This weekend, a couple of my sisters and I had a short conversation about the Voter ID Amendment on the ballot in Minnesota. Instantly, we were silenced by my brothers. "I make a motion to not discuss politics!" And someone seconded it, so I shut up. But I'm not going to lie, I didn't do so happily. I stewed about it for awhile, and I'm still kind of mad.
It's often said that we shouldn't discuss politics and religion. I often say that those two subjects might be the most important subjects of all (in addition, I think a world without them is boring. It's when I've been most deeply challenged that I've learned the most.). And I'm sure there are situations where it's not appropriate, but among a couple sisters, who want to discuss it, five days before a national election? Yeah. That's appropriate.
I admit that I took their muzzling personally. How can I not? Out of this family of eleven, I am the only one who is political. I am most certainly the only Democrat. And frankly, it's not easy. One brother actually said he didn't want to stand by "the Democrat" in our family picture. A joke? Not funny. Sometimes I wonder how it could be, that I'm the only one among 20 adults with these worldviews. I genuinely think that I'm respectful when I talk about the things I care about. Are you really so offended if I share my perspective? Or do you just find it boring? What do you think is going to happen if we spend half an hour talking about politics? I think we might just have an interesting conversation.
In my house, we will discuss politics. We might not agree, and we might have passionate debates. But we're going to be informed, and we're going to be involved. We're going to talk -- nothing will be offlimits. I want my kids to not only understand the issues, but understand how to make their point, and how to discuss the merits of their argument. Intelligent people can disagree. And they can have a conversation that includes current events, and politics, and religion. Because at the end of the day, those are the things that matter most -- our convictions and our beliefs. In my house, I will not be silenced, nor will anyone who wants to talk. Come on over.