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Divisiveness: not just for politics anymore

Pramas recently updated his blog with some commentary on divisive politics ( Real Americans ) that pretty much exactly matches what I would have to say on the topic. I’ve just had no time to post recently I was just going to do a simple "Me too" and link to it but something else caught my attention just now and I am so disgusted I have to say something.

From the Gen Con and Origins Charity Auctions report site:

On Saturday, August 15th, 2008 at 6:00 PM, the Gen Con Live Game Auction hosted their traditional charity auction. This year, the event was in honor of Gary Gygax. Originally the charity chosen for GenCon was Gary’s favorite charity, the Christian Children’s Fund. Unfortunately, when they found out that the money they would get came partially from sales of Dungeons and Dragons they decided not to be the sponsored charity.
The charity auction at Gen Con 2008 raised almost $18,000 that could have gone to making a "lasting difference in the lives of children in need"! To quote from the "donate now" page of the Christian Children’s Fund (emphasis theirs):

Your donation to Christian Children’s Fund will make a lasting difference in the lives of children in need. Your generosity provides crucial assistance for children around the world —children who face hunger, disease, violence, natural disasters and extreme poverty.

Your support is urgently needed, and Christian Children’s Fund is committed to your privacy and security. We will not sell, trade or rent any personal information you provide.

Get that: your support is URGENTLY NEEDED. Unless you’re a gamer. Unless you play Dungeons & Dragons, whose creator chose this as his favored charity. Christian Children’s Fund claims elsewhere on their website that they believe "that all of our actions must be guided by the utmost integrity and transparency" (again, emphasis theirs). Utmost integrity? Better children starve and suffer than take money from generous, charitable gamers? Who makes that decision (and how can they live with themselves)?!

Much of the readership of this blog comes from the gamer community. We know we’re not a threat to society, we know that gaming is just one aspect of our lives (be it our work, our hobby, or both) and that being a gamer and being a moral, decent, (yes, even religious… even, <gasp> Christian) person are not mutually exclusive yet gamers continue to be portrayed as mentally unstable freaks or dangerous devil worshipers (whichever is most in vogue at the moment).

To veer off into politics just for a second (hang with me), recently Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president. I’m linking to a part of the transcript that my friend JD over at FoldedSpace posted the other day.

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I’ve noticed that in talking about these divisions I sometimes run into people who think it’s not really a big deal, that it’s all blown out of proportion because of the current political races or that these Us vs. Them views are confined to isolated corners of Appalachia and not of real consequence.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ve really put these divisions to rest at all. The fact that it was so easy to get crowds riled up and screaming out that Obama is a "terrorist" or a "Muslim" (or just the shameful way "Muslim" has become a pejorative the likes of which would never be so publicly tolerated if aimed at any other religious or ethnic group) shows us just how close to the surface these things are, often existing with as little justification or defensible rationale as Christian Children’s Fund’s decision not to accept the charitable donation from Gen Con. Blacks vs. Asians. Whites vs. Hispanics. Christians vs. Muslims. Heterosexuals vs. homosexuals. "Coastal elites" vs. "Joe Six-Pack".

I think everyone needs to remember the lesson of the Star-Bellied Sneetches.


via videosift.com


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Aaaand, I’m spent.

20 comments to Divisiveness: not just for politics anymore

  •  
    “D&D=Satan Worship” might have peaked in the 80s, but it just goes to show:

    Religion-driven ignorance and intolerance never truly go out of style.
     

  •  
    “D&D=Satan Worship” might have peaked in the 80s, but it just goes to show:

    Religion-driven ignorance and intolerance never truly go out of style.
     

  •  
    “D&D=Satan Worship” might have peaked in the 80s, but it just goes to show:

    Religion-driven ignorance and intolerance never truly go out of style.
     

  •  
    “D&D=Satan Worship” might have peaked in the 80s, but it just goes to show:

    Religion-driven ignorance and intolerance never truly go out of style.
     

  • Unfortunately, it is often easy to find differences. Sadly, most people use those differences as a way to remain apart from the other rather than see past them and see all the many similarities. It’s disgusting.

    I would like to believe that people are generally good but I often feel that individuals are good – people, as a group, are petty and pathetic. I would love to one day realize I’m just being overly pessimistic but, sadly, every new day seems to reinforce that view – individuals are good and wonderful but people, as a collective, suck.

  • Unfortunately, it is often easy to find differences. Sadly, most people use those differences as a way to remain apart from the other rather than see past them and see all the many similarities. It’s disgusting.

    I would like to believe that people are generally good but I often feel that individuals are good – people, as a group, are petty and pathetic. I would love to one day realize I’m just being overly pessimistic but, sadly, every new day seems to reinforce that view – individuals are good and wonderful but people, as a collective, suck.

  • Unfortunately, it is often easy to find differences. Sadly, most people use those differences as a way to remain apart from the other rather than see past them and see all the many similarities. It’s disgusting.

    I would like to believe that people are generally good but I often feel that individuals are good – people, as a group, are petty and pathetic. I would love to one day realize I’m just being overly pessimistic but, sadly, every new day seems to reinforce that view – individuals are good and wonderful but people, as a collective, suck.

  • Unfortunately, it is often easy to find differences. Sadly, most people use those differences as a way to remain apart from the other rather than see past them and see all the many similarities. It’s disgusting.

    I would like to believe that people are generally good but I often feel that individuals are good – people, as a group, are petty and pathetic. I would love to one day realize I’m just being overly pessimistic but, sadly, every new day seems to reinforce that view – individuals are good and wonderful but people, as a collective, suck.

  • I wrote a parody piece about that years ago. I thought it was well after the fact even then.

    It’s a fine line to walk, not giving in to the hatred while still standing up for what you believe in. I think they’re deliberately trying to make it harder, like trolls on the Internet. Respond to them intelligently, and they up the hatred. Get angry back, and they claim that you’re just as bad as they are.

    Good luck. Their loss.

  • I wrote a parody piece about that years ago. I thought it was well after the fact even then.

    It’s a fine line to walk, not giving in to the hatred while still standing up for what you believe in. I think they’re deliberately trying to make it harder, like trolls on the Internet. Respond to them intelligently, and they up the hatred. Get angry back, and they claim that you’re just as bad as they are.

    Good luck. Their loss.

  • I wrote a parody piece about that years ago. I thought it was well after the fact even then.

    It’s a fine line to walk, not giving in to the hatred while still standing up for what you believe in. I think they’re deliberately trying to make it harder, like trolls on the Internet. Respond to them intelligently, and they up the hatred. Get angry back, and they claim that you’re just as bad as they are.

    Good luck. Their loss.

  • I wrote a parody piece about that years ago. I thought it was well after the fact even then.

    It’s a fine line to walk, not giving in to the hatred while still standing up for what you believe in. I think they’re deliberately trying to make it harder, like trolls on the Internet. Respond to them intelligently, and they up the hatred. Get angry back, and they claim that you’re just as bad as they are.

    Good luck. Their loss.

  • I often find it hard to walk the walk — when I bitch about RedStaters (appalachia, midwesterners, etc.), part of me finds it all too easy to dismiss the fact that I’m engaging in just another sort of division: Us vs. Them comes in progressive flavors, too.

    Dig too deeply there, though, and you rub up against my genuine belief that we’re too big a country to NOT have those kinds of deep divisions, and we might be better off being split into a half-dozen or more European-sized nations, along regional-cultural lines.

  • I often find it hard to walk the walk — when I bitch about RedStaters (appalachia, midwesterners, etc.), part of me finds it all too easy to dismiss the fact that I’m engaging in just another sort of division: Us vs. Them comes in progressive flavors, too.

    Dig too deeply there, though, and you rub up against my genuine belief that we’re too big a country to NOT have those kinds of deep divisions, and we might be better off being split into a half-dozen or more European-sized nations, along regional-cultural lines.

  • I often find it hard to walk the walk — when I bitch about RedStaters (appalachia, midwesterners, etc.), part of me finds it all too easy to dismiss the fact that I’m engaging in just another sort of division: Us vs. Them comes in progressive flavors, too.

    Dig too deeply there, though, and you rub up against my genuine belief that we’re too big a country to NOT have those kinds of deep divisions, and we might be better off being split into a half-dozen or more European-sized nations, along regional-cultural lines.

  • I often find it hard to walk the walk — when I bitch about RedStaters (appalachia, midwesterners, etc.), part of me finds it all too easy to dismiss the fact that I’m engaging in just another sort of division: Us vs. Them comes in progressive flavors, too.

    Dig too deeply there, though, and you rub up against my genuine belief that we’re too big a country to NOT have those kinds of deep divisions, and we might be better off being split into a half-dozen or more European-sized nations, along regional-cultural lines.

  • I wonder if Gary Gygax knew about their bias. I remember here when a judge said that two wiccans who were divorcing were not allowed to share their holidays with their child, but the child needed to be in a “normal” household until the divorce was final. The parents were two decent, hardworking people who just happened to be wiccan. It was unreal.

    And, um….in response to another post, just because I’m from the midwest, and live there, doesn’t mean I’m a “red stater”. We’re all different, all over the country, you know?

    (sorry, would have made two posts, but my toddler is trying to remove the cat’s tail.).

  • I wonder if Gary Gygax knew about their bias. I remember here when a judge said that two wiccans who were divorcing were not allowed to share their holidays with their child, but the child needed to be in a “normal” household until the divorce was final. The parents were two decent, hardworking people who just happened to be wiccan. It was unreal.

    And, um….in response to another post, just because I’m from the midwest, and live there, doesn’t mean I’m a “red stater”. We’re all different, all over the country, you know?

    (sorry, would have made two posts, but my toddler is trying to remove the cat’s tail.).

  • I wonder if Gary Gygax knew about their bias. I remember here when a judge said that two wiccans who were divorcing were not allowed to share their holidays with their child, but the child needed to be in a “normal” household until the divorce was final. The parents were two decent, hardworking people who just happened to be wiccan. It was unreal.

    And, um….in response to another post, just because I’m from the midwest, and live there, doesn’t mean I’m a “red stater”. We’re all different, all over the country, you know?

    (sorry, would have made two posts, but my toddler is trying to remove the cat’s tail.).

  • I wonder if Gary Gygax knew about their bias. I remember here when a judge said that two wiccans who were divorcing were not allowed to share their holidays with their child, but the child needed to be in a “normal” household until the divorce was final. The parents were two decent, hardworking people who just happened to be wiccan. It was unreal.

    And, um….in response to another post, just because I’m from the midwest, and live there, doesn’t mean I’m a “red stater”. We’re all different, all over the country, you know?

    (sorry, would have made two posts, but my toddler is trying to remove the cat’s tail.).