Dearest faithful friends,
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to write. I told myself I needed some time to kind of wrap my mind around things, and process. I was on the elevator this morning with a friend who said she’s processing still. And I wonder…how long will it take?
So here’s the thing. I’m going to be writing some things here that may challenge you. May upset you, make you mad, make you feel you need to unfriend me, or never speak to me again. That is absolutely your right and your choice. But I feel like if I’m silent. If I just post some uplifting messages on Facebook, and Instagram, then I am not doing enough. Why? Because when people tell me all the time: Oh, I think you are so brave. You’re one of the bravest people I know…and I sit by in silence and say nothing at all, or worse–if I say things to pacify people, to make people feel more “comfortable” then it feels like a lie. Because it is a lie. Because I am not brave at all. I’ve become cowardly. More concerned with what people think of me and less concerned with what’s happening in my country.
Never in my life have I felt the despair I have felt in the past few days after an election. Never have I cried for 12 hours when my chosen candidate didn’t win. Never have I felt ashamed of my country and what we are supposed to stand for. Then it happened. And as I faced a room full of girls, lovely girls, hopeful girls. Muslim young women who have big dreams for their lives–not unlike my own daughter–who want to make the world a better place, and have families and live in peace with opportunities and freedoms. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Why? Because they are human beings! They live on this earth with us, and they are as worthy as I am. As you are. Period. Yet, here in the greatest land on earth, we elected a man who seeks to shun them. To persecute them. Who teaches us to fear them because they are “others.” They are not like us and it’s all such bullshit! When I had to stand there and face these girls and answer “why” teacher? I had nothing. We literally sat on the floor and sobbed. My heart breaking for them, theirs breaking for me. It was so awful and humiliating for all of us.
So here’s the thing. I’m not going to be silent any more. I’m not. I’m not going to sit idly by and watch a man who has shown us who he really is–from his mocking of the disabled, to his inciting violence against those who are different, to his name calling on Twitter, to his OFFENSIVE and dangerous behavior toward women (pussy grabbing anyone?) take the country I love down a very dangerous path. I will not do it. I will not be silent as he seeks to marginalize and alienate groups of people who are not like him. I won’t watch him and his cronies reject global warming. I won’t watch him repeal the Marriage Equality act. Or do away with Roe v. Wade. I will not do it. I am horrified at the vitriol he spewed at every SINGLE opportunity he had, but it’s not enough to be horrified. As a white woman whatever that man does has really very little to do with me. Oh wait, except the woman part. (sigh). I must speak up! How can I look at my friends of color whom I deeply love, who have taught me so much about love and acceptance and be silent? How can I face my Muslim, Jewish, Hindi, Buddhist friends, and friends of other religions who taught me about tolerance and acceptance even if our views are different, and be silent? And how on earth could I possibly face my LGBTQ friends, and be silent? How?
To be clear I do not necessarily align myself with a particular party. I have voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates. I have never voted a straight ticket, and despite what you may think, I am not bent to lean very far left. I’m just somewhere in the middle trying desperately to find and hold on to some middle ground. But this seems impossible nowadays. There apparently is no more middle ground. It’s either all or nothing, and when we don’t like what we hear, then like petulant children we gather up our toys and go marching home. We see this time and again. But there is no place for this type of childish behavior in a democracy. Because nothing is ever going to get accomplished. Whatever happened to sitting down and listening to each other? Why all the hatred? Fear? Negativity? Why does America need to be made “great” again?
To be sure, I think we are all done with the status quo. I mean we are tired, I get it, of career politicians making all these promises and keeping none of them. We don’t want bigger government, we don’t want higher taxes, we don’t want an astronomical national debt. We all agree on these things. But where we get off track, I think, is with regard to platform politics. I saw commentary ALL over social media, vote the platform not the person. What does that EVEN mean? Near as I can tell, the person comes with the platform. And now we’ve got Donald Trump at the helm. And I’m worried. Because in all sincerity I wonder why people are so gung ho about taking our nation backward in history? Why? I’m horrified to think that “make America great again” is just subtext for “make America white again.” I mean maybe it’s not, but I deeply fear this. If I were to ever run for president my motto would be MIND YOUR BUSINESS.
Seriously. If you are against abortion, then don’t have an abortion. To note: NO ONE IS PRO ABORTION. And if we’re really honest, I mean deep down HONEST about this issue, people aren’t really PRO LIFE either. How do we know this? We know this because if that were true, then the systematic murder of hundreds of thousands people around the world would matter. And it doesn’t. Black lives would matter. And they don’t. Children who grow up in poverty would matter and they don’t. How do I know this to be true? Because it continues to happen! Over and over and over. I’m so sick of people claiming to be “pro-life.” It’s such hypocrisy.
What’s next? Oh right. Gay marriage. People get themselves in a knot over gay marriage. Why is that YOUR business? If you don’t want to be gay married then don’t. And there’s some real hypocrisy here, too. The big argument is that Gay marriage destroys the “sanctity” of marriage. Ah…I see. But getting divorced 2, 3, 5 times doesn’t? Are you kidding me right now? Argghhhhhh!!! Shut up! MIND YOUR BUSINESS. Honestly, there are people I know who have been in long term, same sex, loving relationships way longer than I was in my marriage. That’s a fact. And before we get all pious, and start spouting scriptures…let’s remember what the Bible says about divorce, shall we? I am still reeling from all the hateful, hurtful language that was used to blast Jen Hatmaker out of the water when she said she would celebrate with her gay friends at their marriages. OH MY GOD!! People said some of THE most hateful things I’ve ever heard–from telling her to die…yeah, people said that, to calling her a “heretic” and telling her that she and her gay friends would have a fine time in HELL. What the hell is that???? It’s hateful and horrible and shameful that people claiming to love Christ and follow Him said those things. Why can’t we all be more loving? I do NOT get it. And all those sanctimonious platitudes of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” It makes me sick. CAUSE GUESS WHAT?? WE ARE ALL SINNERS. ALL OF US. So stop all the finger-pointing. Oh, and PS. JESUS was really clear on the judging others bit, too.
What else? Oh yes, the ACA. People are SO mad about that too. It’s got it’s flaws, that’s for sure. But man, it gave lots of people insurance and saved many lives whether we want to admit or not. (Google it) My sister for instance, who was unable to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition, now has insurance. And for the record, Obama didn’t raise insurance premiums. The greedy insurance companies did. They said they “needed” to in order to remain “lucrative.” Really? The CEO of United Health Care, for instance, makes oh, a cool 66 million dollars a year. (Yes, I googled) That’s pretty damn lucrative if you ask me. How many millions, exactly, does one need? So let’s just dispel that myth.
Oh, yes, the ever popular climate change deniers. Folks!! Come on. That is science. SCIENCE. There is a preponderance of evidence that this does exist, and that it’s going to get bad, really bad. (You can Google that, too) But hey, as long as it doesn’t affect us now, then who cares? I mean we NEED those fossil fuels, we NEED that cheap land to graze our burgers on, we NEED that cheap palm oil to keep our millions…the environment? Feh.
And I’m going to stop here. Now what? I’m done with niceties and trying to placate the masses with uplifting words of encouragement that ring completely hollow when there is so much potential for so much harm. So now I’m rolling up my sleeves, I’m digging in my heels. I writing to Congress, I’m tweeting, I’m posting, I’m exercising my right to free speech. I’m going to be the NASTY WOMAN God made me. And you are free to be with me or against me. Either way, we’ve got some serious work to do. We need to love each other more, help each other more, have compassion more. Together we CAN and will make a difference. I will NEVER lose hope.
Till next time, all love, all hope, and all peace…