Help, my jaw has fallen and it can't get up

I am recovering from a conversation that feels like it belongs in a parallel universe.

I’m at the office. I work in the claims review department of a workers compensation insurance company. Please don’t hate me. Most of my direct reports let me know what time they’d like to go vote by the end of yesterday, a few have not, based on the decision that we’re in Texas, it isn’t going to matter. The last person waited til just now to let me know she wants to leave early to get to Arlington before the polls close. I say fine, no problem, and as she’s about to walk out she tells me “I have to get there to make sure I vote for the right guy, or I’ll never forgive myself.” Being stupid, I stepped right into it. You see, I know this person is gay and I know she’s fairly liberal by Texas standards. As it turns out, not as liberal as I thought. The transcript below is as close to the conversation as I remember it.

I smiled and said “I voted early for the same reason. I used to have a lot of respect for the guy, but that’s changed alot over the course of the election.”
“Wait, who are you talking about?”
“John McCain. I can’t vote for the penguin. He’s done too much to ruin my opinion of him.”
“No, I’m voting for John McCain. I can’t vote for Obama. He’s a Muslim.”
Jaw, on the floor.
“What? No he isn’t.”
“Yes he is.”
“Kim. No he really isn’t. He’s proved that over and over. It’s been debunked all over the place. He’s a Christian.”
“Well, he wasn’t always.”
“But it doesn’t matter does it? He is now. Besides this is America and he can worship however he likes. Right? And are you really comfortable being gay and voting for John McCain?”
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“You’re more likely to have rights voting for Obama than you are for McCain.”
“Obama isn’t going to do a thing about gay rights. Besides, John McCain is right, marriage should be a state thing.”
“Doesn’t it bother you that you’d be married in one state but not another?”
“No. I’m not going to have children, and that’s what marriage is all about anyway. God wants it to be one man, one woman.”
I goggle. “The bible doesn’t say that at all! And even if it did, it used to be one man, fifty women! The definitions of marriage and family have changed alot since the bible was written.”
“I know, and I get that. But I’m a Christian, and this is what we believe.”

We branch off into a discussion about how all politicians are in the pocket of big corporate, and they’re all corrupt anyway, and why Obama’s healthcare plan would end up costing us way more than what we’re paying now for all those people going bankrupt and the others who are seen without paying at all. She then confides to me that she belongs to the Log Cabin group.

“Okay. We should probably get some work done.”
“So do you want me to get those numbers from the San Antonio office?”
“Yeah, please, that’d be great.”

End discussion. I’ve never met a Log Cabin Republican before. It’s disorienting. I feel like someone just told me they’re going to shoot a hole in the bottom of the boat, and that it’s in everyone’s best interest that she do so, all the while sounding perfectly rational. I think I need a drink.

I’m suprised that you’re suprised.

Maybe it’s an age thing, or maybe it’s 25 years+ in NYC but nothing suprises me anymore, certainly not this. I got a letter from my gay uncle yesterday, he claims he and his partner will be moving to Vienna if Obama wins.

And I know black conservatives, and I know rich white guys that are huge liberals and say things like " People like me SHOULD pay more taxes, we can afford it". I know construction workers that are into fine dining restaurants. On Saturday, I had a conversation with a middle-aged black lifetime Harlem resident on the subway…the subject …The universiality of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”.

Don’t stereotype people, let yourself be suprised

I don’t think it’s about stereotypes. To me it was about someone voting contrary to their own best interest based on fear and prejudice and that I don’t understand at all.

I experienced “the crazy” from one of my coworkers the other day. (Note: I don’t particularly like talking politics or religion with strangers, especially not coworkers; IMO, it’s unprofessional to bring up either in anything other than a “man, this election year has been crazy!” comment.) My coworker and I are in the same workroom area, and she mentions that she’s afraid for the end times. I ask why (yes, I know, I shouldn’t encourage it) and she responds that, if Barack Obama gets elected president, the world is going to end… and then goes on to tell me that he’s a Muslim and that it says in Revelations that a Muslim being elected President is what’ll cause the world to end. I was so flabbergasted by the fact that she could believe all of these things together and not actually think about whether any of them are actually true or plausible* that I just sat there in stunned silence for about five minutes, then started a conversation with another coworker when they entered the room. I am still baffled by the combined bigotry and unwillingness to actually think about what she’s been told and the fact that she works in an institution devoted to helping people find information accurately. :smack:

[sub]*A list of things:
[li]Obama is not currently a Muslim, or if he was a secret Muslim, he’s not following the rules properly (i.e. going to church, not doing the prayer rituals 5x/day, not visiting mosque, etc.)[/li][li]Islam was founded after the Bible was written, completed, and agreed upon to include certain books. There is no way that the word “Muslim” is in there, or that references to Islam are made.[/li][li]How on earth do people who wrote the Bible nearly 2000 years ago know about the American Presidency? It’s improbable that Og decided that America would be the country of focus over any other country in the world. Besides, no concept of modern countries in the Bible, hence this can’t possibly be true.[/li][/ol][/sub]

I know, I know. Hence my kicking myself for being stoopid.

Maaaaybe she’s a better judge of her own “best interest” than you are? Except for the Muslim bit, her views sound fairly rational to me. (Unless you argue that her being a member of a certain religion is ipso facto irrational.) And though it’s silly to think Obama’s a Muslim per se, I can understand that some folks might use this to articulate that his background is fairly exotic compared with your average American (utterly aside from the fact that he’s black).

Well, heaven forbid somebody with an “exotic background” gets elected. Next thing you know, they’ll be using fenugreek in the White House kitchen!

Fellow WC carrier-side person here, Syntropy.

Koxinga, Of course. That’s entirely possible. I am more than willing to concede that a 26 year old gay woman who makes less than I do but pays more in taxes and has no healthcare coverage because it’s cost prohibitive and is struggling to put herself through school could very likely have something going on in her life that outweighs all those things and makes voting for John McCain the logical choice. I don’t know what it is but it could surely exist.

Hi, ReallyNotAllThatBright! Vote yet?

Can’t. I’m a British citizen. I did put in 36 hours of sign-waving for our new pinko Muslim overlord, though :smiley:


Hey Syntropy, any room on that floor for another jaw?

It’s amazing the amount of sheer stoopid that’s registered to vote.

Apparently we don’t need to teach people to read for comprehension… we need to teach them to read for words.

I think that it’s more an issue that the person has lost the ability to not believe everything that’s either sent to her in an email or told to her by her crazy pastor. I am not sure which is more likely, but she’s got a real “You’re not from around here, are ya?” :dubious: personality with some folks.

No, we need to teach them to read, period. And convince them that reading will NOT make their eyes fall off. Promise!

In fairness, the Book of Revelations is supposed to be a book of prophecy, so the fact that it mentions things that didn’t exist at the time of its writing isn’t going to be seen as a contradiction by someone who believes in it. On the other hand, finding a passage in Revelations that refers to Islam or the USA, and defending it as such, is an entirely different matter.

Did you try asking where in Revelations that stuff showed up? I assume she’s waaay beyond the point at which common sense guides her actions, but you never know.

I had a similar predicament the other day. I attempt to keep my views to myself at work as much as I can (I’m a far-left athiest Canadian citizen in Texas who can’t vote). Unfortunately I do get dragged into things sometimes. I was at lunch with three co-workers last week (my boss and two other co-workers senior to me)and they started talking about the election. I did acknowledge that I was liberal but didn’t say much beyond that. One comment I did make though that I didn’t think was controversial was that I can respect people have differing opinions I just want them to become educated on the issues. I then made the mistake of mentioning the fact that people believe Obama is Muslim. My co-worker sitting across from me responded, “He is Muslim”. My jaw dropped and I had a deer-in-headlights look. I refrained from saying anything else, there was no point in it. It may also be worth mentioning that she was sporting a 4-inch gaudy cross necklace. This is a fairly intelligent individual, I’m just continually surprised by people’s beliefs.

Sometimes I do need to vent a little though and I have found two other non-religious liberal folks (out of 40) that I can vent with once and a while. The atheism is definitely kept secret from everyone else as this would have an even greater negative effect than my being liberal.

A woman I know and am friendly with has been writing blog posts about how Obama is the Antichrist and the end of the world is just around the corner because of the liberals.

My jaw has sunk through the floor and is halfway to Chinee!

I’ve been looking for a thread to post this in and this seems perfect.

I got sucked into a political discussion with my boss and another engineer yesterday, and I started talking about how even Fox has Obama ahead in electoral votes.

My Boss: Well of course, they have a well know liberal bias.
Me: Umm . . . What? I’m talking about Fox news.
My Boss: They are more middle of the road then the rest of them but they are still liberal.
Other Engineer: Of course everyone knows that.
Me: Oh fair enough, well time for me to get back to work.

I can’t even look at my boss without smiling right now. I know everyone in the oil business leans right (except for the exceptions like me) but to think Fox leans left, jaw on floor.

ETA: I also have anotehr co-work whose wife believes that Obama is the anti-christ but my reaction to that was to laugh.

Well, they’re left of Mussolini.

Hey, tdn. I guess accidentalyuppie is probably right and I probably shouldn’t be surprised. Liberal part of Texas or no, it’s still Texas. Hell, we have a town called White Settlement that’s retained its name despite three ballot initiatives to change it because it’s not racist, it’s just that white people settled it and that’s part of our honored history.