Thursday, October 27, 2005

I've inspired a lot of ire, it turns out, by suggesting that I agree with SFgate columnist Mark Morford, as mentioned in this post. A couple of nasty emails, some mention on friends' blogs and the like (I can't imagine the email he must have gotten). Enough that I feel like okay, guess I better revisit this situation and explore my feelings publicly with y'all.

1. Do I think that a couple having sixteen children is a bad idea? Yeah.
2. Do I have issues with certain brands of Christianity? Yeah.
3. Am I the end-all, be-all of opinion-making? Of course not.
4. Is Mark Morford a self-righteous, entitled white male primadonna hyperbole-spinner? Probably. But he still manages to make me laugh and occasionally nod in complicity. I don't feel so bad; Bill O'Reilly has a huge audience and he's clearly an asshole.

1. Sorry, I'm married to a psychologist and I view the world through this lens anyway. Sixteen kids means a high percentage of kids who get very little, if no contact with their parents. And this can result in all manner of situations that do not promote happy people. It's a bitch that our childhood environments paint the essential design for our lives. You can tell me all you like about free will and essential personality and the like, but I have interacted with enough human beings in my life to know that while you can become responsible for yourself, but you don't outrun your roots. So yeah, I feel bad for those kids. I feel like they've got a bum rap. And then I think, wow, what time does a woman with 16 kids have for introspection? For awareness? Should I care? Probably not, but I like to live in a world where people seek awareness. It's just one of the ways I am.

2. The whole fundamentalist religion bit. You want to know the truth? It scares me. Yes, because I was raised by hippies, who foisted astrology and the I-ching on me. Yes, probably because my Jewish grandparents renounced religion and even God after they escaped Germany and lost their family to the Holocaust. Yes, because fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim or Atheist cult-members have a funny way of making decisions that attempt to take away rights, enact vengeance, cow people into submission, and often place a far greater value on life out of the body and off the planet. But I'm no atheist. I have a spiritual connection to that which made me and it gets deeper every day. I wouldn't preach my way to you or anyone.

3. Just like the people who have read this blog have felt they have a right to comment, I too have an opinion; isn't that one of the things that makes this country so great? That we can have dialogue about how we feel, we can vent our demons and show our true colors and not have to set up fences and arm ourselves with guns just to do so? Or, like some people, face jail time or worse for expressing our views?

Anyways, I thank all of you for engaging in this spirited dialogue, for your passionate views and for the changes and shifts they produced in me.


At 12:24 PM, Blogger Frank said...

Hi Jordan -
Thanks for publicly exploring this with us. For what it's worth, I come from what might seem a totally different background than yours. Both of my parents were 2nd generation Italian/Catholics and yet I'm hard pressed to find a single word of your post that I don't agree with.

My religious education helped me to learn that my "GOD" is conceptually simpler and much more powerful than that of any human devised organization.
Especially when those organizations are based on ignorance, hate, politics, and financial power.

When confronted by a victim (they often have other names for themselves) of one of these organizations, I will often listen to them for a while as they espouse what I MUST do or how I MUST think, but inevitably I end up stating:

God Gave you a Brain: Use It!

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
- Frank

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Thanks Frank. Though I'm glad to hear ANYone's pov, it's nice to feel supported for even a moment. Thanks for stopping by.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger katrina said...

Right on! Beautifully said, Jordan.


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