This is a response to the comments of this post at Okiefunk:
Okie Funk Noodling: News With A Bite
Upon further reflection over the last few days, I decided to say a bit more.
I went back and looked at everything I said about Brad Henry in the comments on this blog (I did this by running a search on your website for the word “Henry” ), and I have to say that I have nothing to apologize for.
Everything I said about Henry was backed up by fact. I won’t rehash all of my arguments from before in depth (that Henry is super-pro death penalty and lied about it during his campaign, he is pro-gambling to fund education, even though it hurts poor people, and he supports the corporate takeover of higher education), but those are all fair arguments. You certainly have the right to disagree with me, or even to say that the danger of someone like Istook getting elected makes living with Henry acceptable. But, what I do not think is fair or right is to say that my criticism of Henry is because I’m really a Republican at heart.
I don’t know too many Republicans who would approach my beefs with Henry the way I have (opposition to the death penalty, concern for the poor, and opposition to the corporatizion of higher ed). You certainly have the right to oppose my strategy and approach, but it is not right to accuse of holding to an ideology that I simply do not have.
I kept thinking that you would appologize for this statement and I thought I would be silent for a few days to give you the chance to make amends, but you haven’t done so. I did want to be conciliatory towards you because that’s my nature in most cases, but the truth is now I feel like you just ripped on me because of my faith and because I dared to criticize a democrat who I believe is far from progressive. Am I wrong about this?
I should also add that with my work in the Green Party, in anti-militarism/draft education work, in death penalty abolition work, I work with people of all kinds of different philosophical and faith perspectives, including several agnostics, atheists, and members of alternative spiritual paths. I respect those folks in their beliefs (and since I’m not an evangelical Christian I don’t try to convert them), but I do live my life in the context of those communities which includes my faith. More often than not I find that there’s a lot more common ground between folks than appears on first glance.
I know that you said above that every conversation you have with me revolves around religion. I don’t recall that being the case, but if it is, it is because that is who I am, and because I assumed that you would understand that my talking about my faith journey is in no way is a judgment of your approach to life. My activism work is integrally related to my faith journey. The two are not seperate.
I certainly try to be respectful of differences in people and try not to offend unnecessarily, but neither will I stay in the closet about my faith. To demand that religious people keep their faith hidden away is just as dangerous and as prejudicial as asking a gay or lesbian person to stay in the closet, or to ask a multi-racial person to deny who they are so that they can “pass” in white society.