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In My Own Little World: Agree to disagree on faith and politics

28 March 2014 By Justin Manry, Columnist One Comment

There are two topics in American culture today that, when brought up in a social setting, are sure to cause arguments, divide friends, and generally dampen the mood. Two topics so controversial, I hesitate to even mention them in the opinion column of this prestigious Towerlight. Those topics, of course, are Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

So this week I’ve decided to delve into a couple topics that are far less controversial, divisive, and generally a drain on society: Politics and religion! Because nothing brings a room full of diverse and opinionated people together faster than talking about their choice policies and the belief systems on which they

base them.

As for politics, I’m admittedly not all that knowledgeable, however I can tell you that our current president is not going to get a job in web design anytime soon, and our former president has a last name that rhymes with “tush.” (And “tush” incidentally is one of those few words that, no matter the time, place, or conversational context in which it’s brought up, never fails to make me giggle uncontrollably. In fact, I looked it up on dictionary.com to make sure I spelled it right, and the example sentence is “I fell down right on my tush,” and I have not stopped laughing yet, which may affect the quality of the rest of this column.)

Anyway, the other topic up for discussion today is religion, or faith, or belief, or whatever you wish to call it for your own purposes. For my purposes, I’ll refer to it with whatever word I feel like using, because that’s just how I roll.

Faith is something that’s always been very important to me. And this column might take a very sharp turn toward the serious right about now, so those who are faint-hearted in the reading audience may wish to turn away now and read about the progress on the bridge over Osler Drive. (Spoiler alert: it’s made out of bricks!)

But I suppose I should just get to the point here, which is this: I’m a Christian. Yep, that’s right. I’m one of those guys. I believe the term used to be “Jesus Freak,” but then a band called dcTalk made a song about it, so now the term is something close to “Meh.”

And being a Christian is a big part of who I am. It’s the faith I base my life around. It’s my identity. But we’re not supposed to talk about that in America.

We’re supposed to remain silent about such things, and implicitly agree with the American notion that all truth is relative, and all beliefs are true. And this is called “tolerance.”

Now I consider myself a very tolerant person, and I encourage others to talk to me about their beliefs and their faith, and we can have a great conversation, but I do not agree with our culture’s push for making truth a relative term (which is absolutely false) and saying “what’s true for you may not be true for me” (which is just not a true statement, for me, of course).

I think it’s healthy to agree to disagree. You may disagree with me on that point. I say that’s fine! But let’s talk about it! Let’s not sit in silence and pretend we all believe in the same things, let’s talk about our faith and disagree and argue and at the end of the day shake each other’s hands and be truly friends. To me, that’s better than acting like everything’s OK and being silently intolerant.

So why did I go off on a rant about religion? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. Spring break does stuff to you I guess… But seriously, I challenge you, people of Towson, to know what you believe in and take a stand for it. Talk to people about the things that matter to you, the things you put your faith in. Even if I don’t agree with you, standing for something is better than just falling for anything. That’s one thing I just won’t tolerate.

And on that note, here’s the random thought of the week: If you get crumbs all over your brand new Urban Outfitters jeans after eating a delicious Pepperidge Farm Milano, don’t be upset, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Stay thoughtful, party people.

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