Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


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

via videosift.com

Aaaand, I'm spent.

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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Well Nicole as a gamer and a registered democrat. I since your angst. When I was yunger my mother bought my AD&D books from me and built a pyre with them being the Religious Zeolot thet she is. She didnt do the one thing that I hoped she would do which was read the books she was going to be burning. Like most Amaricans She didnt do the one thing which was to Judge for your self before you pass judgement. Years later with my fovorite books turned into my favorite movie my mother came to me and said, "I loved the movies". "yes mother LOTR was a awsome Trilogy, O yea by the way mom That story was at the core of Dungeons and Dragons", I responded The lesson will always be there Nicole you can never judge a book by its cover, but by the contents of knowedge that it contains. Loslavengyre

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

you know I'm 41 Nicole I was wrong grow some balls and say get lost because I will, Goodbye and adios. I told my wife this was a bad idea. James

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

"...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..."

I (being Spike) must point out that many conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, pentacostal, born-again Christians have been complaining for years that the word "Christian" is exactly the same sort of pejorative (or "Fundie"), and that it's okay to be a person of faith in public life if you're Jewish or Muslim or a just-barely Christian, but if you're *too* Christian you're ostracized or ridiculed, your faith is denigrated and your right to practice it is infringed upon.

I don't think this assertion by these put-upon Christians is right; they aren't subjected to any more abuse or restriction than any other religious group *so long as they stay within the same bounds as other religious groups.* But they do make that claim. And, more importantly, they do *feel* that their gripe is legitimate -- more of the us vs. them that you and Chris have talked about.

Spike Y Jones

Blogger Woody Says:

I (not being Spike) must point out that Christianity, like all social groups, struggles with "heirarchy by deeds" and "heirarchy by elitism". We see less and less people being commended for what they've done, and more condemned for who they aren't.


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