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It’s Really Okay to Appreciate and Like People You Disagree With

About two months ago one of my high school students showed me the Strange Planet cartoons of Nathan Pyle.  I laughed enough at the couple I saw that I started following the Strange Planet Instagram account and enjoy reading at the lovable aliens he illustrates.  Pyle’s work is clever, simple, and above all unique.

For my money this isn’t on par with Gary Larson’s Far Side, but Strange Planet is original and going places.

Well, it was.  But just like everything these days, the thought police on the left can’t just let a good thing be a good thing.  Apparently some intrepid new wave feminist decided that his cartoons couldn’t be enjoyed until she knew that Pyle was cool with killing children in the womb for convenience.  What does that have to do with his cartoons you ask?  Nothing, actually.  But since everything must be political to those who have turned government into god and politics into religion, it’s all that matters.

Needless to say, when the feminist warrior found a post on Pyle’s personal Instagram page praising the March for Life, she went apoplectic.  Nylon.com ran a piece entitled, “The Guy Who Makes Those Cute Alien Comics Has Really Bad Opinions on Abortion” in which Pyle was criticized for, amongst other things, having “I follow Jesus” in his bio.  Not long after the article ran, the online left-wing Twitter mob descended.

Pyle felt forced to offer penitence, posting the following “apology”:

“My wife Taylor and I have private beliefs as they pertain to our Christian faith. We also believe separation of church and state is crucial to our nation flourishing.  Our votes go toward the Democratic Party.  Additionally we are troubled by what the Republican Party has become and do not want to be associated with it.”

This is all just so pathetic.

I hate that this happened.  I hate that it continues happening.  I hate that Pyle felt obligated to offer any explanation.  I hate that people aren’t allowed to have their own personal convictions without being forced to publicly atone for them.

Alexandra DeSanctis summed up my feelings perfectly by commenting,

“I am so sick of this culture where it’s of utmost importance to ascertain whether some agrees wholeheartedly with every single one of our dogmatically held beliefs before we entertain their thoughts or enjoy their artistic ability.”

Amen and amen. 

Personally, Ellen DeGeneres and I have radically different views on social policy, but I love her sense of humor.  I think she’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever watched entertain. 

Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen both embrace political agendas that I would oppose seven days a week.  But I love every album that those two have ever churned out and will keep buying them as long as they do.

Tom Hanks financially supports politicians that would never get my vote in a million years.  But he’s an incredible actor who has brought countless hours of entertainment, drama, and laughs into my life. 

I mentioned Gary Larson earlier.  Honestly, I don’t know what Gary thought about dilation and extraction child butchery.  But if his opinions about that were different than mine, it still wouldn’t erase the hours of pleasure I got sitting on Grandma Heck’s couch reading and laughing through his Far Side Gallery books.

And that’s the point.  When we reduce people to their politics and we isolate ourselves from interacting with or appreciating anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with our personal dogma, we will accomplish nothing more than depriving ourselves of encountering some truly extraordinary people that God has gifted with the ability and desire to bless our lives.  Why would a sane person ever do that?

People are more than their politics.  Failing to appreciate that doesn’t make us champions of a “cause,” it makes us pitifully shallow.

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