If you know me, it probably sounds strange that a communist and I were at the same protest. If you know me, you probably don’t think it’s strange at all that we found each other. Why were we at the same protest? Were we on the same side? Well, yes, we were at the same protest and not to protest against each other, but not on the same side exactly.
Nancy Pelosi was in Houston yesterday and I went with a Tea Party group to let her know there are things I’m not too happy about. I held a sign that said, “Ignore your rights and they will go away. Where is John Galt?” I like the sign, but if I’d known for sure I was going soon enough to have time to make my own, my sign would have said, “The US doesn’t torture?” with a huge question mark.
What happened was this. A lady walked by and she had some kind of newspaper. I asked her what it was. She showed me something on the back cover about torture at Abu Ghraib. About how it was wrong. I know. A communist who thinks torture is wrong? I told her I think it’s wrong, too. She then acted shocked and asked me why I was out there with “all those people” and she gestured toward the crowd of Tea Party folks. I told her I’m Independent libertarian and we don’t agree on everything, but we do agree on enough for me to be out there.
I also told her I am a Christian and believe that people are created in the image of God and I am supposed to respect others and treat them with respect because of that. And that is why I believe torture is wrong. I said I couldn’t torture another person. That’s when she told me she is an atheist. She said she believes torture is wrong just because it is wrong.
Well, there was a man I was also talking with who told me that I could TOO torture someone under the right conditions. I acknowledged that my sin nature sure could. He smiled and asked, “Your what?” and I explained sin nature, knowing all along that he knew exactly what that is and that the lady might not know.
Then he started explaining the differences among folks in the republican party and the democratic party. He was telling her there are different opinions within each of those two parties. He also talked about prisoners of war and we got into a bit of a three-way there over the whole war and everything. I quit talking after a minute because we weren’t supposed to get into something that could get us tossed into the paddy-wagon. (And Houston has an impressive 18-wheeler with a/c that says “Special Response” on it. This has to be what is used to haul off lots of folks at once. I saw it drive by!)
I got quiet and they got more excited and I wanted to walk away, but at the same time, I didn’t want to abandon them to each other. So, I said, “Well, we are all Americans here.” I hear you laughing, and yeah, that’s a funny thing to say to a communist even if they are full-fledged legal citizens, but she hadn’t yet told me she was communist. She excitedly told me she’s not an American! She also had some things to say about imperialism. I said I was just trying to find some common ground here between us three. So, she said, “Well, we are all human beings.” And we all nodded in agreement. And we sort of left it at that.
The man walked away and she and I went back to the subject of her paper and that’s when she told me she’s communist. I wanted to read it but told her I can’t support the Communist Party by giving her a dollar for it. And, I still wonder how a communist can say torture is wrong when the communist party has tortured and killed millions of people? And, what exactly is her basis for right and wrong? Particularly, how can a materialist, who (as I’ve read) believes there is no difference between a robot, a dog and a man in kind, but only in degree, not think it’s ok to torture and kill folks who are a hinderance to the economic evolution of mankind? I think if we had been in a coffee shop we could have had an interesting discussion.