In college, I concentrated in politics and religion — the two subjects you’re not supposed to talk about in friendly conversation — and those two subject areas are still at the center of much of my work and inquiry. The political and religious perspectives I currently have — I say “currently” because they have changed throughout my first 34 years and will probably continue to change during the rest of my life — do not seem especially radical to me, and compared to those of some of my friends may be seen as downright timid.
Still, in both political and religious views, I am in the extreme minority of Americans. My first instinct is that this is a call to activism, not to try to convince others that I am correct, but to force them to see my heterodox views as equally valid and equally deserving of a place in the public trade of ideas. Many of my friends have committed themselves to this task, because they are braver and stronger folks that I am. I shudder at the notion of spending my time trying to convince the angry and the closed-minded to give my ideas a chance. I firmly believe in the idea that no one owns my life except me, and I do not want to cast the pearls of my limited time before the swine of the mob. But this means I have to accept seeing my ideas besmirched on a regular basis, and to accept it without grumbling, since I am doing nothing to overcome the contempt.
I am therefore so thankful for all of you who do have the will and the desire to make the fight.