One of my students just unfriended me on Facebook. First, however, she sent me a lengthy email, hurt & angry that my posts reflect poorly on her political party, and her political hero. I fully accept responsibility there — as an old journalist, I’m appalled at how much actual news ‘falls through the cracks’ of today’s corporate media. I want people to see what doesn’t make Fox News :).
But I don’t accept several other things she said:
- that I bash her personal politics;
- that I have contempt for her political party;
- that I hate her religion;
- that I’m unfair.
Certainly I’m passionate about politics. An an engaged Buddhist, as a teacher, I see every day that if I don’t take ownership of my beliefs out into the real world, then people who are cruel, greedy, dishonest, and downright MEAN are going to ‘win.’ They’re going to pass laws that disenfranchise my loved ones. They’re going to make it impossible for many of my beloved friends, family, and students to lead the lives they dream of, to work the jobs they’re aiming for, to be the people they have every right to be.
Because I’m both an engaged Buddhist & Unitarian, I try hard to put my beliefs in social justice in practice. So when politicians make dumb-ass pronouncements, then change their tune, then change it yet again, I’m going to make that known to as wide an audience as I can. That’s actually the whole reason (for me) behind Facebook: to connect w/ people who may not even KNOW a Buddhist, a Unitarian. Who may see ‘liberals’ as horned beasts (I have family who feel this way :)). If you like me, then you know a liberal you like. And it’s often — at least in the reddest of red states — that simple.
Freedom of religion is a big deal to me. I grew up in a Buddhist country, lived for years in Muslim countries. Have family and dear, close friends who are Buddhist, pagan, Wiccan, Hindu, Catholic, Methodist, and Muslim. And Presbyterian, and Taoist, and Jewish and atheist and agnostic and and and…:) They have the RIGHT to everything that each White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant framer of our amazing Constitution assured them of.
Freedom to love is another big deal to me. Does my niece Mary not deserve to spend her life w/ her chosen partner because Susie is female, too? Is love only about reproduction? That’s what some politicans would seem to be saying: you can’t fall in love w/ your own gender; and you can’t use birth control, and God Forbid (literally) you should ‘make a mistake.’ Just ‘lean back and appreciate it,’ as one politician said. And yep: HE really said that…