LumberJocks

Grumbles from the shop #12: Politics Religion and Woodworking

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Blog entry by dennis mitchell posted 05-12-2010 09:06 AM 4490 reads 1 time favorited 91 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Buy American? Part 12 of Grumbles from the shop series Part 13: Woodworkers spark the end of western civilization »

We use to talk about God and Politics here at LumberJocks. We had no need for a rule excluding it. From my point of view woodworking is a spiritual experience. The very nature of it. The heart of a tree. The finest examples of the art of woodworking are found in religious buildings around the world. I don’t see how we can really talk about woodworking and not talk about the deep meaning it has in so many peoples lives.

I guess politics and woodworking has such a special meaning to me because I made my living in my shop. It is one of the few professions left that an individual could make a living at. I see my profession dying and I’m to keep mum because we can’t have a civil discourse. A sorry state of affairs. If we just deal with the mechanics we trivialize our craft.

Maybe if we are really good…someday…woodworking will draw us closer together. After all I’ve yet to hear about a galoot strapping a bomb around his waist and blowing up a HomeDespot just cause they sell power tools.

Now I’ll go read the posting rules….



91 comments so far

View JohnnyW's profile

JohnnyW

83 posts in 1688 days


#1 posted 05-12-2010 11:17 AM

....and even if a galoot was planning to blow up Home Depot, he might change his mind if he could vent his frustration on here and learn something about the opposite viewpoint at the same time…..

Grumble On!

-- John

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2818 days


#2 posted 05-12-2010 11:53 AM

and now if we could just learn how to have discussions and debate without personal attacks on our fellow members.

There is a Native story that tells of people sitting around a fire. To get the full picture of what the fire looks like we have to gather everyone’s perspective and add it to our own. From our own experience we only get a sliver of the truth.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View schloemoe's profile

schloemoe

691 posts in 1596 days


#3 posted 05-12-2010 02:07 PM

I’m not afraid to talk about God or Politics take you’r pick just don’t try to make me think that they are the same thing. A lot of politcal people would have you beleive they are God. I do think of wood working as a kind of spiritual thing or maybe a better term is therapy.I can lock myself in my shop and it’s just me and the wood I know that sounds really simplestic but thats the way it works for me. After about an hour of refining and shaping wood into something beautiful I see things in different light .[for a short time anyway]

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www. woodrehab.blogspot.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1992 posts in 3063 days


#4 posted 05-12-2010 02:19 PM

Sometimes I feel like the last buggy-whip maker down the street from the Model-T factory thinking, “This new car fad, will surely die out and people will be back to buying my whips…...”

Being the “Last Man Standing” is not a bad marketing strategy though, if a guy can hang on that long.

Hang in there Dennis,
m

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1992 posts in 3063 days


#5 posted 05-12-2010 02:24 PM

I do remember those early days of Lumberjocks, the God and Politics and Woodworking stuff, and I remember spending a lot more time writing back then. Of course, it seemed like we all mostly agreed with each other then, or at least we were all respectful of each other.

Something changed as the group started to grow from a few handfuls of people to a bigger audience. It was bound to happen, but I do miss the early days.

Thanks for the flash back down memory lane,
m

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2876 days


#6 posted 05-12-2010 02:30 PM

Good thoughts, Dennis.

I agree with you that woodworking is (or at least can be) a spiritual experience. It’s too bad that so many people don’t understand the difference between religion and spirituality. I find it fascinating to listen to other people talk about how they relate to the God of their understanding, or at least about how they view their own place in the pecking order of the universe. Even atheists can be spiritual (but you knew that).

I wonder why such an important topic can’t be discussed without it always degenerating into name-calling and acrimony? Well, I guess if I had the answer to that one, there would be no more wars or terrorists in the world.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2551 days


#7 posted 05-12-2010 02:59 PM

I had a spritual experience a few weeks back by dropping a very heavy corner of a cabinet directly onto the cuticle of my big toe which sent an instant feeling of being in the pit of hell itself. Two hours later I drilled a hole through the nail and it instantly felt like I was in pergatory.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2663 days


#8 posted 05-12-2010 03:15 PM

There is a bit of irony in politicians almost single handedly decimating the industry we all talk about and love, but it would be too impolite and divisive to talk about them. And if they made the felling of trees illegal in the states tomorrow, we’d all be presenting sketchup drawings of what we’d like to build if we were given permission by our masters, but to one day only own a tree.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1056 posts in 1783 days


#9 posted 05-12-2010 04:15 PM

Not everyone is interested in celebrating diversity and the knowledge and wisdom it brings. I enjoy talking about almost anything, but somehow there are always the people that can’t understand most people mean well and only few are bad tempered. Those “few” are the balance nature needs to keep the rest of us on the right track of open mindedness and progressive thought for a better future. I have found the golden rule can only be a personal morality, few people treat others the way they would like to be treated.. even fewer know what that truly means. No one can be forced into enlightenment, but so many people believe they can bash what they do not agree with as if that EVER changes a persons mind. The difficulty really is about disparity in experience, knowledge, and intelligence. We are taught to fear mistakes, fear ignorance, and fear change… without community reflection, self awareness, and empathy no one can grow or adapt. The inability to change is death… and for anyone who understands art and craft.. the beginning of creation starts with an act of destruction. It means more than the words.. it is the antithesis of conservative and traditional thought. OOops …. politics. That is why people fight.. they want to ignore change.. ignore differences, because they do not want them… and when confronted with aggression.. we all fall back into our animalistic defenses.

Woodworking is VERY spiritual for me.. but already I have been received with “I don’t remember your religious affiliation being asked for your profile.” So I am a Druid.. I truly enjoy nature and find peace and wisdom in it.. but that is enough to bring on the anger.. even here on LJs.. even though it is the REASON I do woodworking and BASIS of passion I bring to my knowledge and experience. “It is the sign of intelligence to entertain an idea or concept without taking it personal” ~ Socrates.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2092 days


#10 posted 05-12-2010 04:17 PM

Dennis:
I don’t think people join LJs to vent their personal religious or political preferences, it’s their interest in woodworking.
Religion is a deeply personal thing of which there are many different organized versions. Unfortunately religious discussions often turn to bitter crusades against rival beliefs and religions. I like to “see” all religions as a path to the creator, each has its own rules of membership and beliefs. Look at it as wood, not just one species, but many different species from all over the world with each its own color/grain.
In many ways politics share the very same organized problems that religion has. Party line “parrot” uttering and bashing people with other views just identifies some as mindless sheep. Personally I prefer to make up my own mind and not join any organized “club”, after all, my vote is personal and private.
There are things where politics, in my opinion, defy the electorate’s wishes and through threats and personal “gifts” don’t represent the people anymore.
Case in point: Healthcare; The majority voted for Universal Healthcare, but when persued for implimenting, was hit by polititions undermining the people’s vote. Fingers were pointed to other systems used in countries of the civilized world, some not so good, some good and some excellent. There is no record of citizens of foreign health care services chomping at the bit to change to the US system – anyone know why? US politics has checks and ballances in place, but someone needs to tell them it is NOT Cheques and Ballances at a Bank.

I am not against anyone speaking about religion or politics in a posting, but be careful, religion and politics have been the many causes of wars.
Ljs is for a spritual connection via the material we have chosen as our passion and we try to inject this in everything we make.

Sorry about the HC issue,it is very dear to my heart.

Now go and have a nice day.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2092 days


#11 posted 05-12-2010 04:21 PM

EPJartisan,
Cool man, rock on.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1056 posts in 1783 days


#12 posted 05-12-2010 04:37 PM

yes if it wasn’t for health insurance my life would be much much better. Right now it is the single largest payment out of our household.. above the cars and the house combined. The health care industry is raping us! I could afford to hire actual full-time people in my shop and if we had universal healthcare. I’d rather my money go to someplace I can vote for or against, than some greedy guy who suddenly won’t cover me because he looses profit. We lost control of our government because of greedy monopolies.

Also I’d say wars are really about fear and greed, basic human animal emotions and instincts. War must omit logic and reason.. all is fair in love and war. Hmm also … an addendum to my earlier post.. Socrates was put to death for his philosophy.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2663 days


#13 posted 05-12-2010 04:52 PM

EPJartisan, so why not have universal woodwork? Some people can’t afford nice woodwork because you take home evil profits every week. Stop the gouging and profiteering that keeps nice woodwork out of the reach of so many deserving folks :)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112104 posts in 2235 days


#14 posted 05-12-2010 05:02 PM

Dennis
You have been here much longer than myself and I feel your pain. I’m a firm believer in God and have my own political beliefs, even though I’ve been here half the time you have , I have seen some of the nastiest ,full blown hateful drag out post regarding both subjects. Although we live in a free society there are a few members here who will berate and belittle others for there religious and political beliefs . These kind of post have caused many to leave LJs and have caused long term discord. So even though I hold fast to my God and still practice my own political views I feel it’s much better to stick to woodworking and keep our LJ community a kinder happier neighborhood.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1056 posts in 1783 days


#15 posted 05-12-2010 05:04 PM

miles125, :)
I don’t really understand your meaning. I don’t take profit.. unless you mean this in a general “you.” I work a second job to pay bills. The studio runs itself.. most of the time. But I agree quality woodwork should be affordable by most people… I would still prefer teaching others to make their own quality woodwork rather than purchasing it. THAT is universal woodwork… love of the process not the material item.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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