Monday, October 06, 2008

Getting it off my chest

I’m not going to be posting at the Wagon for awhile, at least not until after the election. Those of you who read that board probably already know why. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and as time goes on I’m more and more bothered by the direction the political discussions have gone and by the way the board administration has handled it. In short I feel there is a definite political bias, and I’m thoroughly disgusted at how one side has been admonished for speaking their minds while the other side has been allowed/encouraged to not only speak up, but to spread falsehoods about candidates and their beliefs and in a few cases about my religion. In several instances, I’ve corrected people claiming that McCain, Palin, Bush et. al. want to take away all birth control, or have birth control declared as an abortion, and each time I’m shouted down – not with real facts but with more badmouthing of the candidate in question and an insistence on declaring the above as though it were true.

I’ve also been insulted for my personal choice of birth control, and have been talked to in such a way that I find insulting and demeaning to my intelligence and to my religion. While I’ll acknowledge that McCain, Palin, Bush and most Republicans most definitely are pro-life, and are anti Roe v. Wade, to try to frame the debate in terms of taking away birth control is disingenuous and malicious. I think most who are pro-choice feel that a pro-life position alone is enough to vote for the other candidate - there is no need to exaggerate the position unless you are just trying to smear the candidate. And in my opinion smearing McCain/Palin was the order of the day, and really the whole purpose some people were posting to the thread(s). Despite the self-congratulatory tone about how everyone is/was “learning so much” from the thread(s), it was blatantly obvious to me that many were just looking to have their own liberal sentiments echoed back to them, or to hear the conservative side shouted down.

I haven’t posted in the most recent threads at all – they were locked by the time I read them and a community message was sent out that basically scolded someone on the conservative side for daring to start a thread that approached the debate from a conservative viewpoint. Suddenly anyone making the simplest of statements for McCain or against Obama is told by the board owner to “back up their claims” with links to prove the facts. I see/saw no such requirement or request for those smearing McCain – and that has been going on since mid to late August. When I requested someone back up their claims about the birth control position I was given links to left-leaning statements of the candidates position that didn’t even back up the anti birth control claims (although they did affirm a pro-life stance, which I don’t deny) along with a link to an opinion piece posted on a newspaper blog – hardly factual evidence. Of course when I pointed that out, I was shouted down again and scolded for questioning the opinion piece by calling it a blog (blog or not an opinion piece does not constitute factual evidence). Also the opinion piece didn’t even mention birth control.

I am also sick to death of my religion being thrown out there under the bus throughout this debate. I am a practicing, believing Roman Catholic and if anyone dared try to smear any other religion everyone would cry foul. Say something bad about the Catholic faith though, and everyone seems to cheer and jeer, nevermind if what is being said is actually true or not. In one instance someone claimed that my religion believes all birth control is a sin because it goes against God’s will to create life. When I pointed out this is not true, that the Pope himself encourages Catholics to plan their families responsibly using natural family planning, I got disparaging remarks about this method of birth control and it was dismissed as the rhythm method. Even if you question the effectiveness of this method of birth control, to say the Church believes birth control is a sin even though they clearly encourage at least this form of birth control is an outright lie, told to “strengthen” the smear tactic against the Church. People who say this just want to make others believe the Church would have you raising googles of children you couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to plan for. By the way, Natural Family Planning is basically the method described in the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” which is widely acknowledged as one of the best books on fertility available, there is much, much more involved than just counting days (the rhythm method). It is often recommended reading for someone trying to get pregnant too, as knowing your fertility will help you control both when and if you get pregnant.
Anyway, all this is just to get it off my chest I guess. I’m angry and annoyed and I guess I just need to step away from that board for awhile. There are many ladies (some who disagree with my politics) I still count among my virtual friends, and I hope to keep it that way. I figured posting here, those who care what happened to me will find it, and those who would only sneer at it will be spared having to read it. I’m also hoping I’ll be spared having to bear the insults of those who disagree, so if you have nothing nice to say, please just move along – I’m not interested in your comments, and I’ll delete them if you post them. It’s my blog and I don’t have to be diplomatic here. Frankly, I feel I was plenty “nice” to those who disagreed on the boards and basically got disrespect and sneering behavior in return. For that reason, I feel no need to invite discussion into it at this point.


Anonymous said...

Right there with you, Jenny. But you know that already. ;)

Those kind of people are all about free speech and choice as long as you are saying what they want to hear and making the choices they would make themselves. If not, you're an undereducated, fundamentalist idiot.

....and they consider themselves the party of peace, acceptance and equality.

OTOH, they will willingly vote an vile man with known terrorist ties and other subversive connections into office.

....and we're the uneducated ones.... go figure.

Anyway - it's her board, her rules, her ego - what are you going to do? Walk away like so many already have. I guess I'm a slow learner or have more faith in humanity than I should.

Hang tough - the election part of it will be over soon enough and there will be plenty more battles to fight regardless of who wins.


Suzanne said...

Oh, don't get me started on this election and the media bias that has been so blatant since day one. I'm over this election, and ready to vote. I made one comment on the debate thread, and since that went downhill, I refuse to even open any threads discussing politics. It just isn't worth it to me. Nothing I say will change their minds, nor them mine.

I just pray that all of us that have felt this media bias, and that haven't been able to voice our opinions as loudly as others, get to the polls and VOTE in November!

Raven/Missy said...


I have to agree with you, though this bias is not just on boards, it is throughout the entire media in the US. I find it very sad myself.


Eva said...

From one practicing Roman Catholic to another, I must tell you that you stated what I have been thinking very well.

Hugs to you, and hang in there. The election will be over someday, although it seems like the campaign has been going on forever.


Susan said...

{{{Jenny}}} - I absolutely agree with everything you have said.

Freedom of speech is alive and well, as long as you're a Democrat.

I have avoided posting to the political threads since the comment was made about the mothers of special needs children (by someone who considers themself an "expert" because their sibling is autistic.) More than being angry, I was profoundly disappointed.

Apparently, it's okay to disparage mothers of special needs children, or Roman Catholics, but heaven help us if we say anything against any other "protected" (perceived or otherwise) group.

I have avoided discussing it, either on the board, or in my own blog, because I'm going to Celebration of Needlework this weekend, and I don't want to ruin my experience of that weekend, but after that, I'm inclined to agree with you - I should just stay away. It's pretty clear which way the wind blows...

People seem to thing that once the election (or inauguration) is out of the way, we can go back to being the way we were; not considering that their comments have lost them friendships which will never be fixed.

indystitch said...

I have to admit that I haven't been involved in any of the political discussions on the board - and for that matter haven't even read them. I'm pretty passionate on my personal politics and I value and respect my friends who may disagree with me too much to get involved with political battles that just alienate people that I care about.

However, I was very turned off by the dictatorial mass e-mail sent to all board members. I've disagreed with many administrative decisions made in the past and this latest e-mail totally turned me off of the board all together - at least for now.

Annette said...

There is nothing that we can say, no evidence we can provide and no position we can take that will change the mindset of those ready to throw their country away in November. I will not visit the board again this year, and maybe longer after what I've read on the political threads. The email we all received sealed that. I leave the board to be run as the owner sees fit, it just doesn't fit me any longer.

Being Conservative isn't a crime. Holding true to the Constitution and the beliefs that founded this Nation isn't unpatriotic.

extrememom24 said...

Jenny, It was me who made the smart alek joke about the rhythm method. I am sorry about that. I didn't realize how insensitive it would come across in the forum. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I apologize. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and judgments, I guess I didn't think anyone would take it seriously.

Melissa C. said...

Jenny, you know (I hope!) how much I value your friendship, and not just virtual. You are one of my favorite people to get together with in real life, and I feel happy to count you among my friends. I can't wait to GTG next year when you have purchased your new and exciting house.

I can say the same for just about everyone who has already posted here in your comments, like Cathy, and Susan, and Eva and Annette, and I forget who else posted. LOL Our politics might be 100% opposed, but I like you all as people. I know and care about your families, your jobs, your health, your stitching. That's part of the reason I have really tried to lay low in some of those threads - because although I disagree with everyone's politics, I like you all as people. And I hate for people's feelings to be hurt.

I hate that how we all feel about each other gets lost in the shouting. I hope that you all don't feel that all Democrats are slimy and I'm a little worried after reading some of the comments here...

But anyway. Take the time you need, but please don't you all disappear. I like ALL of you (just not your candidate).

Love, Melissa

Belinda said...

I think you've defended my position as well, with better words and more courage than I would have. I generally just don't post (or at this point, even read) the political threads because I know I'm in the minority and being a conflict-avoidance type it really grieves me to see everyone at each other's throats.

But at least in less than a month, the election will be over.

Coni said...

Hello, Jenn. I'm a boob and must live in a stitchy cave.....what's the Wagon?

DarCA said...

I'm in agreement with all of you - the Democrats on that board are out of control. As soon as a conservative opinion is posted, they shut the thread down.

Freedom of speech only goes as far as their opinions - it's very upsetting to me that Democrats can be like that.

The email from the admin really made me mad, I want to respond; but I'm sure it won't make a bit of difference.

They can all have their liberal board now; they won't get any dissenting opinions; they are not allowed.

Autumn said...

I completely missed any and all of that. I learned awhile back that for my own sanity I stay away from anything on the boards that are not stitching related. I think a lot of that was why I've been laying low for so long. I just couldn't deal with all that kind of foolishness anymore. You have my sympathies.

Jill in CA said...

(((Jenny))) Like Melissa, I disagree with you on most of the political issues, but I feel that there's never a reason for personal attacks or nastiness. I love and respect you as a friend, and who you vote for, and your reasons for it, won't change that! Whenever I've posted to one of those threads I re-type my response ten times or more (or sometimes delete it entirely) because the last thing I'd want to do is hurt someone I care about. I have found even in my marriage, though, that it can be really hard to be calm and rational about politics. We've resorted to avoiding it entirely because I get too worked up on the issue. I hope you'll still be posting in the stitching/crafting threads of course, but if you need some time away I'll still check in here!