Don't come unless you're whole-hog enthusiastic

I just sent a letter about city priorities to the Register Guard. If it is printed, my name will be mud in the bicycle activist community just as it is already mud in the peace activist community. Most groups prefer no support at all to support that is qualified or ambivalent. This makes me a marginal member, at best, in every group I join. I am marginal in my lodges, because I do not believe in a personal god. I am marginal in my mineral club, because I have no interest in lapidary. I am marginal in the butterfly society that I recently started attending, because I am more interested in plants.

One of the things I valued about the anti-tax protest was that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians, all came together in harmony to gather signatures, and no one thought it necessary to discuss our differences. I think it safe to say that we even delighted in the fact that our differences didn’t matter. I only wish I could feel that way in other groups. What I have often found—with cause-oriented groups especially—is that, because many of the members think the same about a variety of other issues, they don’t realize how exclusionary they are. Liberal groups are worse about this because people are blindest to their failings in areas they pride themselves on most, areas such as tolerance and openness.