Remember when we were small children, completely ignorant to domestic politics, completely unaware that foreign policy and global politics existed? When we were mere lads and lasses we couldn’t care less about what those men in suits said who kept our fathers’ faces flush to the television screens. Our ignorance to everything political didn’t stop father from loudly taking his position, shouting it at the screen, grumbling it to himself as he sipped his beer. And for those few short years, everything we learned about politics we learned from a single, angry source: Dad.
A devout conservative, my father, it’s surprising that during my first grade mock presidential elections I voted for Dukakis. The rest of the class of six and seven-year-olds voted for Bush (41). Why did they vote for Bush? Did these children know something about Bush’s platform that I didn’t know? Were they fully aware of the issues at stake? No. Quite literally they voted for Bush because “My dad says Doodiekochyhead is an idiot.” Ok, fair enough. Daddy’s always right. Me? I didn’t fare any better. I voted for Dukakis strictly because I was the only person in my class who could accurately pronounce his name. I had a prepubescent superiority complex.
Most of us (the reasonable people) outgrow this tendency to defer back to father when talking about political issues. We form opinions of our own after years of being exposed to generalized issues such as social policy, economics, foreign policy, etc. We begin to align ourselves somewhere on or within the political spectrum. But then again, there are some (many) of us who still defer back to daddy, even if it’s not biological daddy. Behold:
SOURCE: Comments from this article
I could’ve used almost any political news article from the last two weeks to illustrate this point, but that would’ve been too easy. Just swap out some of the words and the above comment now reads: “As an American I am angry at this socialist crap. Whatever judges decide marriage belongs to straight couples. God said that so that decides it as far as I am concerned.” My point is that this comment could’ve been left anywhere, and it would still be just as intellectually lazy.
Saying “Because god said so” is not an actual answer to anything. It’s no more informed than a child saying “Obama’s a stupid head because my dad says so!” Unfortunately these comments are everywhere, on everything from same-sex marriage to ISIS. There are still people who take positions on political matters based on what their scripture says. They don’t take the time to understand the issue, instead deferring to their religious beliefs. Or even worse, they do understand the issue, but instead do the opposite of what logic tells them to do because their sky daddy says so. “Obama’s a stupid head because god says so.” See how idiotic that sounds?
If you’re going to take a position on something, be informed. If your position is “god says so” then you’ve taken a stupid position. If you actually invest oneself in the issue, you’ll find the issues are far more complicated than a black-and-white deferral to god. Have your own voice because these are issues that affect us all and have nothing to do with your particular brand of theism. Referring back to the comment illustrated in this post, Palestine is incredibly more complicated than what the Abrahamic religious texts say. Saying “God gave the land to the Jews” completely ignores the complexity of this issue.