My Persecution Prayer
The landscape in America is changing. Laws passed, morals changed, worldviews altered. They say not all change is progress, but there is no progress without change.
Even so, the world I grew up in of backyard baseball and landline phones fades day by day into the past, and I constantly filter the ongoing changes through an ever-growing desire to stand firm in my constitutional rights no matter which way I lean.
John Wooden sums up my heart in that, “If I were ever persecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.”
Therein lies my persecution prayer for myself and everyone around me: stand for something. Enough wishy-washy, people-pleasing, majority-leaning allegiances. Screw what’s trendy. What do you really believe? Pick the most controversial topics and take a side:
- What does it mean to be an American today?
- What’s marriage look like?
- What does equity and equality mean in education and society?
- How do you view abortion?
- How do you vote?
- How do you see marijuana in medicinal and recreational use?
- Do you have a code?
- Do you have values?
- Do you stand for anything?
I long for the day when my back’s against the wall and I dig my heels in to stand up for my rights and beliefs. Lines are being drawn everywhere I look. Increasingly, agreeing to disagree is eliminated from the theoretical equation, and words such as racist, bigot, xenophobe, and others are thrown around carelessly.
The problem is not a disagreement in ideologies, the problem is in the condemnation. Postmodern subjectivity has given way annihilistic animosity. Ultimately, I respect an oppositional and informed viewpoint from my own. What an opportunity to learn and grow from that person! I detest not those that disagree with me, but those that criminalize others for having the courage to stand for their beliefs, on both sides of the aforementioned issues.
When it’s all send and done, pray. Pray for the chance to be persecuted for something, anything. We grow in moments of resistance, of pain. As Winston Churchill so eloquently put it, “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
Now that’s a fight worth fighting.