July 30, 2004

You never know when you might ...

I had a rather lengthily conversation with a friend of mine today, and there were a number of things on which we disagreed. Usually I like to do that, I often talk with my friend Alex about political, social and religious matters and while he's often on a different side then me I can really respect his differences. It's easier with him because he's quite willing to hear my point of view, and keeps things light (as in he jokes a lot.) None the less we have really great discussions, we try a lot of our best tactics and arguments on each other, or just get the 'other' point of view so we can consider it. On top of that he usually has really well thought out reasons as to why he thinks what he does, even if I have well thought out how he's wrong, at least it's logical!

However, I didn't always get that feeling from my other friend today ... and he had some quite weird arguments (though over all he decent points):
Him: racism cannot be committed by blacks
Him: only the majority
Him: the righs of minorities must be protected from the majority
Justin: woah woah
Him: that is one of the fundamental puposes of our government
Him: blacks can discriminate
Him: but not be racist
Justin: what is racism then?
Him: the true definition of racism is the majority race versus minorities
Justin: I thought it was like 'The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.' -- In other words you think one RACE is better then another RACE, no matter the ratio.
Him: that is technical though
Justin: yes, it's called a definition
Justin: I'd like to understand your point of view
Justin: However, you threw out a lot of 'narrow minded' and 'worst ever' ... 'hate' and 'racist' stuff ... and while I think your motives are commendable I'm not sure the hyperbole is advantageous to your cause.
That augment falls apart however not just do to the diffinition being wrong, but also that would mean the Apartheid in South Africa actually wasn’t racist, since it was imposed by an minority on a majority. Anyhow, after much of that, (as well as comparing what he believes to be '2nd class citizenship' for homosexuals to Slavery and the stuggle post Slavery.) That often offended me, I don't think homosexuals should be hated, or treated badly, or anything close to that, we should love them ... but their 'struggle' is no way like the quite real and sad struggle of slavery.

I then, I steered the conversation in the direction that I was hoping I’d be able to, if he was open to it ... which was of course to converse about Jesus. I don’t always do that, but in this case since my friend had some pretty strong words about ‘Christians’ I wanted to talk to him about what Jesus really said, what he taught, and how some people don’t really follow that, yet call themselves Christians
Justin: You can't change hearts through laws and politics
Justin: That's why I'm Christian btw, not cuz some church, not cuz my parents, not a list of don'ts, it's what I believe we're told to do. To love people, as corny as that sounds ... it really is the only way to change anything in the end. I think a lot of liberals have it somewhat right in that respect
There wasn’t much of a way to disagree with that from his perspective, and so I tried to put a little 'pebble' of questions in his shoe. I told him how I was sorry that people didn’t treat him well, and made fun of him. I told him he was my friend and his feelings were important to me, and I wasn’t going to judge him. Perhaps, just perhaps I was able to be carring in that situation and show him Christian’s are not his enemy, and at the least that God isn’t. I also talked about Stem Cells but that's a whole other matter!

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