A few times recently I've taken myself over to some conservative blogs. Partly I was challenging my own confirmation bias by not just reading blogs I agree with but I also had pressing question for myself. I can most easily sum it up by saying:
"What the hell are these people thinking?"
And it seems that I am left none the wiser. I held my temper in check, and laughed in nobody's face. I kept in mind the behaviour of christian trolls on the blogs I read and purposefully avoided duplicating it. For my trouble I was called ignorant, immoral, uneducated, loony. In return I was presented with comments that made no sense in the real world. I'd entered the mirror universe where health care is a threat to humanity, death penalties are a good thing, and a person is praised for their bigoted provincial views on religion. "You luv Jeeezuz too? Hi 5"
Hell, you know the passive aggressive "I'll pray for you"? These people genuinely used that as an example of compassion and respect. Seriously? Respect? They do not see it as condescending, smary, self righteous or pointless at all. I was in polite mode, so I didn't ask why yuo need to tell the person about the prayer. Surely god can sort it on his own? No, apparently what this shows is a genuine concern and respect for your immortal soul. Shame they don't show respect for the life we all agree is real!
Which leaves my question unanswered and makes me wonder was it worth all the effort I put in if the result was largely to fill my email with notifications of abusive replies? Well I've checked my confirmation bias. If they had killer arguments that never made it to the more progressive blogs they never aired them. But do I understand their thinking any better?
I originally thought that right wing views were a guilty secret. That people held them, but knew they were being selfish and short sighted. As long as they weren't going to live forever they may as well fiddle while Rome burns and grab everyrthing they can get right? Well apparently not. They think they are the rational ones, for reasons they could not explain to me. They are proud of their bigotry, for reasons that completely escape me. They think they have the one true way and any compromise will by definition be detrimental to society. After all, if you are not doing things right you are doing them wrong - to paraphrase Jesus.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to face going back for more. If I wanted to engage in a thankless task, with no meaningful results, that had failed again and again, in the hope that this time it'd be different, I'd still be going to church.