The older I get, the more of a social oddity I become.
Had lunch with some nice ladies yesterday. I enjoy these people's company immensely. They are fantastic moms. One has six kids--three adopted--two with major problems. She could teach a class on parenting. Another faces the challenges of a handicapped son with a huge amount of courage. Another is a former missionary. And as long as we stick to subjects like child-rearing, homeschooling, gardening, etc, we get along just fine. As long as I remember who I'm talking to. In the South. In the Bible belt.
But I forget sometimes. I open my mouth. I state my opinion. This never turns out well.
When the subject of the Presidential election, gun control, an the NAFTA superhighway came up, I should have stayed quiet.
But if you know me at all by now, you know I didn't. And thus the subject of this blog.
My perspective is unique in this group. I homeschool for different reasons than many of them. It's less about the morality or immorality of public schools and more my belief that I can do a better job than they can. I'm less inclined to keep the world out, though I do filter it some. TV and computer time are limited. Where they go and who they go with is closely policed. But I send them to camp (church and 4-H) and occasionally classes at the public school and they've played organized sports.
I differ other ways too. I am pro-gun control (to a point, more on this another time), nor do I see hunting as a sport, which is a decidedly un-Southern attitude. One of the earliest lessons my sons learn is that killing is not a game (no toy guns, no pellet guns, no killing games on the computers). I like Obama. The whole NAFTA superhighway conspiracy is one my favorite pervasive urban myths because it is so wide spread and embraced by so many different people.
I expressed one or three of these opinions as the subjects came up and I was quickly "put right". It was explained to me that the government wanted to take all our guns away so they could control our lives, that Obama is a Muslim, and that our leaders have dropped the title "United States" in favor of "America" and that they want to open our borders up to Mexico and Canada. We Christians are under attack. They want to destroy us. (Maybe they do. More on that another time). So we should teach our children to bear arms and be prepared for war on our own soil. They all like Ron Paul.
I'm not good at calling up facts in social situations (Now you know why I prefer print) so I dropped it. Actually I have no problem with the fact that they disagree with me, so I don't have much at stake that I feel the need to prove. It's that they based this all on something they heard from one man. In my opinion, this is more dangerous than the possibility of any super highway.
To be honest, I don't think we Americans are immune to the troubles the rest of the world is suffering from (If 911 didn't teach us this, nothing will). I do believe we're headed toward a collapse unless something major changes fairly soon (And I believe this change is possible). But at this point, as no one in Washington can agree on anything, or keep up with what they already have in their laps, we're probably safe. Collapse will come when they can no longer juggle the numbers to justify their existence. I think we'll see it coming and we'll have time to act (more on that in another blog). But we've got to pay attention to the actual dangers that face us and not be distracted by non-existent conspiracy theories. I believe that violence begets violence. There's a way to survive and prosper that does not entail keeping guns under your floorboards. (Mary's take on the world in less than a hundred words--I'm practicing restraint this morning).
The missionary was the woman who ran VBS last year and sent Joe home in tears because she wouldn't let him wear a t-shirt he'd painted during the program (depicting angels and demons fighting for our souls--a subject with fascinates him). She then asked all the adults at the program to pray for him as she was just sure he was dabbling in occultish stuff. The fact that she did it in front of a bunch of people I worship with and didn't come to me with it left me furious. I have to work on myself to forgive her for this. Most of the time, I do.
She commented that she'd heard from my kids recently that I write.
Yes, I do, I replied.
What kind of stuff do you write?
Science fiction thriller type stuff.
She blinked and grew silent.
Yup, I thought. That's where he gets it from. Wanna pray for my soul too?
Instead of saying what I was thinking I made some reference to the business of writing and changed the subject.
I think I need to learn to do this more often. Before I go to another one of these gatherings, I'm going to tattoo "Hush" on the back of my hand to both remind me of who I'm talking to and what I should keep to myself.