MHC: A No Politics or Religion Zone

Today is Election Day.

I am very political. You may not know that about me. I have strong beliefs that I have held since I first started voting. In my non-blogging life, I am very active and very vocal and fight for what I feel is right. However, I don’t write about my political leanings on this blog. If you’re a longtime reader, you might have been able to figure them out as I’m sure I’ve left clues along the way during these 4 ½ years of blogging. But, no matter. Because, in the end, I don’t think this blog about nesting, decorating, gardening, pets, creativity and everything else I post is an appropriate place for politics. Politics can be divisive. And we have arrived at a time in our country when it is more divisive than ever. It’s not an appropriate place for religion, either. Equally divisive.

What did my parents say? Don’t ever discuss religion or politics at a party. I’d add: or on your blog. Of course, if your blog is predominately about politics or religion, that’s a different matter. But here? No. You won’t see me put a political banner on my sidebar. You won’t hear me preaching about my religious beliefs. I’ll talk about them elsewhere, and do. But not here.

I know that readers of this blog have their own strongly held political beliefs. They might be very different than mine. I respect that. I also know that everyone has their own spiritual path, their own set of beliefs – or non-belief – and I respect that, as well. I would never assume that you, dear readers, who come here to share in my life at the cottage, would want to hear my thoughts on politics or religion – topics that arouse strong emotional responses from nearly everyone – and ultimately have not a whole lot to do with what I write about on this blog.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned. My parents believed that you never told anyone who you voted for. They believed that was a sacred, private decision. Likewise with religion. Those who came to our door trying to convert us were turned away. Quietly living your life in a way that reflected your values and your beliefs was the important thing. That certainly influences the decisions I make about what to post on this blog.

Why would I assume that you believe and think the way that I do? And why would I ever dream of imposing that upon you? To be honest, when I read a blog that starts to become too preachy, I click out of there. Thank you, but no. While I respect your beliefs and your right to talk about anything you want to on your blog, I will most likely not be reading it. It turns me off. If I know a blog is a religious blog or a political blog going into it, then that’s a different story. Then I’ve chosen to click on it and read further. But when I click on a design or shelter or nesting blog and I suddenly start reading about politics or religion, I feel uncomfortable. Because if I don’t share those beliefs, if I feel very differently, then I feel like a party guest who finds out she’s at a much different kind of party than she expected, and who can only think of one thing: how to get out the door gracefully and as quickly as possible.

When someone tells me that they and they alone have the answer, that their religion is the only path, that if I don’t believe a certain way, I’m doomed – whether it concerns religion or politics – I’m out of there. Because you know what? There is room for all of us in this world. I respect that diversity. And it’s for precisely that reason that I won’t write about politics or religion here on this blog that I love so. I respect you too much.

I will urge you, however, to vote today. Make your voice heard. Stand in line and if the line’s too long, stay there. Take a book with you. Play a game on your smartphone. Chat with your neighbors in line. But vote.

Happy Tuesday.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I agree with you 100%. I voted early and like you, keep my opinions to myself. Everyone has the right to their opinions, but I get uncomfortable when people think they must change mine to theirs.. Great post!

  2. Nancy says

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I couldn’t agree more. The reason I read decorating blogs are for the wonderful pictures, tutorials, creativeness, etc. People bloviating about religion and politics on these blogs are an absolutely turn-off and I refuse to enable them to impose their views on me.

  3. says

    Well said Claudia! I agree! I too have my own opinions that I hold to be “true”, but I would not want anyone to think my thoughts or answers are one size fits all! No, I believe in freedom to think my own thoughts, and to come up with my own conclusions and my own dreams. I love our country very much! And even though I know what I want for our country, If who I voted for does not win this election, I aim to have a respect and grace about who does.
    Got my fingers crossed : )
    Hugs,
    Terri

  4. says

    Claudia, thank you! It was such a welcome relief to click on your blog this morning and see a lovely photo of a tabletop vignette and know that no matter what the outcome of today’s election is, families and beauty and joy go on… I did decide to post a Walt Whitman poem about elections on my blog today, but as my parents also taught me–I do not share my beliefs in politics and religion in a public way. In the end, we all want good things for our families and this country, and that will eventally unite, not divide, us.

  5. says

    Beauty of a pink vase, lovely flowers, and very a well said post. Happy Election Day and we’ll be watching from up north to see how things pan out. xo

  6. Kris says

    I will be voting as soon as I drop my grandson off at school! Once, my daughter spoke of her feelings about gays, after a particularly sensitive episode of Glee, and she was pummeled!!! It was really something. I went to her defense, and I was pummeled. We were shocked at the way people were!!!! Anyway…lesson learned!!!! She will never discuss her beliefs again on her blog!!!
    xo Kris

  7. Donnamae says

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! That’s why I keep coming back…I always feel welcome! ;)

  8. Chris k in Wisconsin says

    Thank you!! I have read a couple of blogs in the last several days who chose to TELL ME about their politics. In some cases, I had really enjoyed their blog for some time. However, that little choice they made….. made me see them in a different light. I did not need to know that. I did not want to know that. And….. unfortunately, it did change the way I feel about that blog. Not because I believe everyone should think like me, but because I think that a blog is like a business, and politics and religion, should be kept out of it. If a business posted how they were going to vote or where they go to worship, I would likely not shop there. The same with a blog. Too much information in this case, might be the information that keeps me from shopping/ visiting there again. Thanks for your blog today, Claudia. And I did vote early!!!! And I am so glad I did as it is snowing here today. Too early for that!!!!!

    • Claudia says

      I love your comment, Chris. Thinking about it like a business is the perfect way to look at it. I just heard on the weather that it is snowing there.

  9. Julie Shaw says

    Claudia – I don’t think your sentiments could have been expressed more eloquently. Thank you very much. I have very strong political views myself and don’t ever express them on my blog. Of course, I’m Canadian so not involved in your election except to the extent that it influences issues in my country but I firmly believe that everyone should get out and vote. I hope that Sandy doesn’t making voting too difficult for people on the Eastern seaboard. J

    • Claudia says

      Me, too. I know that Gov. Cuomo has said that those affected can vote at any precinct. And Chris Christie is allowing email votes. So it looks like the states involved are doing everything they can to help people vote.

  10. LuvWheaties says

    I don’t mind if someone shares their political or religious views on their blog. It’s their blog, their thoughts. But, I also appreciate if someone wants to keep their political or religious views to themselves, as you have decided to do Claudia. There have been a few blogs I have decided not to read for various reasons. Sometimes it is because of their political or religious views, but I think that is the risk you run when you share anything about yourself to others.

    I hope that everyone who is registered to vote does so. It is a privilege and responsibility I have participated in since I registered to vote at age 21 (back in the olden days).

    • Claudia says

      It’s certainly up to the blogger. But I find it off-putting. We all have to decide just how much information about ourselves we’re willing to share.

  11. Kathleen says

    I feel such a connection to you even though we have never met. It’s like two peas in a pod. I love your style and they way you have with words. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for keeping your blog on subject, I appreciate it.
    I love starting my dad by checking in on you and your blog.

  12. says

    I’m so glad you don’t talk about those things on your blog. Even if I agreed with you 100% on those topics, I’d get bored. And I’m like you: if I’m reading a miniatures or crafting blog, and someone gets preachy re: religion or politics, I’m outta there. Sometimes I unfollow the blog, because I just don’t want to hear about it or have someone else’s opinion shoved down my throat. Thank yo for not doing that, Claudia! xo Jennifer

  13. says

    Well said Claudia. I must say this election has been stressful. I respect that other people have different feelings. Without saying names I have noticed on FB and on our blogs one particular candidate was promoted by constant critism of the other candidate. The other candidate’s supporters did not do this for which I am thankful. Now this was mostly on FB. It may not have been that way for others. Even my own mother just jammed her candidate down my throat, to put it mildly. So tired of this election, can you tell.
    My son was having an discussion with another teacher at his school. She went off on him. He is a gentle soul and walked away. Would you believe that she told him that he wasn’t a Christian for his beliefs. She supported the same candidate as the others I have spoken of. My son was just shocked.
    I am hoping that these words don’t seem like I am supporting one candidate over another….I not. Just surprised how his supporters have been.
    Claudia, seriously remove this post if it sounds like I am supporting one candidate over another.

    • Claudia says

      No it doesn’t sound that way, Debby. It does speak to the kind of vitriolic words we see everywhere. We have to find a way to discuss things firmly but with civility.

  14. says

    My friends don’t call me “Switzerland” for nothing. Although I encourage people to vote, I would never let on who I voted for, too personal. Have the same opinion on religion – it’s my business. You have expressed it perfectly. Ann

  15. Tina says

    I’m glad to find a few safe havens from the bombardment of political ads and opinions. And, for all our sakes, let this all be decided by morning!

  16. says

    I don’t feel qualified to discuss religion or politics on my blog and I’m not even convinced I’m right about my choices in either area. I do, occasionally, comment on a social issue that is affecting me as a human being. Social injustice, animal rights, human rights violations, etc. do creep in from time to time. You blog is a a place for me to join you and your family for a relaxing break from the harsher aspects of life and I thank you for that!

    • Claudia says

      Well, you know me, Maureen – I speak out about social issues fairly frequently. That’s about compassion for our fellow citizens and for our animal friends. Thanks, Maureen!

  17. Belinda says

    One of my FAVORITE shows this time of year is always “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” Linus gave some excellent advice in this little show – “There are three things I NEVER discuss – Religion, Politics, and the Great Pumpkin!” I think it’s sound advice. Thanks for this post – enjoyed it and you are so right. Have a wonderful day!

  18. Lea Neale says

    Dear Claudia, thank you for your well written blog today. I unsubscribed to a blog yesterday due to her political opinions.
    I am Canadian but politics of any country should not be opined on design blogs. Thank you again for expressing your
    views so eloquently.

  19. Kathy says

    Well said and in total agreement. There’s a time and place for everything and everyone has a right to there own opinions. But I don’t want them crammed down my throat’. I was impressed by the turnout this morning at the polling place. The workers said they have never seen a turnout like this before.

  20. says

    I grew up in an environment where your vote was private and I like it to be that way. My estranged husband believed we should vote the same way. He never knew the number of times I voted differently to him. Perhaps that says something about how we come to be estranged.

    • Claudia says

      Strange that he would think you needed to vote the same way, Peggy. I’m lucky that Don and I have the same political sensibility but if he told me how to vote, there would be hell to pay!

  21. says

    I haven’t stumbled across any of my blogs that I read that have said anything about politics.. but have seen a few that are quite religious.. I’m with you.. I prefer seeing pretty stuff. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    • Claudia says

      I think I see more blogs with religious stuff than political. But I do see them. One blog I read a while back had a terrible video (which was untrue) about a candidate. I never went back there again.

  22. says

    Thank you, Claudia. I completely agree with you. I only asked that people vote today, because that is how our voices are heard. I am like you, in that I am very committed to my beliefs and work for them outside my blog. I do not share my political or religious beliefs on my blog. That is not what my blog is about, and yes, I have been turned off by blogs that do that in the midst of their decorating, etc. I have voted, today and that is all I can do to get my candidates elected.

    Laura

  23. says

    Dear Claudia,
    I appreciate your kindness and sensitivity. Unfortunately, politics and religion often become a reason for division. It seems like people just want to be right…no matter the cost in friendships and family relationships. I’d love to see the slogan “We may not see eye to eye…but, as Americans we can walk arm in arm” lived out across our great nation.
    Blessings and thanks,
    Carolynn

  24. says

    Claudia, you will be happy to know that I voted and am wearing my little sticker. I stood in line for over an hour behind the cutest little couple (94 and 92) who were delightful. It helped me to pass the time. Then I met a good friend for a wonderful lunch out. I haven’t been eating out much over the last few months, so that was a treat. She treated which made my day! :-)

    I don’t like fussing of any sort. I’m of the mind that you live your faith (walk the walk and not just talk the talk) and let your love shine through. People know the tree by its fruit, and I guess my father’s adage always plays in my head, “Fools names and fools faces always seen in public places” is something with which I grew up. Loud, angry rhetoric (political or religious) is the last thing I want in my face when I read blogs. In the Land of Blog (particularly homemaking blogs) I like to escape the world. Here we can all play well together. And maybe some day we can do the same out there in the big wide world. One can only hope.

    Off to clean out my car. It’s so bad it’s embarassing It looks like I could star in “Car Hoarders.” Maybe I could start my own series, you think???

    Love you…

    XO,

    Sheila

  25. says

    Well siad Claudia. I share very similar beliefs. Now hubby and I are off to vote. Your living room looks peaceful and inviting. Love the pink vase!

  26. says

    Hi Claudia! I woke at 5am today, had breakfast and left the house by 6am, boarded a bus and then got off and walked another 6 blocks, walked into the Polling Place and read a chapter of a book while I waited for them to open the doors at 7am. (I was fourth in line. Yay!) I got my “I VOTED” sticker which I’ll stick on this date on my calendar when I get home. It’s such an empowering feeling to exercise your right to vote, it truly is!

  27. Charlotte says

    Claudia,
    First I want to say the flowers and vase are so beautiful. Also that I collect McCoy. I don’t think I have as much as you but I love it all.
    I only have been following these decorating blogs for about a year. I was a little disappointed to open one yesterday and find politics involved. I believe like others mentioned here that decorating blogs are not the place for this. If I wanted to read or talk politics I would be reading a different blog. I also believe that my vote is private.
    Thank you so much for the post.

  28. Teresa says

    Bravo to you! I agree with you 100%. I love your style, decorating and otherwise. Happy Birthday!! And thank you for this beautiful blog. Well done.

  29. says

    I’m with you all the way on this subject Claudia……………..and we did vote before leaving for the cruise. I have only been an American citizen 15 years andI did it because I wanted to be able to vote!

    In Istanbul right now…………such an amazing and beautiful place, Looking out from the rooftop deck of the hotel across the Bosphorus this evening – call to prayer sounding across the water as all the minarets glow – and off soon for some more awesome Turkish food!!!

    Coming home Thursday – hopefully will be able to get into JFK – hear another storm possible!

    My thoughts have been with everyone displaced and suffering loss along the coast……..
    Hugs – Mary

    • Claudia says

      Yes, another storm is on the way, Mary – although I just read it isn’t going to be as powerful as previously predicted. Thank goodness, the people who sustained damage or lost their homes do not need more mayhem.

  30. Bonnie says

    Very well said. I voted its important !
    Women received our right in 1920 not so long ago…
    Remember their struggles.

  31. says

    Claudia, you always mange to say what I am sure some of us are thinking, but just don’t have the courage to post. Good for you for taking a stand, and a strong one at that. Being Canadian, we really don’t put it all out there like some of the bloggers have been doing. I love to visit the shelter blogs, because it’s my place of calm, not chaos.

    Jen

  32. says

    I so agree with you. Politics and religion have their place, but it is not on a shelter blog, in my opinion. I do not mind if a reader says they are praying for me, I appreciate it, for prayer for others is a lovely thing, whether or not their prayers are the same as mine. I often sign off with “Blessings”, which is my way of wishing everyone blessings of whatever form, from wherever their own blessings come. I do not say “God Bless”, in case someone else has a different belief. When it comes to politics, I have very strong beliefs. I keep them to myself. Bottom line: It matters not one whit to me what anyone’s personal belief system, political affiliation, sexual orientation, color, ethic heritage, or anything else, is. If you are a purple- striped, gay, apolitical, person who worships the tse-tse fly, so be it. If you are lovable, I will love you, regardless. Just don’t try to “convert” me!!!!

  33. says

    Here in the UK we are about to vote for regional Police Commissioners for the first time – a totally new thing in the UK – and it’s feared the turn out will be really low. We have a hung parliament, it’s thought because not enough people exercised their right to vote. So I couldn’t agree more that voting in any election is a really important thing to do. And I guess talking about those aspects of politics that have nothing to do with party allegiances is fine on a blog.

    Good post.

    • Claudia says

      Yes, I think you’re right, Annie. Goodness knows I talk about social issues on this blog fairly frequently.

  34. says

    Beautifully said, as usual. Your eloquence and goodness of heart shine brighter than the sun. Your blog is my happy place – just love you dearly!

  35. says

    Totally agree with you about not discussing religion or politics on a blog! (Unless, like you said, it’s a religious or political blog.) I have my own beliefs and respect other people’s beliefs, but I don’t want to read about them on a “homey” blog. Would turn me off.

  36. says

    Oh Oh I guess people would not like me then. I do talk about God in my blog from time to time but I do not preach. It is a big part of my life so I would find it hard to exclude from my blog., and frankly I don’t want to. Kindness, Humor, nature, poetry, creativity and spirituality kind of mix and meld into the essence of my blog. I do agree that a blog that is preachy and linear is a turn off whether they are screaming about politics or religion. I have never responded well to anyone who would exclaim “My way or the highway”. and I refuse to do it to anyone else. I respect everyone’s views . From the very begining I have appreciated the comfy cozy feeling I get from your blog. I have laughed and even shed a few tears with you. My hope is that someday my own blog can be a comfy cozy place for others too. Great post!
    Blessings, Joanne

    • Claudia says

      I would bet that everyone here doesn’t mind a blog that talks about faith now and then at all! I think the problem lies when posts become preachy. No one wants to feel like they are hearing a sermon. I’m sure your blog will be and already is a comfy cozy place!

      • says

        Thanks Claudia, now if only I could get my home to look as cool as yours! Your sewing area is awesome. I have my sewing machine in the closet with all my other craft items. I would love a corner that’s all mine…kid, hubby, and dog -free!
        free
        . Ok, my dog could stay!

  37. says

    It sounds like we were raised in the same kind of household.

    Just have to say that I LOVE the pink milk glass:) Such a lovely, sweet photo.

  38. Dewena Callis says

    Oh, Claudia, I read every word of your post and the comments. I understand but just hope that my post the day before the election didn’t fall in that category for you. You left a great comment on it so I hope not. I was trying to get across the futility of arguing politics and that I enjoy discussions only when there is respect on both sides, but you’ve made me think twice about even mentioning it. I am new at this, so please forgive me if you were offended by mine. I do so hate the labels that divide us, as Americans but especially as women. And I confess it is “prettiness” that usually draws me to a a blog.

    • Claudia says

      Oh gosh no, Dewena! I loved your post. You wrote about it in a wonderful way and I know it’s something we all struggle with in our families. You raised an interesting question – how do we deal with those family members that support another candidate? You, as always, wrote about it with grace and good taste and humor. Don’t waste a second thinking that post fell into the “Don’t talk about politics” category! And even if it did, it would be your choice because it’s your blog!

      • Dewena Callis says

        I’m so glad to read your response. I do often second guess myself. I remember as if it were yesterday a television interview from decades ago where Tip O’Neal just smiled and talked about how surprised people would be to know how well members from both sides of the aisle in Congress got along with each other privately, having dinner together and seeing each other socially. Don’t know if that’s still true but wouldn’t it be a hoot if they did! Love your dog’s sweet feet. Isn’t there something squeezable about dog and cat’s feet and yet they usually can’t stand to let us do it!

  39. says

    My goodness! I’ll just say it, lol…I am glad that our current president was re-elected. I don’t really care if people disagree with me or not! :) It’s not a thing that I blog about but I am certainly not ashamed to say it here! :) We have a democracy and the ability to agree or disagree is what that is all about. My dog’s feet look like Claudia’s…but I might HAVE voted tor the same guy she voted for or I might have NOT. I don’t know…but I don’t care either :)

  40. Rita says

    Claudia, It is Wednesday evening and I want you to know many prayers are being said for you. It is my understanding that a storm has come your way with high wind and some snow. You hardly had a chance to recover from Sandy. These storms can take quite a toll on us emotionally even if we are fortunate not to have a lot of damage. I pray you are warm and safe. ~ Rita

  41. says

    Hi Claudia! A follower of my blog suggested I might enjoy reading your post, after she had read my post today. My post was a reaction to the reading of a mean spirited post about the election results and the subsequent like-minded oh-so-very ugly comments that followed. I’m afraid I’ve “outed” myself politically in my post, but in the most brief and gentile manner (under the circumstances) I think. So I think you’re safe to read it. :) It’s more about “the heart” as it were, than anything else.
    Thank you for your thoughtful and eloquent post. I hope that people will consider the points you’ve made.
    I pretty much don’t mind if someone talks about their politics or religion. Well as long as they’re brief. ;) What I do mind are the people that suggest their side of the political aisle is the only side and their religion, the only spiritual path.
    Thanks again for addressing this issue.
    Sally

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