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For Not My Eyes Only? November 5, 2016

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.
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An unseasonably warm Fall cycles through Minneapolis, and I am once again cycled back here after much time away – time that has seen the coming and going of fevers dreams of going to medical school (although evidence continues to mount that the universe has done me a favor in closing that door); a figurative trash fire of a summer this year that saw the loss of our pup Chloe, weeks in the hospital with my mom, and a hired kitchen remodel whose epic shenanigans could fill a feature-length movie;  and last year’s late-summer literal trash fire (those in the know, know about all that).

However, even amidst the Series of Unfortunate Events, let it be known that good things have been in abundance as well, including the adoption of a new pup (Junie!), and acquisition of a new crew of 5 hens (all but one of the original 5+ year-old Battlestar Galactica crew passed into the realm of Ghosts of Chickens Past over this past year)…

…and progression nearly halfway through an environmental health-focused Masters in Public Health program (which I’ve fallen in love with and seem to have a knack for).

Now that we’ve Cliff-Notes’ed our way to the present, the reason I was compelled to post this morning. I don’t need to ax-grind or hand-wring here about the, might I say, DEPLORABLE state of affairs this election season; my Twitter account serves faithfully as steam-valve/bile-release for those sorts of day-in, day-out anxieties. No, this is about an affront to my policy of keeping politics and family strictly partitioned – no crossing of the streams, nope.

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Over the years this has become increasingly difficult as partisan divisions have deepened; fears and paranoia about gay folk, immigrants, people of color, people of non-Christian faith have become further stoked; and lowest-common-denominator notions of civility in public, political, and interpersonal discourse appear to have beaten the white rhinos to extinction, resulting (in my family anyway) in more verbal political pot-shots from family members and screedy Facebook posts seeming to beg for open rhetorical war on any who disagree. But despite my long-time position as black sheep in the family due primarily to being gay, but also as one of those hippie commie pinkos who obviously subscribes to all of the usual liberal, big-city ideologies, I’ve worked really hard to keep all of the above (but for my relationship – I’m loooooong beyond giving any damns at all for sleep lost by anyone in my immediate or extended family by my having a wife) out of my family discourse, and to avoid taking the occasional bait thrown at me to pick fights.

One stand-out in my family has always been my uncle – he’s a man of sturdy but kindly evangelical Christian faith, and he’s watched me (I’m sure much to his chagrin) evolve from on-fire-for-Jesus evangelical teenager into hippie commie pinko vegetarian lesbian who peaced-out on evangelicalism, if not the underlying principles and good things to be had from the teachings of Jesus. And while I’m sure my apparent decline has been the subject of much prayer on my behalf by him and others from my evangelical past, he’s never been anything but genuinely civil and kind to me on the rare occasions we see each other, and (most importantly) he’s never been a bullying asshat about his convictions that I’m on the Wrong Side.

Then out of the blue yesterday this uncle emailed me a forward of a blog post written by someone whose opinion he seems to admire, about the prayerfully sought case for evangelicals to vote for Trump. After so many years of being mostly protected by my armor of no-family-arguing-over-politics, while being simultaneously worn down by all of the awful rhetoric fired at Hillary Clinton, Democrats, gay folk, and/or liberal/progressive-minded people generally by evangelical leaders, pastors, politicians – I snapped , and before I could say President-Hillary-Rodham-Clinton I’d fired off a written-in-love-but-I’m-done-fucking-around email reply to my uncle:

I hate to pick a fight with you as you’re my elder 🙂 and my uncle, and I genuinely love you regardless of what side of politics we ever have fallen on, always and forever. For many moons, years and election cycles I have very deliberately chosen not to engage in political battles within my family for the sake of continuing to HAVE a family. Continuing to be part of and connected to all those in my immediate and extended family is so important to me that I choose to focus on the ways we are connected and the things we have in common rather than fighting over the (often very significant) differences of opinion we have. However, I do not think anyone in the family would ever mistake my avoidance of political sparring to indicate that I don’t have just as strong opinions, beliefs and feelings as they all do, just perhaps different ones.

So I will pick a fight with you on this because for whatever reason you think God put it on your heart to reach out to me with this post about voting for Trump. I won’t counter email by bullet-pointing the 100 reasons I think Trump is one of the grossest human beings ever to have become a public figure let alone run for president. I won’t even go for the obvious “you know your niece is a big ol’ homosexual, right?” – because it’s not about me and I don’t take anyone’s decision to vote for Trump personally. If the decision to vote for Trump clicks in your head, maybe makes some kind of sense to you in your narrative about what he pledges to do about things more important to you than his crass, vulgar, careless way of treating people and moving in the world – that’s your perspective.

There’s only one thing I’ll call you out on: I believe it’s a really, really sad cop out of true evangelical Christians throwing in with Trump. While He would of course extend his forgiveness and love to Trump for any thing small or large that Trump has done, the Jesus I know wouldn’t celebrate Trump’s disrespect towards or treatment of women, those of lesser means or different nationalities, or any of the rest of His children great or small. The Jesus I know wouldn’t delight in Trump’s appealing to our lesser and more base natures to incite fear and loathing of those who look different or believe differently than we do. The Jesus I know would weep and be broken-hearted over His flock believing that supporting an unapologetically crass, mean, vulgar, smug powerbroker is an acceptable means to their religious, philosophical and political ends. 

I will always love you, but evangelicals don’t own Jesus and they don’t own God – never did, never will. I notice in that whole letter/post up above – Jesus is not actually mentioned one single time. Which makes me seriously question the Christian authority of this gentleman or anyone else peddling such things who seems to have taken their eyes so far off Jesus while claiming to be wrapped in His Word and authority.

There are many of us in the world, including many believers and born-again people in Jesus, who are not Republicans, nor conservatives, but are doing His work in love and trying to lovingly represent His presence in the world, many of whom even support Democrats and Hillary Clinton. We are not Satan, we are not possessed of demons, we are not the enemy. We are your nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, children and parents. 

And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me…And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then the King will answer, ‘Truly I tell you,whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ 

Maybe my uncle’s email was a mistake, not for my eyes at all – intended for an evangelical compadre in his contact list alphabetically close to my email address. Or maybe it was a product of the escalating political rhetorical arms-racing we’ve collectively fallen into as a society and he just couldn’t stop himself from throwing what he perceived to be a life-ring to his homosexual niece drowning in the sins of the world. Either way, I’m just tired – tired of being demonized by my former faith community, tired of those folks using Jesus as a sword to skewer those who don’t fall in line on their philosophies, tired of their claim of ownership of Jesus, and tired of taking the higher ground in exerting respect for my family members by leaving politics aside while fielding the incendiary political grenades lobbed at me by those who can’t be arsed to do the same.

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Comments»

1. Stefanie - November 7, 2016

Masters in Public health, this is different than the PA? Tell me more! Sorry to hear all but one of the Battlestar crew have died. What breed are those new ones? We are loving our Dashwoods! I totally hear you about trying to keep family and politics apart but sometimes you can’t. I think your email to your uncle is respectful while expressing your opposition clearly and rationally. Big hugs!


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