I was raised in a very conservative home. My parents were Independent Fundamentalist Baptists (not to be confused with Southern Baptists- that’s blasphemous). Basically what that meant is that they believe(d) in the inerrancy of the Bible and the literal interpretation of it. In our home, if we had a Bible, it was a King James Version. We had a thick Concordance that gave a more literal translation from the Greek, Hebrew, etc of the originally-written text. In other words, we were a version of the Duggar family and other “radicals.”
We were also Republicans. Not a big stretch given we lived in a small east Texas town, but there you have it.
I identified as a Republican and an Independent Baptist almost all my life. I’d stand up straight, shoulders back, chest out, and declare I was conservative. I’d be damned if people would think less of me for it, too.
Conservative has such a negative connotation now. Sometimes I wonder why and then I’m reminded of what the world sees from “fundamentalists,” Tea Party, and Christians.
Federal election is coming up in Australia this weekend, and as it is my first time voting in a major election, I realized I had no idea which political side I identified with most. So a few months ago, I sat down and took a test, then another and another to confirm my findings.
Despite being raised and embracing my conservatism (I thought), I did not hold the same ideals anymore. For every pro-death sentence (yes, I’m one of those people), I was pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-immigration, pro-euthanasia. I was basically pro-human rights.
I have since stripped myself of that “conservative” tag. At best, I’m middle-ground. At worst, I’m a full-fledged liberal or Democrat.
So what’s the point?
Well, it has me wondering. What else did I take away from my childhood and embraced as my own but actually isn’t? My IFB background lacks. I don’t actively go to church or believe in the inerrancy of the Bible anymore either. In fact, aside from living my life with tolerance, kindness, and the nightly prayer, I am the most “lukewarm Christian” I can be. I will always identify as Christian, but I can’t claim a denomination nor do I really see any reason to.
I also realized that the choices I made in all of the tests contradict my upbringing. My father used to complain about the illegal immigrants standing at a street corner “taking jobs” from “hardworking Americans.” Or how when drunk, he would say the most abhorrent things about gays and “lady men,” despite being nice to all of my friends that were. I won’t repeat the words. Needless to say, he was racist, and for a long time I probably was too.
As we all grow up, we start to realize our views are not the same as our parent’s. We take on our own views, and in a lot of occasions, they are completely opposite. Even now, I avoid conversations with my mother about politics, marriage equality, and Christianity. Mostly because the debate becomes quite heated, and there’s one thing I did take and keep from my childhood. My stubbornness. :O
So how have your views differed from those of your parents? I bet you’ll have more than you know. 🙂