Saturday, February 9, 2013

"Empire" a book by Orson Scott Card

"Empire" by Orson Scott Card

I just finished reading this book which proposes an alternate future, (I pray) where there is a second civil war in the U.S. between radical left and radical right idealists.

It was definitely worth reading and caused me to take a good look at my own views, which are more left on most issues.

I wish the national background checks for guns only applied to semi-automatics or that these were Banned altogether along with high capacity magazine clips.  But I can understand the fears of people who don't trust the government, (I basically don't) and don't want every gun in the nation registered.  I am NOT interested in taking up arms against the government.  I am Not a survivalist.  As the Minominee Native American poet Chrystos has said, (my paraphrase) "People are already mean enough that I don't want to be around when they get worse." 

This doesn't mean I think all humans are cruel.  We are all Capable of cruelty we never dreamed of I think, but when we can, very many of us choose to be kind and generous.

I'm just saying I can understand people's fears about so much government knowledge of personal lives.

As long as people respect me I don't care what there sexual orientation is or if they marry.  Here I don't see how a middle position is possible.  A civil union which confers all tax and insurance benefits on same sex couples?  I know this is Not enough for gay and lesbian couples and I have a feeling for why.  But how can we as Americans avoid viewing one another with contempt when some of us honestly believe homosexuality is wrong and a sin against God?  I don't know.  My feeling is that being raised in a loving family of Any kind is better than being abused, neglected, or abandoned.  Research I have read seems to say that those raised in same sex couple families are more likely to Try being like their parents, but Not more likely to Choose homosexuality for themselves.

I believe a woman should have the right to a safe, legal, abortion and that Christian people should have the right to Peacefully protest this choice, so long as they aren't blocking clinic doors or threatening clinic employees or the women who go to the clinics.

We simply Have to try to make Room for one another to Exist or this country Will have more violence.

There are times when I have to say to people, "I respect your right to hold that view but I don't agree.  I'm not interested in fighting with you about it but I will talk with you if our goal is Understanding each other, instead of trying to Change or Humiliate each other."  Usually, this isn't the case, unfortunately.

With most people I have just gotten to a place where I don't discuss religion or politics.  It tends to become nasty fast.

I'm interested in the "reproductive Justice Movement" which is different than the right to an abortion.  This movement comes mostly from people of color who are saying, "we might like to have more children, If we had the chance to bring them up with good nutrition, a decent education, and a hope of a job which could support them."  (Again, this is my paraphrase).  Instead, many poor women, of all races including poor white women, opt for abortion to give their living children a chance to survive or do well in life.

Just for the record, I recognize the occasional necessity of a late term abortion, but yes, I have more problems with this.  A mother's life Should be saved to care for her Living children.  But as a Buddhist, I believe the consciousness of a being will go on to find new parents when a woman has an abortion.  I do favor birth control Over abortion.

So I hope I'm left moderate.  I don't want to hate my neighbor, no matter How strongly I disagree.  Some ideas cause angry feelings in me.  I choose not to listen to talk radio at either end of the political spectrum because I believe its purpose is Not to inform, but to preach to those who already adhere to that particular creed and to "entertain" (I don't call it that" by humiliating and laughing with  contempt and scorn on anyone who disagrees.

I found this a thought provoking book, although I did not agree with the author on all points.

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