Be Careful What You Wish For

January 28, 2024

I don’t remember all of the details, but many years ago, I got a vasectomy because that operation was easier with less chance of complications than a hysterectomy my wife was facing.

Again, I don’t remember the details of why, but I do remember some of the details of my procedure. During the early stages, I had to go for testing, and on one of my appointments, they handed me a cup. I asked what it was they wanted. No one had stated explicitly and it seemed to me it could go either way because of what I was being tested for. And where. The nurse told me they wanted a urine sample. She said, “We don’t do THAT here”. I understood what THAT was. It was exactly the information I needed.

The point of all of that story is that it pays to understand what is being said. What is being asked. My situation could have ended up a funny story bandied at nurse’s stations and doctor’s offices forever. Misunderstandings have led to deaths and dismemberment, fights, divorces… even wars. It pays to make sure we understand things before we act. Or react.

I don’t always get things right. The need for clarification does not always present itself as obviously as it did on this particular day. I have made mistakes. I anticipate making more. I’m human. However, where all it takes is a question or two, I do my best to make sure I’m clear on what I’m hearing or saying. It makes many things so much easier.

There is a hue and cry nationwide these days over what is taught in public schools. Outcry about the sinister intent of those teaching our children about diversity, inclusion, and equity. That sounds like some toxic stuff! I had to take a closer look so I checked Wikipedia:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (usually abbreviated DEI) refers to organizational frameworks which seek to promote “the fair treatment and full participation of all people”, particularly groups “who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination” on the basis of identity or disability.

That’s some nasty stuff there! I totally get a parent wanting to shield their child from something as noxious as this. To shield adults from it as well. Let’s just expunge this whole mind frame from society.

There is also a groundswell of outrage about anti-racism programs in our schools. Anti-racism is just another form of racism and it is harming our children. Why dwell on peccadilloes of the past? Let’s just move on. I shudder to even think of the years of therapy this kind of teaching could lead to.

Narrow interpretation, often in the absence of any context, is not new. It seems like only yesterday that throngs of people were burning Beatles records and merchandise because John Lennon made the observation that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. What did he mean by that? What was in his mind? Might he have said it sarcastically? (that IS often a get-out-of-jail-free card for some politicians who make less-than-intelligent remarks.) Many people reacted without any clarifying questions. The intention and meaning of the comment did not matter. The worst possible interpretation of what John Lennon said just had to be what he meant.

Do you remember Natalie Maines (of the Dixie Chicks) told a crowd in London that they were “ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” referring to George W. Bush? The reaction was swift. And severe. The Dixie Chicks disappeared for a while.

Books in location after location are being banned. Removed from libraries, often at the agitation of people who have not even read the books in question. A vocal cluster of crusaders invested in making children safe from practices and ideas contrary to the teachings of their religion. And yet…

Swords cut both ways. Wikipedia reports ours is an ostensibly Christian nation.

Christianity is the most prevalent religion in the United States. Estimates from 2021 suggest that of the entire U.S. population (332 million) about 63% is Christian (210 million).

It is indisputable that the foundation teachings for Christianity are in the Holy Bible. A book. A collection of books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament; and 27 books in the New Testament. There are also some words and stories contained in the bible that, in other publications, would be grounds for contention. For removal from the public catalog.

Think I’m being silly? It happened in Utah. It only took one parent to complain. That is one huge problem with this whole situation. One person or a very small group of people can agitate and get books banned. Ideas censored. This is a very subjective thing. Not everyone agrees but everyone is affected when things like this occur. That is a huge reason why everyone should have the same understanding of what things mean. What is WOKE? What is DEI? Some people use the words and ideas like alley dumpsters. Any garbage can be thrown in there. Everything ends up smelling the same. Unfairly.

Some of the people most vocal about the things to which our youth are being exposed are the same who are festooning homes and fields along the local highways with explicit and implicit obscene language about President Biden. People are still bothered by the results of the 2020 election and inspired by a misheard chant at a race track. The result is Let’s Go Brandon fluttering merchandise on poles and barn sides in many places I travel these days. Do you suppose the children get the joke? Do you suppose they can connect Let’s Go Brandon flags with the more carnal message? I always struggle with the contradiction here. The brazen hypocrisy of people who fly these flags or complacently snicker about or silently tolerate them are the same ones railing against WOKE and DEI. Who can’t tell apples from oranges?

         

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