Controversy Matters Not

"Religion is like a pair of shoes... Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes."
-George Carlin
About a week ago, I was watching a Minecraft livestream from a YouTuber that I watch. He was playing on the same server that he uses for YouTube, but the point of the livestream was to gather resources and do other boring things that people wouldn't normally want to watch a whole video about. He livestreamed it (as opposed to doing it off camera) so that he could have a conversation with his audience while he did the boring stuff, and the conversation would make the normally boring things become interesting. During the discussion, the topic of politics came up. I joined the livestream late, so the most I caught of his political opinions was that he didn't support Donald Trump. (Big surprise there. :P) But I did see the chat bar on the right, and I saw a number of people using that quote from above and applying it to politics.

This brings me to the topic at hand, which is that of controversy. I've found that many people seem to have a similar philosophy to the one from the quotation above. That is to say, the belief that political and religious views are personal, and should not be shared, except perhaps among those who agree with your beliefs. Shoes make you feel comfortable, because they conform to your feet. They change according to your shape and therefore are good at making you feel comfortable, but would not make another person feel comfortable. It wouldn't work to wear another person's shoes unless they have feet that are a similar shape.

There are several problems with this comparison, however. The first, of course, is that someone who would say something like that clearly believes that all controversial opinions are equal, and yet, is trying to assert his or her own opinion over me. That is to say, if you believe that all religions are equal and shouldn't be pushed on others, then feel free to accept your own advice, because my opinion, which you accept as being equally valid to yours, is that not all opinions are equal and that I should be free to share my opinion. (You can see more on this point in my video called Total Equality from a couple weeks ago.)

But additionally, this makes an error in assuming that politics and religion are personal things, as by their very nature, they are not. Political choices affect the entire country, and must be discussed. Religion affects not only the country, but the world. After all, if I'm right and the Bible is true, then that's something that should be widely spread. This isn't a belief that I hold for myself to make myself feel good, it's something that I believe is true for the entire world whether they like it or not. This is very different from a pair of shoes that conform themselves to me. Rather, I desire to be conformed to Christ and the Bible.

Simply because something is uncomfortable for somebody doesn't mean that it's meant only for somebody else. If someone were to spend their life slouching over, and then were to be put in a brace to keep them from doing so, surely this would be uncomfortable. But not because it's meant for somebody else- rather, because that person is the one bent out of shape. And unlike a pair of shoes, politics and religion, as well as any other controversial topic, must be discussed because it affects more than just one person. In fact, if something isn't controversial, you could argue that there is little point to discussing it at all. The quotation at the beginning compares religion to something personal that makes you feel comfortable. But this goes against the very nature of any philosophy that regards the way in which the world works, and thus, is a flawed comparison.
"I don't see how you can write anything of value if you don't offend someone."
-Marvin Harris

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