Last week the news was agog with a law passed in Indiana declaring that government could not force someone to do something where that something conflicted with religious beliefs. The thing that really bugs me about the controversy is that it is a double standard. Here we are again where membership in the fashunable crowd gives license to behavior not permissible for those on the outs. I, the fat, white, middle aged WASP, am on the outs and thus constrained in permissible behavior.
I’d be golden if I were a woman, brown and a lesbian. I could do what I want. I could talk trash about fat white bastards like me with impunity. I could explain my behavior as caused by FWB’s. I could lay my misery at their feet. It would be their fault. It would be lovely.
Instead, I’m the bad guy. My ancestors are horrid Scotch-Irish who invaded the virgin, pastoral bliss of the Native Americans, raped the land, plundered its riches, and built an iron outhouse filling the unsullied utopia with pollution, greed and oppression. I am a scourge to be purged from the land. I am worthless. I am the reason your life is screwed. You are welcome.
Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn’t work it iterate the sins of my ancestors and visit them on others. True revolution doesn’t come when the oppressed become the oppressors. True revolution begins in the heart, in the stomach, in the soul & spirit and is begun at the cross in love. It begins with each of us accepting the truth of the new kingdom launched when Christ rose on the third day. Hey, you are reading a blog by a Christian man. Did you think you wouldn’t get through it without a little preaching? You did? Yeah, that didn’t happen. This post happened.
Listen, the point is this, you can’t box me up in a cage and chain me to a puritan orthodoxy of your making in the name of fairness and freedom from triggers. I, caged, become the prisoner and you, formerly imprisoned, become the guard. Good for you, bad for me and not much of a change, actually. If I am to tolerate your orthodoxy then, and sorry, this sucks, you have to tolerate mine. A pissing match where the bullets are rules to restrict me and I, in return, fire back with rules of my own, will just bury us in rules that become impossible to follow and after a while, become a joke. We are better off allowing individuals to refuse to do something they object to than trying to find laws which force us to do something which suits the whim of some special interest group like the LBGT community or mine, the hateful WASPS. Even if my narrative is irrational to you, is nuts, the principle I advocate for–to love kin, neighbors and enemies alike, stands. That’s where this needs to go. Not terribly original. But, with trying to protect religious freedom or the freedom to marry a couple nuts, it just works better if we figure out what it means to start from loving each other and go from there.