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bumper stickers

this is sort of a cross post but not really.

I was just about to buy this totally bitchin' hate is not a family value license plate frame, but stopped. It's my belief that trying to lead people into your way of thinking through words and catchy slogans doesn't really do anything, we must lead by example, be as upstanding and loving as possible and then come out with the "Oh, and this is how I feel about *this* issue" only after earning their respect.

By marking my car, I'm not going to change anyone's mind. No one is going to see it and think, "You know? She's right!" No... they'll either agree with me to start with, or just be really pissed off.

So I didn't get the license plate frame. Stay quiet, I decided.

Today I went to Target. I was paying for my stuff, and the cashier guy suddenly says, "You'd wear a Washburn University t-shirt around this town?!" (For those of you who don't know, Washburn is this college in Topeka that had a statue on campus that pissed of some religious types, so they filed a lawsuit, then private schools around Kansas started refusing to let Washburn recruiters visit their high schools, then Wichita public schools shut out the recruiters as well. The board voted to let them back in, but it stirred up a whole bunch of press. Washburn refused to remove the statue based on freedom of speach, the religious types refused Washburn because they felt the statue was inappropriate and offensive.)

So after trying to fly under the radar and not let strangers know about my political beliefs, I'd gone out in public in my Washburn t-shirt. I hadn't even thought about it. It was like my subconsious was telling the relgious right to stick it.

The cashier was happy though. We looked at each other and there was this sudden understanding that we were fighting a similar fight. He said something else about how it was horrible that people couldn't think of anything else to do than try to censor artwork. He seemed gay. The homosexuals in Wichita stick closely to their own circles... events aren't publicized, you don't see them in pairs. You see them in groups, if anything. The only place I see them is in church, because, well, my church is like that. So it'd make sense that this cashier was happy to see me in my t-shirt, we had a common enemy, and he could have gone the whole day without seeing anyone who he knew was on his side. All because I wore my beliefs right out on me.

It's got me thinking.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2004 07:52 pm (UTC)
possible and then come out with the "Oh, and this is how I feel about *this* issue" only after earning their respect.

I couldn't agree with you more, and your articulation of this really makes me respect you even more. Very well said, and well done.

I believe it's all about picking your battles. I don't habitually advertise deep, serious beliefs with things like shirts or stickers, but there are rare exceptions. (I made myself a "I'd rather get SARS than AOL" bumper sticker awhile back, but I wouldn't consider for a minute putting a pro/anti-abortion sticker anywhere.)

Those little victories — where you run into someone like Target Cashier Guy — can be some of life's little gems.
Mar. 20th, 2004 08:09 pm (UTC)
"Frame" of Mind...
Just because you have a HATE IS NOT A FAMILY VALUE license plate frame doesn't mean that you're trying to "lead people into your way of thinking through words and catchy slogans". Why can't it simply mean you're speaking your mind? You can easily speak your mind and not try to persuade someone into sharing your beleifs. If everyone thought that speaking your mind and persuading someone *always* went hand-in-hand, we'd be screwed. No one would speak up, for fear of being riduculed. Its just like LJ. You speak your mind here. You say what you want. Some people agree. Some people don't. Some people just pass it off as Sunday afternoon reading. But you aren't necessarilly always trying to persuade someone into thinking something everytime you write in your LJ, are you? I didn't think so. So go ahead, buy your license plate frame and drive with pride!
Mar. 20th, 2004 08:44 pm (UTC)
what sort of statue was it?
Mar. 20th, 2004 09:23 pm (UTC)
this site has some pictures --> http://www.kmajam.org/washburn.htm

It's a priest with this mean look on his face, wearing a penis on his head. I mean, it's supposed to be some hat that they usually wear, but it looks a LOT like a penis. I don't like the statue and if I was running the campus I wouldn't have displayed it in the first place, but I don't think it's worth boycotting the college over.
Mar. 20th, 2004 09:39 pm (UTC)
i don't know what they're talking about, and i may just be weird, but i don't have a penis that looks like that, nor any that i've seen. looks like an angry priest to me.
Mar. 21st, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC)
Man, that does look like an angry, lecherous priest with a disturbingly penis-esque miter. Actually, if he's wearing a miter he'd be a bishop at the very least IIRC so... well... regardless. Can't believe I never heard of this.
Mar. 20th, 2004 08:54 pm (UTC)
Good on ya, Spacefem.

What was the statue, anyway? (Okay, I'm lazy and don't feel like googling for it)
Mar. 21st, 2004 02:59 am (UTC)
I was going to comment that I liked your icon, and figured I might as well copy/paste the link to the pics that spacefem posted above while I was at it. :) http://www.kmajam.org/washburn.htm
Mar. 21st, 2004 05:03 am (UTC)
Personally, I think it's a stroke of genius.. I love it. Hope it comes to Houston.
Mar. 20th, 2004 10:45 pm (UTC)
That hat's a miter. It's only worn by bishops, not priests.

I don't think it looks much like a penis. You know, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. (The text, on the other hand, is a bit more bothersome. Mostly, though, it pains me that people are this ignorant about the Church, and that the Church didn't do a better job educating the youth about what it's really about.)
Mar. 21st, 2004 12:19 am (UTC)
There is no ignorance as tenacious as that of the determinedly offended
Mar. 21st, 2004 12:19 am (UTC)
buy the license plate frame. it's your car, your sentiments. i don't think it's being preachy or offensive. i actually like to see people display their opinions on their cars, whether i agree with them or not. it's just cool to me. and it does provide a feeling of connectivity in your community, whether you're on their side or not.
Mar. 21st, 2004 12:50 am (UTC)
go get your sticker. you'll enjoy it that much more every time you see it. and maybe it'll make someone behind you think. and that might make that someone do something differently. and that's why you'll enjoy it that much more.
Mar. 21st, 2004 02:40 am (UTC)
Schools banned speakers from a college just because somebody didn't like a statue? Dude. It's not even that ugly. At Jesus College (which was founded hundreds of years ago and called that, so it's just a college like the others now, not an uber-religious one) they have a hideous statue of a man with an iron bar through his head outside the chapel, which scares the shit out of me when it's dark, and nobody boycotts the place because of it. I cunningly can't find a picture of it though.
Mar. 21st, 2004 03:06 am (UTC)
I always figured the point of displaying things like my "I kiss girls" bumper sticker was more to be visible. I still get a kick every time I see a gay pride or a pagan pride sticker, and feel a little bit safer/relieved/happier when I see a sticker that shows support for something I believe in - like a "hate is not a family value" sticker (I am going to get one of those eventually, because while it seems to be mostly a gay rights thing, it really says so so much more).

It's 5 AM, so I hope this makes sense. I think displaying the stickers is not to change anyone's mind, but to say "there's at least one person isn't going to beat the shit out of you if you stop hiding and be yourself. And I care enough to risk whatever stigma I might face to let you know this."
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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