I hate politics. Truly hate them. I find they bring out the worst in people, and I like the Beetles mantra of “All we need is love.”
I think a large part of the reason I hate politics is because I grew up in a Bible thumping town where it was a scandal when one of my childhood friends was pregnant with a jock’s kid. (I’d like to point out that we’d moved by that time, and this was coming from the small town’s Gossip Queen and my mom’s best friend.) Now when I hear about “It’s Chick Fil A support day!” or “Boycott Disney!” (both from the past, i may add…) I want to cringe. First off, I’ll continue to eat at Chick Fil A because I actually enjoy the food, and secondly and mostly seriously, Disney has more to do with my childhood that the boy band phenomena of the ’90s!
With the recent political events of both my home state and the Supreme Court, I want to curl in to a ball and hide. It’s not that I don’t support women’s or gay rights, but people have invested so much time, hatred, and mudslinging into these “fights,” that even the celebration of the passing (or not passing at the state level) seems shallow and more like gloating. Please understand me here. I do not accuse anyone of gloating. Many friends are legitimately happy and sharing that happiness with others. But I also desperately hate politics and the way it brings out the horrors of people, left and right.
This past weekend, our substitute Sunday School teacher (who’s subbing part of the summer with another guy as the actual teacher is pretending to be Indiana Jones at a dig in Israel) was teaching a lesson in the biblical definition of judging. I was pleasantly surprised that he wasn’t for “bible thumping” but used a solid basis to explain “judgement.” Granted, all of us make judgements based on our previous experiences, appearances, and general appeal (Like choosing which line to use at the store or who to let your kids hang out with… at least until they can make their own judgments) but this was talking about the “church lady” judgement.
Here are a couple of things I learned:
- I can’t find fault with another person until i take into account my own faults. For example, there are a couple of times I really dislike a family member or two, but as I dig deeper, I see that what I don’t like about them, is really stuff I don’t like about me either (I talk super loud, and sometimes, family members talk super loud and i just want them to shut up, until i remember, I do the same thing)
- If I see someone in my own community “living in sin,” and I have a solid rapport with them (say, we’re friends), it’s my duty/responsibility to call them out on their sin. Like say they made a personal commitment to not drink, but I go to a local restaurant and see them with a pint of Guinness, I probably should go over there and ask them about it. I don’t mean to accuse them, but ask them, and give them that nudge they may have been ignoring from the internal sense. But the point is, I’m not going there to put them to shame in a large group, but merely call them out on what they said. To do this, I also have to look at my own self and make sure I’m not doing the same thing. It should be out of genuine love, not the hypocritical judgment the church has become so accustomed to.
- It’s not my place to tell my friends that don’t share my faith that they’re wrong. I mean, there are universal wrongs (most of which are punishable with the law, such as murder, excessive drunkenness, rape, etc.), but let’s say that I have a friend who drinks occasionally and I’m a prohibitionist (which i’m not), it’s not my job to say, “Friend, you are wrong. I cannot tolerate your drinking any longer! you must cease and desist! Here’s a letter saying so!” I may not drink with said friend, but I’m not gonna push that person away because I don’t agree with them. In my life, I’ve discovered several “cultural norms” that I’m not ok with. The great thing is that those things usually don’t come up in conversation unless it’s political. I HATE POLITICS! just in case you forgot that already
That being said, I’m going to play Animal Crossing, breed dragons, check on my tribe and avoid twitter today. I, personally, find politics itself to be toxic to my health and now that I am taking care of two people for the price of one, I can’t allow much into my life to be toxic.
PS Yes, we’re having a kid… In november… Around my birthday.
PPS No idea what gender kid is yet. You’ll have to wait for Brandon’s birthday for that.