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My Mind Is Made Up: Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts #liberal #conservative #independentthinkers #change #narcissism

I know of an old curmudgeon who will say in response to something interesting and different: “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” I believe he is half-joking, but a modicum of truth exists here, for him, and for all of us. Unfortunately, for much of the world, the facts are muddled. We listen to a speech from a politician. The next half hour a fact-checking newscast airs. I’m happy about these political fact-finders, because, God knows, I would never go through an entire speech and decide if Al Gore really did invent the Internet. I’m liable to believe one side of the congressional and political arena, and scoff at the other. I don’t bother gathering the facts, because my mind is already made up, especially during an election.

I’m a card-carrying Democrat, left-winged man, burgeoning quicker the more radical the right wing gets about profiling the anti-gay agenda. A lovely doctor friend of mine said it best: most right-winged people will swear they believe in Jesus and tote their bible with one hand and in the other hand carry a machine gun to battle anyone who believes in gun control.

I realized one very important thing, when arguing or complaining about political agendas: both sides, very much, don’t want to be confused with the facts. We all would rather just have two candidates with no agendas and no hateful television commercials, and choose one because of what side of the political arena he/she stands. This is very apparent in the “undecided” voters near the day of the election. Are these people not registered as Republican or Democrat? Perhaps, this makes all the difference in being rational. If you’re not decided when you listen, then you actually give both people a chance to win you over. If we didn’t go into a political race or into a conversation, having already placed ourselves on one side or the other, and simply call ourselves Independent Thinkers, we might have a chance to grow past our own prejudices. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone without four of my own fingers pointing directly at me.

I had a conversation recently with an old friend. During the dialogue, she shared with me her beliefs about gay people being sinners. Without hesitation—without allowing her the freedom of an opinion—I shut her down like a robber tying someone’s hand behind his back and taping her mouth shut. I told her, our friendship was over and that I had no desire to swim to her side of the ocean to be her friend.

Call it what you will, but I have prejudice for people who consider themselves loving, but sentence you to Dante’s burning fires of hell at the same time. Excuse me, I am already in the arms of God. I don’t need your help to love or honor myself. I have done the hating game. This kind of impetuous thinking only places people in chronic depression and causes suicide. Perhaps, that is what this kind of narrow-mindedness wants—mass genocide of the gays. What would the right wing fight about, but gun control. So, if I’m not willing to allow someone else a religious opinion, what does that make me? You’re right—narrow-minded.

Listen, we all have reasons for our beliefs. I get that. My belief about being judged comes from a long line of hatefulness that always ends with a fight about what another person believes about God or Christianity or Muslimism. I don’t want to fight, anymore. But, I will always keep careful and steadfast boundaries around myself for people who will continue to judge who I am—not by my actions, but by my sexuality. I don’t have any more precious time to keep people such as this in my life. And, neither do you. We have a right to bear the armor that protects us from hatefulness.

The truth about any political or religious debate is actually what our friend said at the beginning: we don’t have time for the facts, because our minds are already made up!

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