Thursday, March 25, 2010

This was going to be my post about what I think of the health care bill.....

I meant to post my thoughts about the healthcare bill. This is, after all, the blog I use to process through thoughts and research on issues in theology, politics, etc. And I've done a lot of reading and research this week about the bill. I have an opinion and thoughts, though I'm certainly no expert and am stymied at points.

But you know, I'm not gonna post it. Because... because all I did the other day was post excerpts of a couple of articles and there was a firestorms of strident comments (not all bad, but certainly strident). That was without even stating my opinion. I watched Rachel Held Evans (who is a fantastic blogger) post about responding to the issue with a healthy Christian attitude (she also didn't state her opinion on the bill) and she got 100 + comments and accused of being biased and liberal before she closed the comments. Professor Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed asked his readers to post (politely) what they liked about the health care bill and the next day, what they disliked. Despite deleting angry comments, even the passable comments were often snide and accusative and generally often unhelpful.

And... back when the elections were going on and I was doing research and forming my opinion and stating it publically I got SUCH backlash from strangers and friends that I felt like I needed to hide in a hole and attempt to not become cynical or angry about feeling so accused and stereotyped by people I care about, mostly Christians. So. Having been there, I just think that I'd better not post my opinion or reasons for it. After all, I already wrote it and did the research, so I've processed through it somewhat already. I like the ability to interact with a diverse audience on a blog, so I'd love to have some good discussion about it.... I just don't believe the discussion would be good at this point.

I'll just give you the first paragraph... the intro to the post I was going to publish about the health care bill:

I gotta admit, it's my automatic reaction to push back against the angry or despairing Facebook statuses of my conservative friends about the health care bill.  Thanks to my background and undergrad, conservative evangelicals make up the majority of people in my life. The extreme comments seemed way out of proportion... fearful in a way that I thought indicated a misunderstanding of what's actually at stake. However, I realized that I didn't know what form of the bill passed since so much changed in the process. I set out this week to see what actually passed and what the positives and negatives are of this bill. I know that probably the majority of readers of this blog are against the bill, but there is a variety. I'm okay with differing political opinions - my husband and I usually have differing political opinions and we debate passionately and are still married! :) We have different opinions on the health care bill, and that's okay!.......

What do you do when helpful discussion is next to impossible? 


Rachel H. Evans said...

This was a wise move, Kacie. I've been really caught off guard by the degree of discord and anger the health care debate has evoked in friends and family...and of course on the blog. (I did state my opinion, but only once. The post itself was supposed to be about things I thought we could all agree on - unity, peace, love, and allegiance to the Kingdom of God.)

I really appreciate the thoughtfulness, clarity, and self-control you always bring to a I'm sure this would have been a great one!

But it seems to me that folks are angry and fearful and just looking for an outlet in which to vent their frustrations. There are plenty out there; no need to create another one.

That said, I'm optimistic that this will pass and tempers will least until the next election.

Way to turn a non-post into a post. Nice work. ;-)

PresterJosh said...

I definitely agree that a lot of people on both sides of this issue need to be more moderate in their assertions.

I support the Catholic bishops' position on the health care bill, but I don't think that harsh language is helpful in convincing those that disagree.

(I do think there's a time and place for harsh language given the prophetic tradition, but that's not most people, and that's not most of the time.)

Rae said...

I am sorry. I was really looking forward to your post since I hoped that you would point out positive things about the bill. And I know that there are good things, but (and obviously I have not read it) I am under the impression that the final version was... less than impressive.

I avoided Facebook and laughed at the crazy things posted on Twitter ("there is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat!" "this bill is going to force you to buy health insurance to cover procedures that you do not need!" as if health insurance would work if you only paid for exactly what you use?!) and generally have not engaged in any productive discussion.

So I guess that means that I am absolutely no help. But I am sorry that you cannot have the safely to share what you need to on your own blog. Please let me know if my comments ever make you feel as though discussion is pointless.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kace, I know this has been such a brave and also painful journey for you. I think debate is usually helpful and always a valid option, and that it's sad that it degenerates so quickly into mocking, even in professional contexts - all the more so on the internet. I think this was a good decision not to post but also sad. Still, I know I'm not above stupid comments and am challenged myself to try to listen openly to all points of view. I would def say being in a relationship has strengthened that challenge!
Love you lots and well done for being so thought through - I value that so much in you.
Lots of love,

Jaimie said...

And that's a huge reason I got off Facebook.

Young Mom said...

Wow, I think I'm going to go read the rest of your comments on the other post. I haven't even touched talking about this on my blog! Scary topic, its almost worse than religion. And I hope that my comment on your post didn't come across as strident. :)

s-p said...

Kacie, I NEVER blog politics (either secular nor intra-Church). The people who post comments etc. are ahem... urinating into the wind and talking to themselves (or their clones). I don't concern myself much with "the big picture" in any arena of life... politics, Church issues, culture, economics etc. The fact of the matter is, no one who is important enough to make a decision that can change the world has any interest in what I think. (My daughter was a Poly-sci major and was disappointed when her prof. told her I was right, my single vote was absolutely statistically irrelevant. I don't vote and I don't bitch about political issues.)I sometimes listen to talk radio and the SALEM station's talk radio tag line is "Where YOUR opinion counts!" .... ummmm, yeah, right... it counts for Arbitron ratings and higher advertising rates. Media empires are being built on people's narcissism and the illusion that anyone listening really cares what they think, including the talk show hosts. The reality is, no ones' opinions really count for much of anything, and frankly very few people care what anyone else thinks, especially those who post snarky angry comments on blogs and facebook. Neither is either going to change their minds or change anyone else's mind who reads their stuff. I know that sounds bleak and negative, but in the end all that matters is Truth, not anyone's opinions. I often wonder lately what our conversations would sound like if all we did was "speak the truth in love". Especially when Christ stood silent before Pilate when He was asked "What is truth?" End of my rant. Thank you for listening. :)

Amy B. said...

I'm for one very sorry not to hear your views, which I respect very much. And even if I disagreed, I would be so nice about it! Any other avenue I could get a peek at your thoughts?? ;)

Steph said...

I've talked with my dad about this some during the election. It makes me wonder if all of this volatility over politics a generational thing?

I really don't have anything to back that up. :)

What I mean is that my dad has mastered the art of friendships and discourse. He has a way of not pissing off his conservative or liberal friends/coworkers/fellow churchgoers with his moderate views on things. I asked him how he manages to do this, especially since so many topics apparently mandate that you not only disagree with but HATE the other side.

"I will never let politics decide who my friends are or aren't. It's too fickle, too changing, too subjective to base something important, like an opinion of someone, on. If I am going going offend someone, it will only be with the 'offense of the cross'."

It sucks that things are so ugly right now. :( You don't want me your blog do you? :)

Sturgmom said...

Bummer. I was looking forward to reading, although my previous comment may have been too strident and discounted my eagerness. You do post thoughtful educated opinions, even if I sometimes disagree. It's really too bad you don't feel that you can post your thoughts on your own blog. :(

Anonymous said...

I saw a comment on your Facebook status that day or thereabouts where you'd status'd that you thought it was funny at the strength of some responses of people you knew; the comment seemed angry at your status' words, saying something like "I'm glad someone is enjoying this".

Anyways, I felt alienated by the strength of fear and anger in some family members and friends. Just, wow.


Smart Ug said...

This is, after all, the blog I use to process through thoughts and research on issues in theology, politics, etc.