This much is true: I love my country. I’m a registered democrat. I have opinions. I voted for Obama. I pray to Jesus. I want the best possible future for us all. I check my facts. I pause. I think. I even pause TO think! I’ve participated in political discussions when I believed that my words might count for something. I’ve opted out of political discussions when it became evident that no one was really interested in listening to anyone else. I’ve also dismissed myself from conversations whose subjects I clearly know nothing about, readily admitting as much; and I have rolled my eyes at those in the same boat of ignorance I’m in, but who just keep talking anyway. I’ve actually deleted one person from my friends’ list when he crossed over the boundaries of mutual respect and a general sense of decency and continued to splatter his dogmatic sentiments on my facebook page. These are not secrets to anyone.
Here are some things that I’ve been accused of that are not true: I’m “sold out” to Obama (although sometimes I do refer to him as “my boyfriend, Barack.”) I “fall for” everything he says. I usually vote with Hollywood. I’m a bleeding heart. I’m a liberal. I’m persuaded in my politics by the left-loving media. I’m intolerant of anyone who does not agree with me (that was Splatter-guy. I didn’t, incidentally, agree with him.) I’m not a “true” Christian, or at least not a good one. I have given my own political opinions precedence over the Scriptures to the point that I am now “blind” to God’s truth. AND—drum roll, please—I am a bitter malcontent.
Love that one.
I have also been accused of “persecuting” someone for his faith, when, truly and honestly, I was only persecuting him for being a dumbass. He had it coming.
So, let’s clarify: I’m “sold out” to the One who brought me to this place in my life and, I assure you, it’s not Barack Obama. I don’t “fall for” what my President says. I listen to him—God knows we can hear him every day if we want to anytime of day. He’s always on. I believe he is a good man who wants to make the most of his Presidency and do right by this country. I don’t give a shit what Hollywood does or doesn’t do. My heart does bleed. I’m only a liberal when I stand next to someone who calls himself “ultra-conservative.” Next to liberals? I’m Doris Day. My feelings of and for the media vacillate between acknowledging the fact that they are crucially instrumental in protecting us from bad government as well as bad ANYTHING and wanting to drown them all in the deepest ocean. Am I a Christian? Sure, if it makes you feel better. Or not, if THAT makes you feel better. Suffice to say, Christ knows me. If I could just touch the hem of His garment and, perhaps, lie with Him, swinging in a hammock between two palm trees on the beach and talk and talk and talk and talk—just the two of us. Am I a good Christian? That’s a WHOLE other blog post, my friends. Like Yancey says, I’m just a pilgrim, a foreigner in this land, trying to get home.
Let’s see… What else? Have I elevated my own opinions over the Scriptures, thereby, poking my spiritual eyes out with my “pride-stick” ‘cuz I’m just SMARTER than the average bear? I wish you could hear me pray. But, no.
And I know what bitter looks like. It’s a block I’ve been around, and I promise you, bitter I am not. Angry I am not. I can get my panties in a wad when provoked just like everyone else, but I have a joy that this world did not give me and, therefore, cannot take from me. If one doesn’t recognize that in me, even when I’m responding to political or social ideas or events, then I’m at a loss as to how to even respond, so I won’t. I cannot loiter around the random and senseless incriminations of others. It’s a trap designed for debilitatation, and I’m free of it.
I’ve lobbed my religious and political views together here to make the point, really, that they are not mutually exclusive. I don’t vote a certain way because I’m a Christian (if that’s a label people are willing to pin on me), and if I’m voting contrary to the “moral majority” (whatever THAT is!) that doesn’t mean I’ve disassociated myself with the church. Believe me, I’ve done plenty of disassociating myself with the church before we ever get into the political arena. I mean, let’s prioritize, right? In fact, I always throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever people start intermingling their religious views with their political views at best, and I go screaming from the room in utter terror at worst. This can get really frightening, especially when it occurs on a macro-scale.
And I see it plainly: People who have planted their flags against any and all things discordant from the groupthink to which they adhere and will not BUDGE from the hills they’re so ready to die on. Too often, it’s a hill THEY call Calvary. Is that too bold? Did I just type that out loud? The mentality being, if one should “compromise” even an inch in his political stance, then he is diminished somehow in his faith—that, somehow, he has let down God or let down the church. Or might I suggest that the underlying current is simply fear? Fear of rejection from the church for having an opinion of your OWN is NOT small potatoes for most people. I know—I deal with it often enough. I’m not making these claims as an outsider trying to understand and look inside the stereotypical “christian” (lower-case “c” there!) mentality—I am VERY much on the inside of this subculture, and although I will be BLASTED by Christians for this, I’m telling you—I’m nailing it, folks. I am! No one can tell me this does not occur, because I’ve seen that it does. Repeatedly. And because I have such an aversion to this way of thinking, I can’t help but see that this is one contributing factor to the polarization that is, at this very moment, preventing us from moving forward in our endeavors to care for the citizens of this country.
WHICH, in my mind, is the irony of ironies.
I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to meet in the middle. Certainly, posts such as this will only validate those who already agree with me and piss off those dying on their hills, flags in hand—OR make them martyrs, loving the chance to pull that “persecution” card.
So. What to do? What to do?
I don’t know.
I think I will change the political status on my facebook page from simply “Democrat” to “AMERICAN who often votes democrat, but who recognizes that BOTH parties have valid points to make—neither party should be excluded or ridiculed or harassed or lied about—and encourages both parties to take turns actively listening to each other, paraphrasing what the other party is saying, validating that stance by seeking first to understand the other—THEN to be understood—PRESIDENT INCLUDED, and MOVING THIS COUNTRY FORWARD!”
Do you think all that will fit?
I doubt that will bring people on opposite ends any closer to the middle, but for what it’s worth…
For my conservative friends who love Jesus who are not dying on any hills or planting any flags, please know that when I speak of “christians” (lower-case “c” there!) as I have in this general sense, I am not singling out anyone in particular—at least not anyone who is still in my life. I’m not thinking of those in my inner circle of friends or family. Please don’t send me a message asking if you’ve done something to provoke this diatribe because the answer is no, my loved ones. You haven’t. I love you. If you can be reasoned with and have the capacity to see and understand the other side, I love you.
As for those precious souls that I have TOTALLY pissed off and whose knees are calloused because of the many hours of prayers that you have offered up on my behalf because I am in the evil clutches of Satan and the democrats, I have already deleted you.
I write. I vent. I post. Nothing more—nothing less.