Saturday, January 18, 2014

Problems with Irrational Debate

So this week Echo ran into a little sitch. She was at an on-Post social club and someone made a crack about how the First Lady doesn't care about us Army wives. It was in the context of the cost of on-Post recreational activities, which although subsidized and generally low-cost, are not always free.

Echo was upset and for good reason. The First Lady happens to be the driver behind the Joining Forces initiative, along with Dr. Jill Biden, which has focused on military spouse and veteran employment along with fresh food and fitness for military families. Beyond that, hellooo! This is the First Lady we're talking about. You know, married to the Commander-in-Chief? Disrespectful much?

Now we're all for speaking truth to power here. And plenty of people have legitimate criticism--political, ideological, and personal-- toward the 2nd Obama Administration. But sadly, this was not that. Echo handled it with grace, informing the woman in no uncertain terms that she was an ignoramus and then walked away.

I wish I could say that this kind of disdainfully conservative political comment was an isolated incident. But I can't. Beyond the political, this type of situation is also something we often confront as in a religious context. Evangelical Christians and anti-choice Catholics that socialize within the Big Army context aren't exactly welcoming to the secular humanist element. Speaking as an enlisted spouse, the Conservative political and religious lifestyle is that much more prevalent among my younger contemporaries.

In fact, it seems like non-political is actually a code word; it doesn't mean not having a political opinion, it means an environment intolerant of anything outside of a mainstream Christian value systems or Faux News sound bite. Bless your heart if an Army wife sounds off on Federalist/Anti-Federalist debate in it's present tense or demonstrates a working knowledge of an appreciation of the Third-Way economic model that is the socialized medical system in this military. Or more often, a pro-choice or textually-based religious perspective.

With that, I give you our inspiration for upfront and rational conversation on religious practices in America: "The Loophole" by Garfunkel and Oates (rated R).

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