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War, Peace, and Speaking Your Mind

War, Peace, and Speaking Your Mind

March 8, 2003
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" I admit that I thought it was pretty rich that only the atheist in a room of largely right wing Christians had any respect or awareness of the strongly held beliefs on non-aggression held by the Quakers. "

Editor’s Note: I received this letter Friday night from my friend and well known adult writer/activist, DarkLady, and I wanted to share her experiences speaking on a national radio show on the subject, as it is a larger tale of the price of standing up for one’s beliefs – which is something that publicly known pornographers (and many others) frequently have to deal with…

My dear friends – I hope it's ok that I'm writing to you… I am so full of adrenaline and have no one to talk to right now about my recent experience. Since some of you have been in the lion's den in the past (and will be in the future) I felt you might at least understand what I'm feeling and what I did.

I just got back from speaking live on the Laura Ingraham radio show. She's an ultra conservative nationally syndicated radio personality, apparently. Never heard about her until I was invited to appear on her show concerning my involvement in the Portland Nude for Peace Demonstration.

It was something else, I'll tell ya. Well, it was exactly what I expected, really. Hostile, insulting, and my words were regularly taken out of context. Any logical argument I presented for cautious consideration in what the US is undertaking was twisted into something bearing no resemblance to my words and tossed back at me. Fortunately, I'm pretty good on my feet and was able to toss right back. She figured out really quick that I didn't have a lot in common with the two Quaker activists who were ever so quietly trying to explain their views. Views, I must add, that I didn't always agree with or think were well explained.

Ironically I, of all people, found myself defending the religious views of the Quakers. Laura consistently insulted these people for being against the war, totally ignoring the fact that their religion expressly forbids ALL forms of violence, even in self defense. Their stance against the war is entirely in line with their religion's beliefs. If she wanted to insult their misconceptions about Iraq or Hussein, fine. But to insult them for being pacifists seemed pretty rude.

I finally pointed out to her the fact that, as Quakers, they were simply speaking from their own religious beliefs and that to attack them on that ground was pretty low. She threw her hands in the air and said sarcastically, "Oh, suddenly it's all about freedom of religion." In this case, yes... yes it was. She then made a totally unrelated connection about prayer in school and how I'd better be willing to defend that, too. There's no connection between public schools endorsing religion and a religious person following their faith's belief system, but this is the kind of absurd emotionalism she engaged in throughout the program. She's great radio but horrible debate,

I admit that I thought it was pretty rich that only the atheist in a room of largely right wing Christians had any respect or awareness of the strongly held beliefs on non-aggression held by the Quakers. I guess that since they're not Protestants, their religious views didn't matter. Much like the Constitution of the United States apparently doesn't matter to Laura (although she certainly claimed otherwise). Much like the Rule of Law doesn't apparently matter to Laura. These people wanted blood and that was the bottom line. They claimed all kinds of reasons for it, including humanitarian reasons -- but when push came to shove they were willing to insult and try to humiliate Christians who are praying daily for a peaceful resolution to this horrible situation.

This claim to humanitarianism bothers me especially. Yes, I'm horrified by what Hussein does to his people. I want him out or, preferably, dead. But we don't seem to care about the horrible inhumanity happening in other countries, so I don't think this breast beating and eye rolling and sudden embracing of the Iraqi people as poster children to justify invasion is very convincing. We're not in the Congo, the area on the planet recently deemed to be THE worst place to live.

I faced a mob tonight and, as mobs always are, they were scary in their ignorance and power. But I walked out alive, too. I held my head up high, I spoke strongly and with conviction, I kept my cool even when I was passionate in my tone, I didn't insult or demean, and I didn't waver. I don't believe that advising caution when approaching conflict of such magnitude is a message I should need to waver or be ashamed of speaking.

Being raised Catholic did some things to me that I think are good, although I worry about how far I take them sometimes. The RCC and the military dad thing really gave me a passion for justice. I rarely saw any in my own home, but I loved the idea of it. I've tried to make it a fundamental part of who I am and I think it's one reason I'm seen as "warm" and I'm accepted so quickly by members of the alternative sexuality community. I honestly don't care what gender or sex a person is. I don't care how they make love or with whom (as long as they consent). I don't care. The quality of a person's character is all that matters to me. Everything after that is just details.

I'm full of adrenaline right now. Gonna go have a good cry (gets all the tension out of my body). Thanks for indulging me in my rant. – Theresa/Darklady


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