Why marginalize?

Marginalizing a view that differs from yours is quick and easy. But like most things quick and easy - fast food, promiscuous sex, and fast-talking telemarketers - it isn't good for you.

You object to my forwarding you an email on Dubya's favorite Bible verse 16:3, you have to be a gun-totin', Bible thumpin', Jesus fearin' Republican (read with extra emphasis on "Re").

You didn't think my Flush the Johns email was hilarious, no doubt you're a snooty, latte-liberal driving your kids to soccer practice in your Volvo all the while complaining about the SUV's that hog the road.

You support legalizing drugs? Pothead!

You support keeping drugs illegal? Holier-than-thou facist!

Allow gay marriage? Homo!

Ban gay marriage? Religious nutball! (author's note: I'm kinda guilty - I've never called someone a religious nutball, but I have thought it from time to time.)

You don't want me driving an SUV? Tree hugging, environmental terrorist!

You think we should protect the oil pipelines in Iraq? Yeah, so your Cheneyburton stock will go up!

It's easier to compartmentalize and marginalize. It requires less effort. Knee jerk reactions are easier, but they are just that: reactions. To the logical - dare I say, liberal - mind, these statements are equally ignorant and only succeed in marginalizing those who think differently.

This September 12th, honor the memory of those who died three years and one day ago today by remembering that with the freedom you so proudly cherish to say what you want, think what you want, and email what you want comes responsibility. Make sure you aren't just reacting. Make sure you are contributing.