I have been ranting for the last couple of days. Here’s the gist:
Quote by Nancy Shulman:
“Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than “politics.” They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.”
Dallas Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said: “Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment.”
To the contrary: The word “shithole” is nothing compared to the vulgarity of the sentiment he expressed.
I have been quietly not openly calling myself a Christian for years now, because I do not like the look of Christianity in this country. I now openly walk away from the name. I continue to be a Follower of Jesus, in an Anabaptist and Universalist sort of way, with an emphasis on the feminine nature of the Great Mystery, and a belief that the Great Mystery is within everything and everyone. But I can no longer categorize myself as a Christian. I do not belong in any way, shape, or form to the same group as this man. No, we clearly are not following the same Jesus. Yes, this is judgemental. Yes, it is not being accepting of differences. There are differences I will not accept. Racism and xenophobia have absolutely no role in the realm of Jesus. If that is Christian, I am not that. I will have no part of that. Rather than trying to claim the term as something that embraces me as well, I walk away from it.
I will not check myself in as a Christian on polls and forms. If you ask my religion, I will no longer tell you that I am “a Christian, just not one of those.” Public Christianity in the United States is nothing I recognize as having anything to do with Jesus.
There are many people I know who continue to claim and reclaim the word, and I do not judge them. I, however, feel that at this point in time, I need to make a clear distinction between what I believe and what seems to be the path of U.S. Christianity.
This is no shock. We knew he was racist. Still, putting it into the public discourse so baldly demands that public figures, especially ones who follow Jesus, repudiate the language. One can say that this is not surprising, that he’s been doing this all along. That is true. But this is a level of unstatesmanlike public discourse that needs to be addressed right now. Robert Jeffries certainly did. His counterparts need to speak up. Now.
I believe in the path of Love, but this is one of the biggest challenges to that, even more than Dick Cheney. It was easier when it was abstract, but having an actual person to work it out with is really hard. I should probably take a FB break and read more Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron and Richard Rohr. Still, I feel a need to be part of the conversation. Somehow, I think these things need to happen in tandem: the inner work and the outer work.
Let’s keep talking about how to manage this. If not to Love, if not even to stop hating, at least to manage it all, to not be drowned, ourselves, in the hatred.
This I can say: I love You. I love my family, my students, my colleagues, my Beloved Friends, the sun and the earth and the animals. The moon. Those who are downtrodden and beaten and excluded. And because of that Love, I must fight the Wrong that these men are unleashing.
I have a sense that my hatred will not be an effective tool in that, though I have not managed to quell it. My anger can go either way, to push me to toward effective Work, or to enmire me in the bogs.
I cast a line from me to you, a line of Love for all that we love in common.
“No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” –Elie Wiesel
I have been neglecting the grounding work of my gratitude lists during a couple of days when I desperately needed the grounding.
1. The fine musicians and singers at my school. They are really given the opportunity to learn and to shine.
2. A long weekend
3. Bright souls, all around
4. A warm hat and slippers
5. Being surrounded by stories
May we walk in Beauty!
4 thoughts on “Ranting”
Yes, it’s really hard when someone you love is swallowing the lies. I have always tried to be understanding of my friends and loved ones who are Republican. I think we really need varied points of view. Right now, however, I think people who have aligned with the president’s party really need to distance themselves from him and from the party leaders.
I add my hopes and prayers to yours.
Thank you Beth .myquestion goes unanswered …How did this happened ?.
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I can’t stop thinking about that question. I think many of us underestimated the virulence of the racism that has been kept alive as an undercurrent in our culture. I have been reading the threads on my cousin’s Facebook page lately, trying to understand what it is in conservative Christian circles that willfully imagines the previous president to be evil, and yet makes excuse after excuse about the bad behavior and hostile speech of this one. It makes no sense to me. But I think the combination of this hidden creature of racism along with the strange theology of conservative Christians is part of the answer.
I feel like ranting isn’t enough. Praying isn’t enough. I’m not sure what it takes. I want to learn how to engage the conservative Christians in non-threatening, firm, and loving conversation. At this point, I don’t know if I have what it takes to do so.
Thanks for your questions. You keep me from settling back into a complacent funk.
Today our paster voiced “I question saying I’m an Evangelical Christian today.
I question , what can I do …what can I say to my son who supports our president.
His family has allined with the political party that supports him.. Prayers Ican do.
Thank you for speaking boldly. Beth..
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