A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece — about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?
You know this is pretty unlikely… but if it happened I’d rather not be questioned about my religious beliefs, women’s equality, or the growth of government.
Faith is personal. I can say that I believe absolutely in God, and have felt his presence in my life, but I have some sort of resistance to religion. I believe that by his very nature, God is indefinable. Who can say they know what God is, how and even why he operates? I dislike being questioned about why I don’t adhere to one religion, and why I don’t go to church. I can only reply weakly that nothing fits, nothing coincides with what I believe, but that tends to sound like a cop-out for not sitting somewhere sacred on a Sunday morning. I don’t have a mental image of God; Jesus is an historical figure so it’s reasonable to conjure up a mental image of him. God is the key for me to belief in myself, my actions, why I was created, why I live on earth, and what my life in the hereafter will be. Some Christian doctrines ring true, but of these, the ones that stress love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, ring truest. Damnation is questionable, because if God can see into our hearts and minds, he knows our deepest, darkest, secrets. He knows why and how some people are so damaged it is impossible for them to understand goodness and love. Those who knowingly choose evil when they know what is good — that’s a different matter; for that there may be judgement. I do believe in evil, and feel that people can let it into their lives and be changed for the worst. There is forgiveness; people can do bad things and be redeemed. It is, after all, the unique relationship between God and an individual that defines belief, faith, and redemption.
I am not willing to put forward my ideas about religion, because they are my own; they feel right to me, and I’ve gone through enough in my life that I feel I’ve an opportunity to be touched by God. I am somewhat envious of people to do adhere willingly, faithfully and most of all joyfully, to one religion, and wouldn’t want my view to be the basis for someone else’s beliefs. They are mind alone.
I grew up at the same time the feminist movement was maturing. Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan were in forefront, and many women embraced their principles. It fit in well with the whole “hippie” generation counterculture — and its break with the past. I believe that women should have equal rights and that many of the laws that have rectified past injustices are good. I am suspicious of the current push for equal pay because I don’t think it’s a real issue, but political maneuvering. I appreciate it that their have been women in the past who have campaigned for significant changes in women’s equal treatment under the law, but I’m not sure that all the feminist movement stood (stands) for has been beneficial to society. All pre-feminist institutions are not bad, all traditional feminist roles need not be changed. The feminist movement shouldn’t mandate change, it should make it a possible to for woman to choose her destiny.
Many of the feminist principles have led to a change in family relationships (not all bad), and a general dimunition of the importance of the family. Divorce rates have risen since the 1960’s, and that means more children are living mainly with one parent or are being shuffled around. Stay at home moms are rarer, and their decision to do so often makes other wonder why they do that rather than “having it all”. Commitment in marriage has lessened, and divorce have not necessarily made women (or men) happier. More people are living for instant gratification rather than long term goals. People in society need to know that their actions make up a whole; they and their actions have a more far-reaching effect.
Another principle I hold dear is the supremacy of the Constitution in the governing of our country. At the moment it’s being attacked, ignored, and continually challenged. That’s dangerous. It is a remarkable document that sets down basic inviolable human rights and a specific plan of government. It allocates rights to the states, and reserves others for the federal government. The incredible growth in the government, especially since the 1940’s, is downright scary. People seem to be taking some notice these days of how incompetent an overblown government and its agencies can be — the IRS, the VA, etc. And yet we continue to put more power into the hands of the monolithic government that we have allowed to expand beyond reason. There are more people working in the Department of Agriculture than there are farmers. Does that make sense? We have a megalithic Department for Education — couldn’t states use some of the money spent by that agency to make more appropriate decisions for their schools? We’ve created a gargantuan state-run medical system. We all know the fraud and mismanagement that goes on within Medicare and Medicaid — why would we hand over more power to an unmanageable bureaucracy? I’ll stop now. Suffice it to say, that we are being hoodwinked and bled dry by a government that was designed to serve the people, not subjugate them.