So, during the last election cycle, our knit shop Knit Night was populated by a wide range of mostly women. By wide range, I mean politically.
And some of us (ahem * yours truly*) tended to get heated in our discussions concerning the election. (You'll remember that I had to stop consuming media of any kind I got so incensed at the rhetoric and nastiness.) I'll admit that the truth is that those discussions likely put people off. And by likely, I mean I'm sure they put people off and perhaps even discouraged folks from coming to our cozy little group to knit or crochet with us.
So we instituted a no politics discussions policy and I got nominated (as the sole employee who regularly attends) to make sure that conversations stayed comfortable for everyone.
Hello, Fox? This is the Henhouse. You're on duty.
And, for awhile, I was pretty effective. Well, at least we didn't discuss sensitive issues unless we were sure it was a small group and it wasn't uncomfortable for anyone. Mostly.
Our group has grown again and contains a wide range of intelligent folks. It's mostly women, mostly falling somewhere on the liberal spectrum, all creative and interesting. We also have our share of undeclareds and a dash of left leaning conservative. It's a great group and attending is a highlight of my week.
What we share is a love for knitting, crochet, and fiber. We share life experience and humor. We share recipes and a love of reading and movies and movie star hunks. ; )
This is where I'm breaking from the pack. Specifically on the Catholic Church's stance concerning reproductive healthcare and reproductive rights and concerning the Komen/Planned Parenthood fiasco.
First of all, I believe that healthcare is a human right. Period. Those who are politicizing health care by demanding that it be either provided with restrictions or denied because of religious beliefs ought to be taken out back and made glad they have health care. Second of all, I believe that reproductive rights are the real power behind the women's movement in this country and world wide -- women can't gain economic security while enslaved by the miracle that is our bodies. Third, I believe that a person's beliefs are her own and sacred and something to be valued and respected.
Yeah, I know. That set of beliefs contains conundrums and a Gordian knot and more sleight of hand than an M.C. Escher lithograph.
That's the thing of it. These issues are not black and white. They are not liberal or conservative. They are gray, gray, gray. The solutions to the problems will be found in elegant compromise.
There. I said it. The C word.
Compromise, people. And I digress when I say that our politicians should be masters of the elegant compromise not the quip or demeaning sound bite. The fact that they cannot bring themselves to compromise with eachother, or perhaps that some of us attack them when they try, is a debilitating weakness facing this country and one that makes us more like the extremists we purport to despise than I'd like to consider.
Back to Knit Night. If I can't discuss these issues, nay, hash them out, with these women whom I respect and love, then how can I expect my leaders to be able to do it?
In fact, I think that these discussions among peers should begin all over the country -- respecful, truly open discussions, in which both parties are willing to bend if persuaded -- and our group is the perfect place to start.
Edited to add: Since you asked, Kevin. (He's right, it's not perfectly clear, only obliquely implied.) I blog because I need to say these things. I blog because I need to float these ideas. I blog to organize my ideas. I blog so that I can get the rants out of my system. While this post was rattling around in my head this morning, I got so fixated that I put Laura Geller Under Make-up Spackle cream in my hair instead of on my face. Obviously, I need an outlet.