Thursday, November 25, 2004

So, you're dealing with your Fundie relatives today

Shorter Thumb:
Eat some bird, watch some game, ignore them.

Less shorter Thumb:
If you're like me you no doubt have a few Family Fundies that you can't get around dealing with this time of year. Generally in these situations I take the lead of my apolitical father and plant myself in front of the Big Game and grunt and hoop on cue like a good little entertainment consumer. Maybe my better nature will prevail and I won't start trouble [50/50], but if one of them starts any partisan skewing of what we have to be thankful for, I'm going off. I fully intend to remind people that the reason the first pilgrims came over here was to escape the Catholic and Protestant absolutist monarchies and King Henry?s union of Church and State. Then I?ll probably ask [I always mask an attack as an innocent question], ?What?s the deal with consolidated wealth and organized religion anyway? Why does it always seem that through out history they find a way to team up and say, ?You can have all their money if we can have all their souls??? I?ll probably close with, ?Doesn?t it bother you that the money changers have taken over the Temple??

Such a line of question will only go one of two directions; either Your Favorite Fundie will dismiss you as the wiseass nephew you really are or they?ll fall back on some Scripture that proves how unaware you are. Caution: Do not enter this debate lightly. You cannot, will not, make any ground trying to toss out a few memorized embarrassing Leviticus quotes. For those of you with the time and/or motivation there was an excellent essay last week by pasterdan in the Kos diaries titled How to Use the Bible in Your Political Arguments.

Considering that we?re now into the season when many of us are going to be forced to deal with Family Fundies this might be a good primer.

(Additional note: If the issue of abortion comes up I'm at the ready with a line of question I've had some recent successes with: Ask them to guess where the US ranks in infant mortality rate. Tell them Sweden, with the lowest infant mortality rate, ranks #1. Press them to guess where the US falls after that. Really, get their best guess. The correct and highly embarrassing answer for these self-righteous, Holier Than Thou, save the babies at all costs crusaders is . . . 41st. Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate. Let them chew on that.)

[Update 8:22pm] I'm back, fat and happy. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that for most of the last year mom would send me the GOP chain emails she got from these same relatives spouting off the latest Rush Limbaugh or Paul Harvey nonsense and in return send them my pointed responses that made them think twice about going political, but it was a happy family gathering free of any partisan tones [whew!]. The closest we came to a political/religious topic was when I started talking about how much I enjoyed the movie You Don't Know *Bleep* and the other was my latest response to the "When are you two going to get married" question that comes up every year (I told them we're a heterosexual couple in a gay marriage). Now it's time to sleep off some bird.