LAYING MY BURDENS DOWN PART I
I’ve been hiding out for the last two months, both accidently and with purpose. Of course I didn’t see the purpose until the end, but hey, it is what is it. I’m writing this post not to change any minds but for the soul purpose of helping you to start thinking. I remember how I felt after my first couple of women’s studies classes. I felt horrible spiritually. It was like my mind was open to all the things that were wrong and I had to choose between walking in what I knew now, which I knew would be hard, or discarding it and living like I did before, easy. I chose the former, and sometimes I choose the latter, because I like some mental down time and rachet music, lol. It will be hard, and some of you won’t even begin the process. Maybe you will push this to the back of your minds, or you may even follow the status quo and dismiss me as heretic. I probably should divide this into three or so posts because otherwise it will be really long, but…again. If you write normally, or with any seriousness you will understand that you take it as it comes, and since I’ve been blessed to be able to do it again (I haven’t been able in two months) I’m going to go where it leads me.
To my brothers and sister’s in Christ:
Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be in your number, not because of what we believe, but because of how we act. Self is always included. I remember one of my chinese grad school classmates came up to me after a meeting and oddly asked me if I was a Christian, I said yes. She told me I didn’t act like other Christians, “you are nice”, she said. I told her we didn’t all act like I do. Later I really thought about if I should’ve said that last bit, but why lie? We don’t all act nice. She knew that before she asked me if I was, if I had lied wouldn’t I be like all the Christians she was talking about? She can see us even if we can’t see ourselves.
Which brings me to my next point; this chick-fil a thing really grinds my gears, not even because of the company but because of the responses from us.
I used to be really sort of obsessed with bell hooks. I’ve literally read everything by her, sometimes more than once because it’s really gone against my previous thinking and it’s been a process to take up. Her work about love is extensive and it really resonated with me. I’ve been working with some of the things that have really sat with my spirit for years now. First, She said people often talk about love’s aftermath, how love feels, and how to recognize it physiologically, but there was never really a good definition in the academic literature of what love is, so she defined it in simple terms: Respect, trust, care, commitment, responsibility, and knowledge. Linguistically simple, but practically hard, and then…and this is the kicker. She talked about 1John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” she goes on to say that we are born in sin, we are not perfect, but it is a process and that perfect love cannot be accessed unless we are constantly, actively working on it, because in this world of decay, the moment you stop working it ceases to be perfect. So in order to be fearless you must work on love (knowledge, care, respect, responsibility, trust, and commitment) and that is how it can be a transformative force. Add that to 1 cor 13 and let it sit up In you for a minute..whew!
So back to chik fil a and what all that had to do with it. First, let us all get on the same page. The issue from the side of the gay community is not essentially that members of the company are homophobic. That’s never the issue, like if someone sat in their room all day and said “I hate black people” no one would care right? They wouldn’t be preventing any black person from getting a job, moving to a neighborhood of their choice, etc. The problem is when people use their resources to deny, or take away rights from a group. This is the essential issue with chick fil a. They are using company profits to provide funds to organizations that want to deny citizens who are gay from equal protection under the law.
First of all, I’ve always felt that Christians going through the government as a means to handle issues with homosexuality was always the wrong move. Contrary to popular belief the government wasn’t built on Christian principles, capitalism just reeks of the devil. Love of money and greed are it’s staples.
People treat homosexuality as if it’s a personal grievance or sin against them? I don’t get it. Even if that’s the case, The bible says that if you have a grievance with your brother, you go to him, if he will not listen, then you go get two or three, if still not, you go to the elders of the church, if still not then you treat him as a gentile or tax collector…aka only deal with that cat when it’s necessary to get business done. It also says to forgive. How is demonizing a group of people anywhere in that? Go getchu some everlasting peace and CHILL.
I read a facebook status from a professed Christian that said, that even though she knew homosexuals and loved them as Christ commands she supported chick-fil a. How is that possible, when you think about what love is. You can’t go after people for “sins” and say that you love them. It’s not even our place to judge so how can we be asking for laws that prohibit the behavior of others. That’s not the place of government.
I just think we have it all backwards. I think about the story of joseph and how government was in charge of collecting grain for the seven years of famine to feed the people, not the church. Those who sowed grain were prohibited by the word of god to reap the corners of their fields or the gleaning because those were to be specifically for the poor and the strangers (lev 23:22), and yet we’re trying to get rid of food stamps, low income women’s health clinics, and assistance for needy families???? Am I the only one reading?
We don’t want to hear any of it though, and maybe I'm just different, because the primary lesson I got from Sodom and Gomorrah was about how you treat the stranger, or "other" in your midst. It would mean too much change for us and our greedy, unloving ways. Because if you really loved (care, trust, commitment, respect, responsibility, knowledge) your neighbor, as yourself you wouldn’t be able to ignore his plight and damage him like we do. It seems like we’re in this suspended plane that both keeps us from falling and never allows us to reach the top, we keep telling ourselves and others that the world is cruel and unfair and with the same lips and hands make it so. We say we love as Christians but only insofar as it doesn’t effect our status qou. So when she asked me if I was a Christian I told her yes, but...
“I love your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.”- Ghandi