31 Mar 12

In my Classes I do my best not to include political, nor religious, persuasive content. I surely have strong opinions in both categories, but that is not what my students come to me to hear about. I welcome to my classes all good and decent people, and I have serious students from nearly all political and religious backgrounds. I assure them that, over adult beverages that same evening, we can discuss such things, but not during Class!

I don’t want any student being uncomfortable in my Class, because he thinks a particular political or religious point of view is expected. It is not!

In my Quips, I do express strong political opinions, but I have never required agreement with me, on any subject, to be a condition of friendship, nor mandatory for a productive student/instructor relationship. I don’t try to “convert” anyone, and I respect peoples’ right to hold opinions with which I disagree.

With the foregoing in mind, here is a note I received today from a long-time friend and student, with regard to my last Quip:

“I am your ‘throw-down’ Democrat!

I did not vote for the Dude in ‘08. He has lived-up to my expectations. I will never vote for him.

My ancestors have kept and carried arms since 1620. We have served, on the front-lines, in every War this Country has been in, from the French & Indian Wars, to Iraq and Afghanistan. My nieces and nephews are serving today!

I see it as my duty as an American not to let their legacy down. I carry their message of liberty and freedom. I honor them in that way.

To that end, I tote guns, and do my best to enlighten all who oppose our Second Amendment.

It is my choice to stay in the Democrat Party, and promote enlightenment from the inside, rather than leaving in disgust. I’m fully aware of the menacing anti-gun stance claimed by many who are currently at the top of the Democrat food-chain.”

And these comments from another long-time friend and student:

“The Democratic Party philosophy of ecumenical hoplophobia was designed, from the beginning, to keep guns out of the hands of the ‘non-elite.’

Accordingly, I cannot agree with you that you can be a Democrat and simultaneously pro-gun, any more than you can be Catholic and pro-abortion.

Just as there are no ‘moderate’ Communists. Honest Democrats, who claim to be pro-gun, need to abandon the Party, much as it has (already) abandoned them,

I believe it’s time everyone call a spade a spade!”

My comments: I’m not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of any political party, but I have been, and am, a member of a church, although there are issues within official church doctrine with which I disagree. I consider those items to be relatively minor, but not everyone does. Many churches have splintered, bitterly, over issues most considered “minor.”

In the upcoming presidential election, I have every confidence the person for whom I vote will be far from perfect. In fact, I suspect he will hold the title, at least in my mind, of “The best of the worst.”

But, I’m far from perfect too, and I discover, nearly every day, issues about which I’ve been wrong up until now. At my age, I’m still capable of sincere repentance!

I think all of us who value our liberty and freedom, most directly our freedom to keep and bear arms, need to be especially tolerant of each other, particularly when our opinions diverge on other matters.

“Who never doubted, never half-believed. Where doubt, there truth is- ’tis her shadow.”

Philip J Bailey, 1900AD

“We are no one’s slaves!”

Queen Boadicea of the Iceni, 60AD, my relative (probably!)