Friday, February 22, 2008

Flaming Free Speech Fridays....

Yeah, I got flamed. Having been reading and writing on political blogs for several years, I found the anonymous flame rather tame and amusing. Last year on one political blog I was called
  1. fascist
  2. deluded
  3. naive
  4. conservative
  5. a fool
  6. a bunch of other stuff
simply because I disagreed with various opinions. People who know me find this pretty humorous, because I am a bleeding heart liberal from way back. That's life on the political blogs. But it must be good practice for not letting stuff bother you, because the flamish comment on my blog didn't really bother me.

I mean, I was sitting at home eating pretzels and surfing the net when I read that I must be hedonistic. Every single time I think about it I laugh, it just completely cracks me up. I guess pretzels are the new cocaine.

But it showed me that I have made some real friends here on the blogosphere, since several jumped to my defense. Defended me really well, to boot. (Thanks, guys!) And Tasina made a really excellent point -- the anonymous flamer criticized me well, anonymously. This person wasn't brave enough to even leave their first name when they were being so rude about me. I have no problem with free speech -- the only comments I will delete are spam or extraordinarily rude, vulgar or foul ones. Even ones that disagree with me, like this one:

How sad for you, that you find sex cheap, when it is beautiful and should be kept sacred. This attitude is why we have unwed mothers and gangs. The children have no fathers, because people do as they please there are no rules. It's all about feeling good with reckless abandon to what is right. You must be a complete hedonist.
which was a response to my anger at the people -- I believe I may have called them nutcase fundies -- who forced a message of abstinence to replace the message "use condoms" in Africa, and which has resulted in the HIV infection rate to rise again, and my complete bewilderment at the fact that these people think they have the right and responsibility to be the moral compass for the world, and asked why anyone cares what other people, people wholly unconnected and unknown to them, what those people do. Of course I must admit I was not all that polite about them:

If my neighbor chooses to marry his dog and have an affair with the pool boy, the only way it affects me is if he leaves his wife out in the backyard all night and her barking keeps me up. But some yahoo in Alabama apparently thinks that what I do or my neighbor does (actually, I have very nice neighbors, I think) is the yahoo's business. Idiot.
Perhaps I struck too close to home. Perhaps this person really thinks sex is sacred and wants others to experience it in the same way. Perhaps this person just really really thinks sex belongs in whispers and darkened bedrooms and is not to be discussed in polite company. I don't know, and we may never know.

What I haven't said up to this point, and what I would like to say to anonymous, is that my attitude about sex -- which you have completely misinterpreted, by the way -- is much healthier than yours. My attitude about sex and nudity and my neighbor's sexuality is not harmful to others, but your judgmental and condemnatory attitude certainly can be.

Here's the big point you just don't seem to understand: I am not advocating teen sex, or gay sex, or bestiality, or adultery, or any other deviance you seem to have attributed to me. I simply and strongly believe that it is not my right nor my responsibility to decide how my neighbor should behave, when that behavior has no impact on me. That my neighbor chooses an abortion cannot in any way impact my life. Nor can it impact yours. The fact that someone chooses to end a pregnancy cannot materially impact you. It may make your heart hurt, it may be against your interpretation of God's will, it may make you very unhappy, but that is not enough to allow you to force the rest of us to follow your belief system.

See, I realize that my life is not perfect. I have many flaws, and make mistakes, and do the best I can. I try to follow my own moral compass and walk my talk. I feel no need to wonder if I am walking your talk. I don't care if you think me hedonistic because I don't subscribe to the same narrow world view that you do.


  1. Nice! I actually do have some fairly "conservative" beliefs (and then also some fairly "liberal" beliefs) on plenty of issues, but they are my guidelines for my own life, not something I feel the need to impose on others, especially not on people in other cultures where AIDS is so sadly killing so many and where condoms could help so tremendously. In my personal life, sex is beautiful and sacred, but so are people's lives, especially all those kids that grow up orphans when their parents die of diseases that could be prevented through something so simple as education and condoms.

    I'm glad you don't take the flaming personally. These people are heartless while standing behind religion pretending to be otherwise.

  2. Well said! *claps*

  3. Holy Cow, what a strange thing, in my narrow view for that person to have said to you.

    ::shakes head::

    The line about the neighbor's wife barking was priceless.


  4. *applause - applause - applause*

    You are not going to believe what WE did. We had pretzels....

    wait for it....

    WITH DIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOOHOO. A complete hedonistic pretzel and dip orgy!!! hahahahahaha

    We are sure damned to hell.

    Seriously great post. You are awesome.

  5. Thanks all...

    Maggie -- I think that I so seldom think in terms of other people's behavior that when talking of sex it's in my own experience, married for a couple decades, so casual sex has a completely different personal meaning -- you know, like we don't bother to turn off the tv or whatever...while I am not one for casual sex with semi-strangers, I have no comment or condemnation for those who choose that lifestyle. It just doesn't matter to me. People choose so many potential harmful choices, why should sex be singled out for particular condemnation?

    Diane, yeah, I really liked that one too...

    Tasina, you are going straight to hell. Dip! That's the new crystal meth!


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