universalists ‘believe in nothing’ or ‘believe in everything’, which is not true – or that we’re all liberal or Democrats or that we’re all hippies. Although, that’s only when people actually know what Unitarian Universalists are and most don’t 😛

    I honestly don’t feel like I have a home in either political party here in the US, either. However, since I gravitate toward voting with the Democrats, I’m registered as one. It in no way means I agree with them on all things. It’s just the way the two-party system works.

  2. atlimbo permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:53 PM

    kirstenwright said…

    I am so glad that you were able to be motivated by my post. I am even happier that you are sharing how you feel!

  3. atlimbo permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:53 PM

    resident of limbo said…

    Paper Doll – I know what you mean, my religion makes people think a lot of things about me that mostly I just roll my eyes at! This is why people like us – you and me *grin* – get out and educate those surrounding us!

    KW – I loved your post and am looking forward to more thought on being a conservative in the blogosphere, thanks for stopping by!

  4. atlimbo permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:54 PM

    JR said…

    Much to admire and agree with in your post, but you do have some contradictions to work through that are bigger than the liberal/conservative or Democrat/Republican thing. Increasingly it is apparent that being pro-choice and Catholic is incompatable. Witness the flap over Obama at Notre Dame. You may enjoy the liturgy, but increasingly it seems your priest wouldn’t even give you communion if he knew your position. So there’s that to consider as well.

  5. atlimbo permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:54 PM

    limbo said…

    JR: You’re exactly right. I do adore the tradition and grandeur of my Church, and know that I am a Christian no matter what services I may attend but… The increasingly conservative stance of the US archdiocese (which has been building since Benedict became Pope) has worried me more and more.

  6. Twenty Five Year Old Woman permalink
    May 13, 2009 5:09 PM

    I am a proud Christian and it annoys me when I feel like everyone has a right to their opinion unless it’s a Christian or a conservative stance. I have just as much right to say that I’m pro-life as others have the right to believe that it’s the woman’s right to choose. I don’t like it when people say I’m closed minded; no, I just have an opinion on the subject and it’s different than there’s. I wish that we could all treat each other with respect when we have differing opinions and just agree to disagree.

    • atlimbo permalink
      May 13, 2009 5:18 PM

      “I wish that we could all treat each other with respect when we have differing opinions and just agree to disagree.”

      Exactly! It gets to the point where I just get so tired of being told that I’m wrong for sticking to my opinions and that someday I’ll “see the light” – it’s like, NO! This IS my light!

      Thank you for stopping in 🙂 I’m hoping to do a lot more writing on this subject, too.

  7. August 12, 2009 2:45 AM

    I read the transcript of the DC gun case at the Supreme Court last year (?). I found it very interesting that all involved dismissed out of hand the idea that the right to bear arms has anything to do with rebellion.

    I believe that the right to bear arms is about the citizens having the capacity to rebel. That is very different from a Constitutional right to rebel.
    But it seems clear to me, from reading the Declaration of Independence and the Second Amendment together, that the founding fathers envisioned an armed populace as a check on the tyranny of their own leaders, not just foreign tyrants.

    …and the individual self-defense grounds that gun advocates argued and that the Court found is horse puckey that they made up to avoid the real and uncomfortable basis of the Second Amendment.

    What do you think, limbo?

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