Sunday, May 16, 2010
Student Politics are not for Sissies
Each time someone sends me a friend request on Facebook, I spend some time first thinking about whether I'm comfortable opening up myself to that person. It's not that I hide my political beliefs or my propensity to use bad language from those I know, but some of the requests I get are from people who may have just met me, and I might not have had a chance to exercise all of my colourful vocabulary in person.
It's a particular concern when I get friend requests from young people. Some of Super Son's friends have sent me requests. I like to think it is because they admire me as a brilliant conversationalist and potential mentor, a trendsetter whose style they want to emulate. Yeah....sure. It does make me wonder sometimes who else is reading my scintillating status updates and snarky comments to friends. Do groups of students gather around the computer of one who has friended me, eager to see what I've written? Not bloody likely. Are parents of some of these impressionable young persons reading my blathering, aghast at my wild liberal viewpoints on issues like health care reform, social justice and gay rights?
But I just can't lose a lot of sleep over what they think. Because although some of what I write and say is pure silliness, sometimes a tad racy (truthfully, not much worse than the level of a "that's what she said" joke), some of my posts and comments relate to my core beliefs and values. And if I'm not willing to state those positions and take action every once in a while, I'd be a pretty poor role model.
There are some evildoers from Westboro Baptist Church coming to my town, determined to picket at a local high school. You can read the details here. I posted the article on my Facebook page, and noticed that many of the local high schoolers were already doing the same thing. Word spreads pretty fast on the interwebs. Young people are organizing to take action to counter protest these haters and spread a message of acceptance and tolerance and love. Super Son is one of them. And I've volunteered to drive him and others - who have their parents' written permission (I am not stupid, after all) to the counter protest. I am proud of and impressed by these young people. They are standing up for what they believe. That takes guts. And I want to support them.
I believe there are bad guys and injustice in the world, and it's up to people like me to stand up to that to make things better. Now all I need to do is decide what to put on my counter protest sign. Leave your suggestions in the comments. The photo at the top of this post shows some examples of signs from another counter protest. They make me laugh. Laughing is good. I think God likes laughter, don't you?
Here's my theme song. What's yours?