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Featured Rightgrrl for August, 1997

Lorri Name: Lorri Miller
Age: 29 (Thirty this month)
Our Tax returns say that I am a Domestic Engineer. I'm one of a vanishing breed, the HouseWife. I have five beautiful children that I am uniquely qualified to love, cherish and educate. I also have a wonderful husband that has given me the life I dreamed of as a child.

Politically: I am a conservative Republican DittoHead, however, I sometimes vote democrat and/or independent when the lesser of three evils is also pro-life.

Hobbies: Filling the hall closet with half-finished crafting projects, reading, bicycling, web-page construction, and net surfing.

Web Page:
Lorri's Home Page

Lorrie's Article on Debating - a Rightgrrl Exclusive!
Like Sounding Gongs - Debate in America

Rodney King once uttered the phrase, "Can't we all just get along?" To some his statement has become something of a joke, but to me, it's a question that I ask more and more each day.

Like many people, I enjoy participating in and watching debates. Since the development of the Internet, I have been enjoying reading from and posting to newsgroups. You can learn a great deal when you listen to thoughtful people on different sides of an issue expose facts, make assertions, and draw conclusions.

Debates today look more like tabloid T.V. and less like intellectual discussions of issues. People yell and scream at one another, throw around meaningless statistics, repeat anecdotal stories that they heard "somewhere" from "someone", and pound their fists on the tables. At last, when they find that they are unable to make their points or when they fail to persuade others to believe the same way that they do, they resort to name calling and mud slinging. One person makes a statement of fact and another person says point blank that he refuses to accept that fact *as fact* because it clashes with what he holds to be "true" and "right". People stubbornly hold to their opinions simply because they are too proud to consider the fact that they may have been wrong.

We get our facts and beliefs today from two minute sound bites that we see on the television newscasts. You hear it once from Dan Rather and suddenly it's gospel truth. Without any research of the facts on our part, without thought to what's being said, we adopt the ideas that the media feeds us and then tenaciously cling to them out of pride, foolishness, familiarity, laziness, or fear of going against the tide. I used to be that way as a teenager. Hearing two seconds of one side of the story was all I needed, or so I thought, to be an informed individual. I thought that I knew everything that there was to know, and I thought that the entire world was breathless in anticipation of my opinions and beliefs. At some point I discovered that I actually knew very little, that many of the things that I believed to be true, were actually false, and that I had a lot of growing up to do and a lot of knowledge yet to acquire.

The most alarming thing that I've noticed recently in watching debates and participating in newsgroups, is that we no longer give people that we disagree with respect. I was taught to respect my elders, because they were wiser than I, respect my parents because God had ordained my care to them, respect authority because they were looking after my interests and safety, respect my siblings because they were family, respect my neighbors and peers because they were precious fellow human beings. Now we teach that respect is something that is conditionally doled out only to those that we deem "deserving". We've forgotten that we can disagree with someone and still respect them, respect their intellects, respect their knowledge. If for *no other reason*, we should be respectful to one another so that we may in turn be treated with respect.

I now see the truth of this Proverb: "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." And the truth of this old saying: "Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.".

And That's all I have to say about that.

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