[Jared Rant: [2015/06/27] I don’t waste a lot of time doing victory laps….
I don’t waste a lot of time doing victory laps. I don’t view political progress that involves doing something that should have been done LONG ago as something to brag about, or at least that is not usually my first thought when they happen. The rulings that happened this week, ESPECIALLY regarding gay rights, and the length of time BRUTALLY fighting for basic equality is imo an embarrassment. I’m sorry, but it is.
That being said, this last week has been one filled with SPECTACULAR joy along with forward progress for all of us, though imo it’s not so much about victory for us as it is a victory for decency, and on a more personal level, for me it’s a small renewal of faith in the idea that what’s good and just will occasionally triumph, though we had to fight tooth and nail for it, but everything that’s worth having is worth fighting for, right?
We fought to ensure that people have access to basic human rights like healthcare and marrying whomever they choose, and while that isn’t something that I’m going to scream “USA” over, we fought, we won, and I’m very proud of what we have accomplished. That being said, and keeping in mind that OF COURSE these are victories, I’m OVERYJOYED that they happened, and they should be celebrated, it’s also a tremendously sad statement about our nation, friends, and please allow me to explain why.
We’re one of the richest countries on the PLANET. We spend BILLIONS building military equipment that the military doesn’t even NEED and that a lot of the time ends up sitting in disrepair in a desert somewhere, but are APPALLED by the thought of tax credits going to our mothers, daughters, fathers, brothers, veterans, and etc when it comes to stuff like being able to see a DOCTOR or have basic medical coverage.
We are a nation that slaps a “support our troops” bumper sticker on the back of our cars, and then RAILS against “those moochers and takers” (who a lot of the time are vets, or the elderly) who DARE to need assistance of any kind. That’s when we’re not clamoring to send them to fight and die in a land that’s so far away from their loved ones that it might as well be Narnia, while the people who shake their fists send everyone’s children but theirs to go fight, because “People just don’t fear America like they used to.”
I have a lot of friends from all sides of the political spectrum. I have friends who are democrats, liberals, republicans, conservatives, hawks, doves, and even a couple of libertarians.
I do not have Tea Party people, though. Everyone has their limits, and they have nothing to offer me that I couldn’t get from asking the lady who stands outside the bus station and screams at cats what she thinks we should do about ISIS.
I have friends from all sides, I do not choose to live in echo chambers, nor will I ever. I like to learn, and the more I learn the more I realize how much I don’t know. I know you fine people know what I mean. That leads me to my next point.
I love actual Christians. No, really. I know a few. I am not referring to the people who make sure they’re seen praying. I’m not referring to the people who think that the poor should be sterilized. I am not talking about the people who make sure their cross is visible while they make the argument that the Confederate Flag is “simply about heritage.”
No, I’m referring to the few people who I know who ACTUALLY live as Jesus would, and sadly are nothing like the MONSTROUSLY large number of ACA detractors I see on the daily who claim that we live in a “Christian Nation,” and also have adopted a “Fuck the poor and the sick” mindset, and that mindset is as pervasive as it is sad. It’s an infection. They wag their fingers from the pulpit, judge, condemn, and tell us to live as Jesus would, and most of them couldn’t be less like Jesus if they tried.
Jesus healed the sick. Jesus fed the poor. Jesus hung with the outcasts, and Jesus didn’t judge. Jesus was about love, and giving, and that brings me to my second point.
I am not gay, nor have I ever had a gay experience. Since I was a child (in the mid-80’s) growing up in the South, I went to church, read the Bible, learned the Word, was saved and baptized, and even as a kid, before I even fully understood what homosexuality WAS, I never understood the AMAZING outspoken animus/judgment towards gay people, and even then I felt uneasy hearing about how evil and deserving of disgust these subhuman creatures I didn’t even know were. It’s strange at any age to hear about love and forgiveness in one breath, and then hate (and that’s what it was) in another, all while being told that we’re all children of God.
I live, and have lived my entire life in the South, and even in my single digit years, I never understood the (what I know now as) thinly-veiled disgust, hate, and judgment towards people who were gay. I grew up being taught (not by my family who did take me to church, but only because that’s what they were taught to do) that being gay was something to be hidden. It was something to be reviled. It was a sickness. It was a plague, and the only cure to be found was a great big dose of Jesus, and as a child I never understood that mentality, nor to this day do I understand it, but I just remember how thankful I was that I was born straight, and at the same time confused about the teachings that said we are ALL God’s children, are made in His image, and in my childish innocence, even though I didn’t REALLY know what I was talking about, I always thought (when the subject came up) “who are WE to question God, His children, or His Plan?”
Ftr, I am an agnostic, but I like to think that if I were a full-blown Christian, I would still recognize that per the Bible, only God can judge, and that while I am still part of this mortal coil, my job is to be good to people, bring joy, ease suffering, make people smile, and make this world a better place.
Funny thing is, I never needed a book to tell me to do that. Being good, decent, giving, and helping people is inherent to who I am, and though I am not a Christian, and I do not go to church anymore, I honestly believe that I am more like Jesus than A LOT of the people who claim to be Christians. I also believe that the recent SCOTUS ruling was not only a win for gay people, but also a win for justice and humanity, and whether they want to admit it or not, it was a win for Christians, too. God’s Plan, right?
Ephesians 4:29–32 (ESV) specifically says that
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Imo, you don’t have to be a Christian to be kind, tenderhearted, forgo bitterness and judgment, and love one another free of malice or conditions. Maybe that’s just me, though.
Have a great day, friends. smile emoticon