I’m ready to come a little further out of the closet, and admit to being a deviant. Hi, I’m TheoloGOP… and I’m a liberal.
I don’t like to shop. I hate shopping. Look, I’ll scoop a dirty cat box, detail the car, even watch “Meet The Press” quicker than I’ll go to the store without a fight. Don’t get me wrong. I have shopped. I’ll even do it on my own sometimes, around the holidays, but I don’t like it. And what’s worse, I don’t understand the thrill others find in it.
I don’t want a Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes. I drive a clunker. I like my clunker. If I had a gazillion dollars, I’d still like my clunker. Wanna know what I think when I see a car that costs over $30,000? I think, “Oh my god! That car costs over $30,000!!!” I don’t think, “Gee, I’d sure like to have one of those!” I think, “Man, I’m sure glad I don’t want one of those!”
I think boxing is nuts. I don’t get it. I can’t figure out how it can be legal, actually. Basically, as I understand it, it’s illegal to beat someone up unless you are acting in self-defense. It’s also illegal to beat someone up for money. And yet… we have boxing. Whenever I surf past a boxing match (for instance on HBO) it makes me queasy. I feel sorry for the guys in the ring. I can’t understand how a tape of two guys beating each other up for real isn’t obscene, but a tape of two people pretending to get jiggy is.
I have the Circadian rhythms of a raccoon. I prefer to stay up all night and sleep during the day. According to my mother, I have always been this way. As she tells it, when I was a baby, I would play quietly with my toys in my crib at night, and go to sleep around sun-up. As for me, I don’t remember ever being any other way. I get my second wind at about 8 or 9 at night. That’s when I feel the best, and I’m raring to go. Noon to me probably feels the same way 3 a.m. feels to most other folks. I’m nocturnal. An owl.
I have a Samson complex, and not just about me. I like long hair. I like it on everyone, male or female. To my eye, short hair looks funny — unnatural. I hate getting my hair cut. I don’t like anyone near my head with a pair of scissors. When I do get my hair cut (or more often, cut my own hair), I feel weird for days. I sort of have to work up to it, to cut it.
I don’t like any sports except for Baseball, and just The Red Sox. I watched a ton of football with my dad growing up, and I loved spending that time doing that with him, but as soon as I left home for college, I stopped cold. I went to Texas A&M, where football is a religion, but I only went to one game in four years, and only under duress. I have also never understood, AT ALL, why sports coverage is part of every regular local newscast. Personally, I’d like to see the “News-Weather-Sports” lineup become the “News-Weather-Furry Mammals” line-up. I’d like to see all the sports reporters be replaced with Jack Hanna clones. Come to think of it, you could throw out the weather part, too, and I wouldn’t mind in the least. That’s what the internet’s for.
Now, here comes the serious part…
I don’t want to have children. I don’t want to start a biological family. I love other people’s kids, and I’m great with them (I have family and a long list of former neighbors who can back me up on this one), but I know I am happier without children of my own. I’m also sure that the kind of life I now have would be gone for good if kids came into the picture. That’s the way it is. And honestly, that’s the way I WANT it to be. I will admit to the occasional pang of baby-lust, but I’ve never had a case of baby-love.
God has never spoken to me. Not once. I grew up in a religious home. I went to church, to Sunday School, to Vacation Bible School, to CYF summer sleep-away camp near Athens, Texas. I prayed A LOT. But I still vaguely remember, even when I was very young, going to church and peeking out from between my clasped hands when people were praying. I remember watching them and thinking, “They’re playing make believe. They’re not talking to God, they’re talking to each other…” As I got older, I realized the heresy of such a thought, and I stomped it down DEEP. I put all of my energy into getting right with Jesus. (Those of you who have spent any time on twitter know that I have energy to spare NOW — just imagine what I was like THEN). I made god my raison d’etre. I did everything I was told — and everything I could think of on my own — to get him to talk to me. He never did. As much as I like to hear myself talk, I hung up about 25 years ago, and it has made all the difference for me.
So, there you have it. I am a deviant — different from the norm in a multitude of ways. So, why am I telling you this? What’s the point? Here’s the point: Everything I have said is true, but so is this…
I don’t want to outlaw shopping or shut down the malls.
I don’t think people who like to shop are bad.
I don’t want to outlaw expensive cars like Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes.
I don’t think that people who own expensive cars are bad.
I don’t want to outlaw boxing, or lock up boxers or boxing spectators.
I don’t think liking boxing, or making boxing your career, is bad.
I don’t want to pass a law to make people adjust their clocks to suit me.
I don’t think being awake during the day and sleeping at night is bad.
I don’t want to outlaw barbers, or cosmetologists, or scissors, or baldness.
I don’t think having or liking short hair, or no hair, is bad.
I don’t want to outlaw sports, or sportscasts, or sports reporters.
I don’t think that liking sports, or making sports your career, is bad.
(Dave Zirin, I’d make out with you on principle. Also, ‘cuz you’re wicked hot.)
I don’t want to outlaw parenting.
I don’t think that being a parent is bad.
I don’t want to outlaw god, or prayer, or churches.
I don’t think that people who believe in god are bad.
That is what makes me a liberal. As a liberal, I know I have my own personal opinions, my own personal preferences, and my own personal tastes, and I know that is ALL THEY ARE. I know that other people can have different opinions, preferences and tastes, and they don’t threaten mine. I know other people can make different choices, and they don’t diminish mine. I don’t believe that there is only one right choice to make for everyone. I respect and appreciate diversity. I don’t want the government taking sides — even if the side they take is mine. I don’t want to be told people who are different than me are wrong or bad. I want the freedom to make up my own mind, and I want you to have that freedom, too.
Here is what I DON’T want to hear from my government ANYMORE:
If you’re not straight, you’re bad.
If you don’t believe in god(s), any god(s), or the most popular god(s), you’re bad.
If you weren’t raised in a two-parent family (whatever the hell that means when they say it) you had a bad childhood; your (grand/non-traditional/absent military) parent(s) is/was are/were bad.
If you don’t have children of your own, you’re bad.
If you don’t get married, whether or not we’ll let you, to a person of whom WE approve, you’re bad.
As a liberal, I don’t want society cleansed of people that are different than me, or that make different choices. I don’t want a homogeneous society. I don’t want everyone to be JUST LIKE ME. I don’t want the government to make it easy to be me, and tough to be you; to say it’s right to be me, and wrong to be you. As a liberal, I know the difference between an opinion and a fact, and I want the government to stick to facts. I want the gray areas left alone. I want to make up my own mind. I want to be free to be who I am, believe what I believe, like what I like, say what I say, love who I love, and live how I live. I want the same thing for you.
And in case you’re wondering? Bullet holes in dead children are not a gray area.
I may not want kids, but I want kids to live.