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21 September 2011 @ 09:03 am
This place has policy problems...  
So I just found out today that there is a conflict of policy within the university: in most places on campus, we don't have to pay if we brought our own teabag, and we're just getting the hot water. But when I went into a shop, owned by the school and accepting the "money" on student cards, I was told I wasn't allowed to bring my own teabag. And when I picked up a New York Times I was told I had to pay two dollars for it, even though there are at least four other places on campus where it's free. WTF? I don't mind paying for the tea--they didn't make me--because I can understand why they don't want people bringing their own teabags (saving confusion). But the newspaper thing is absolutely ridiculous.

There's something else, that's been bothering me for quite a while, and I'm sure I've made comments about it before. It's this anti-religious attitude that people have taken on. I don't care if you don't believe in either God or organized religion, so long as you aren't an asshole about it.

A while ago I was at work and this girl--who I considered to be a very nice person--basically trapped me into telling her what I believe. She then proceeded to basically say that what I believe is stupid, and try to convert me to athieism. While we were at work. We were in front of customers, even. And what's more, apparently she's done that to just about every other hostess and waitress there. I don't like starting beefs like this at work, simply because I do have to work with her, and it makes it much harder when you're perpetually irked at their attitude.

Then, the other day I saw a flier at school for Banned Books Week. The bold, catchphrase was "Athiests, Agnostics, and Apostates Rejoice!" Thank you for excluding every Christian, Muslim, Jew, Shinto, Hindu, whatever that doesn't adhere to a policy of bookburning. And then yesterday, a sign for a lecture, "Is Religion Inherently Violent?" No, is is not, asshole. Even talking on a wide scale basis, there are religious groups out there that renounce--and have renounced from their founding--violence. The Quakers, for example, who were regarded as crazy-ass-shits for a while, yet where never required to join any sort of militia or army from before our country's founding.

I have been doing my darndest not to allow myself to be offended. I've even tried to take up a policy of informing people who are ignorant without pressuring them one way or another about believing in religion or not. It's getting harder and harder, though, not to get frustrated.

I have a close friend who's been dealing with any even more extensive problem: our country is so preoccupied with giving advantages to minorities that he, as a straight, white, conservative, christian man has been feeling 1) misrepresented in Congress by conservative radicals (Teabaggers) and 2) marginalized and his opinions cast aside as "the white man holding us back." This frustration has fueled some very conservative ideals that I don't agree with, less because of their intent than their practicality in a diverse world. But he's young, younger than myself, he's a good kid who allows himself to be open-minded and unoffended by debate. (Actually, I think he's been craving debate with someone who doesn't get offended, so last time I saw him we talked about this stuff for a good three hours. He listened to my arguments, accepted a number of them, and I'm sure he took them into consideration.) Despite his ideals, I have a feeling that in real life he'll side with practicality.

But my point is that, while it's great to recognize "diversity", we've been maybe too eager to help the "minority." You can't just label anyone who of caucasion descent, or anyone who is a christian, or who isn't a woman (which is bullshit), or whatever else gets lumped into there as being the "voice of the non-minority," because chances are it's not true.

Of course, I'm speaking from a very American perspective. I won't pretend to know what the rest of the world is like on these things. But as a white, middle-class, Christian I'm just really getting tired of being treated like I'm either an idiot or all the problems involving the plights of blacks/Jews/starving children in Haiti/whoever is my fault.

On a slightly brighter note, the front page of the New York Times says "Marines Hit the Ground Running In Seeking Recruits at Gay Center", which a caption under the picture saying "The Marines got a small but warm reception". It's the first day of the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and in the recruitment booth in a major Tulsa gay center (where the article is really about), there were no insults or protests, but the sargeant who was there spent the day talking to a trickle of lesbians looking to join the Marines. Good Job! (I know, I just got done complaining about people accusing religion of being violent; really, I'm more concerned about the step forward equal rights, here.)