Empathy Across Ideologies

While a basic sociopolitical identity pertaining to women’s rights and social equality defined the Women’s March on Washington, there were many sub categories of thinkers present, as well as some who were in direct opposition to the march.

The march was jam packed for the most part, but at its center lay a somewhat strange sight. Counter-protestors in military style clothing holding signs condemning homosexuals while seemingly being led through the crowd by a young shirtless man who danced fluidly while waving a rainbow flag.

“Scripture warns us against the sins of gays and lesbians,” said Adam, a born-again-christian from South Carolina who chose not to vote in the election, “Planned Parenthood is against the bible. They murder babies”

Born Again

The crowd’s reaction to Adam and his associates was overwhelmingly negative. Their passage through the mass of humans was frequently met by middle fingered salutes and obscene shouts. The verbal assaults matched the vitriolic rhetoric of the counter-protestors’ signs, and the diametric opposition prevented the two groups from participating in any kind of reasoned discussion.

“I was saved man,” Adam explained, “I was a sinner. I was addicted to pornography. I lusted after women. I was addicted to marijuana. I was selling drugs. I had multiple felonies. I had heart failure and I should have died. But God saved me. I feared I was going to hell and I should have died but God saved me.”

As he walked and talked, a family of protestors, one of whom was wearing a hijab, stopped to take a photo across his path. He looked at them, stopped, smiled, and calmly walked around them before continuing to speak. Their photo was not ruined.

“I don’t think any of these people are bad people,” he said “I know everybody is just here to stand up for what they think is right, and that’s what I’m doing too. Our ideas just don’t agree with each other. Empathy? Yeah, empathy is what I feel for them.

Yet another middle finger flashed through the air as somewhere a voice exclaimed “Jesus was a liberal you dumb*sses!”

 “If Jesus was alive today he would be a conservative. He would be the most conservative. He never lusted after women and I would say that that is a very conservative ideal.”

When asked if he still lusts after women, Adam said “No. I used to be addicted to pornography and I was overwhelmed by lust, but I’ve since been saved and now I have freed myself from that worldy burden. I’m no longer concerned with this world, but preparing myself to live in heaven.”

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