What I Want For Christmas This Year

It’s been a tough year. Those who have followed along on the blog or Twitter or Facebook (or all three) will expect they know the answer to this, but actually, as much as I want a job, what I want more is something far more important and meaningful to a happy life.  What I want for Christmas this year is a world where people of any worldview can live the way they believe and express that when they feel necessary without being discriminated against by those who disagree.

I am no Einstein, but I am well educated and I test smart, so I assume I’m not stupid. (If you disagree, so be it). I have spent a lot of years studying, questioning, probing, and coming by my worldview. I am proud of who I am, and, as most of you know, when necessary, I speak out about it. Most of the time I keep it to myself with the exception of election time and when people say bigoted things villifying people like me for our beliefs. That makes me mad, and I speak up. For one, you cannot preach tolerance if you are not practicing it yourself. That’s called being a hypocrite and the actions negate the words. Second, if you really believe in freedom, you have to grant others the same freedom you demand for yourself. If you don’t, you don’t really believe in freedom. Villifying those with whom you disagree is being a bigot. It is discrimination. And it is definitely not tolerance.

I have found myself speaking out a lot more this year. Time and time again people I love and respect, or people I just admire, have made statements villifying Christians as racist or bigoted or ignorant or insane. I’m a Christian. I take offense. Time and again Republicans have been called similar things. I’m a Republican.  I take offense. More than that, as an artist, I am very emotional.  I feel things very deeply.  The words you hurl at me hurt.

I am conservative. I came by my beliefs honestly. I used to be a registered Democrat. I even voted in a Dem president. I am a Christian. I went through a period where I might not have acted like it. But I have come back to embrace those beliefs.

But I am also an individual. I think for myself. I do not buy what pundits sell without investigating, questioning, and examining it myself. And I do not vote the party line. I vote issues.

Since there are extremists in most belief systems, you do find extremist Christians and extremist Republicans. But those are not me. Please do not equate me with them. When you call them insane, racist, bigoted, and ignorant without specifying, you are including me. I don’t appreciate it.

So what I’d like for Christmas is people I love and respect, whom I always try and treat with love and respect, to recognize that my worldview is valid for me, even if they don’t share it, by stopping the hate, speaking out against the hate their fellow believers spread against people like me, and instead recognizing what we do have in common. We all have value. And we all have a lot more in common than different. Can we not celebrate that in 2011 instead of our differences?

That’s what I want. I probably won’t get it. But I hope those who took the time to read this will at least try.

For what it’s worth…

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all.  May you get what you want (as long as it’s not the extermination of all people like me).