It was great to get away and it’s good to return home, and while I was gone Schitt’s Creek won all the Emmys, Breonna’s neighbor’s property was judged to be worth more than her life, RBG laid in state in the Capital Rotunda and a new Supreme Court Justice was nominated.
Just another week in 2020.
I’ve stopped believing that “everything’s going to be okay because Jesus.” I believe that we are called to make an effort (i.e. Peace doesn’t just happen. Jesus commands that we take some responsibilitity whether than means actively seeking justice or carving out some additional prayer time.)The problem is that we vilify each other. (I’ll address Amy Coney Barrett tomorrow.) We peg each other. We make (false) assumptions about each other. We confuse real listening with waiting for our turn to talk. I read the above Letter to the Editor over the weekend from my University’s Alumni Review and found myself angrily exegeting it. The writer was responding to the recent decision by the UNC Board of Trustees to remove the names off of four campus buildings because they had been named for men with racist histories. My comments on the letter:
- He doesn’t believe there is racial injustice in the US anymore? OMG. Where do I begin? (Let’s compare the death of Brionna Taylor to the death of Justine Ruszczyk.)
- Nobody’s asking him to apologize for being White.
- Nobody’s asking him to “bow down to Black Lives Matter or any other group.” BLM is not the LORD. It’s a movement to express that people with Black skin deserve what people with White skin deserve. No more. No less.
- It’s “spineless” to remove names from buildings. Actually it’s brave to take a stand – especially when it confronts tradition.
I can’t continue living this way: constantly feeling torn up about the state of our Union. Like you, I watch political ads that tell half-truths or overt lies. I see and hear mockery between candidates.
Overhead in the past week by real people I know with my own ears:
- “He told his mother that she would never see her grandchildren again if she voted for Trump. And I don’t think he’s exaggerating.”
- “How can you call yourself a Christian if you vote for Biden?”
Who is a Real Christian and who is a Christian Nationalist and who is a True American and who is an Evangelical and who is a Racist and who is really Pro-Life?
Is there a way to love each other without selling our souls? (This is a real question.)
Wise people offer this advice:
- When we thoroughly disagree with someone, ask “What are you seeing that I’m not seeing?” (Thanks MAMD.)
- Listen to personal stories. (Especially crucial to hear the stories of people who are not White, Straight, or descended from people who’ve been in the US for more than a generation. If you don’t know anyone in those demographics then Step One is to befriend someone who is not like you.)
- Aim to open your opponent’s mind, not change it. More here. (Note: I tried to find a comparable article by a Fox News reporter and need your help finding one because I’d really like to link it here too.)
We are headed for some serious pain this Election Day and beyond – no matter who prevails. Praying for peace is a good idea. Working for justice is also required by God, according to Scripture.
It’s occurred to me that this season could be our Babylonian Exile. I’m often shocked that God hasn’t blown us to smithereens and started all over again. We have thoroughly defied every divine commandment. Maybe that’s something we can all agree on.
God is love. And I’m praying we experience and imitate that love more and more and more everyday. There’s healing power in loving even our enemies. Dammit.