It's been a little over a year since I decided to start attending church. During my transition from an nonbeliever to a believer, there were quite a few things that I struggled with and many that I still do. One of he most difficult to deal with is he juxtaposition between what I believe and what I'm expected to believe. I understand the burden of a christian to be accountable for their actions at all times, but lately I've grown sick of mindless conformity I see around me. Though this conformity has been frustrating me fore quite some time now, the upcoming election has just brought the feelings too close to the surface to not invoke a rant. I'm just so sick of people not having an opinion of their own. It's one thing to truly believe in something and another thing to simply take a side because you feel that is what you're supposed to.
The huge topic that finally set me off today was talk over Proposition 8. For those of you outside of California, Proposition 8 is an initiative to amend the constitution of California to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry within our state.
[note to readers: I'm mentioning Prop 8 as an example of my frustration with my peers. This is not meant to be a political blog post arguing for or against the proposition]
I cannot express how frustrating it is to be around my christian friends when this proposition comes up in conversation. It just feels like there is this unspoken rule that anyone who calls themselves a believer has to be for this piece of legislation. Any other bill would allow open discourse, but not this one. 'The bible says marriage is between a man and a woman' and that's that.
Today we spent our time at 'sunday school' in small prayer groups. Before we broke up, we came together to compile a list of prayer requests to go over in our groups. During this time, someone requested everyone pray about proposition 8 'because it is an important one'. I simply could not believe the audacity of this person to 1) assume that everyone shared the same opinion about the proposition, and 2) suggest that people pray for an issue they may be opposed to.
Don't get me wrong. I don't look down on people for their differing opinions, but when they just assume you share their ideals and then expect you to participate in their conversations about the subject, it can be pretty frustrating. When you then factor in that no one seems to be allowed to have their own opinion about the subject, it just goes beyond what I can handle. I'm so sick of just sitting there and biting my tongue every time the subject of same-sex marriage is brought up. It's almost like my friends have this autonomic response in which they're completely opposed to it before they even consider the implications of passing laws to outlaw anything that they don't like.
I'm just getting sick of dealing with having an opinion in an environment where it feels like you're not allowed to speak your mind. There are a few very close friends that feel I can speak openly on the subject with (and have), but in general I feel I can't speak out. And well, as I said before... I'm getting sick of it.
posted by Christopher Schnese