Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Listening to the radio. . .

While absentmindedly listening to the radio, NPR, I believe, an on air conversation piqued my interest.  These were obviously 20-30 somethings and they were talking off the cuff about politics, the election, and things in general.  I was surprised to find out the depth of the roots of political correctness and the general presumption of the goodness of toleration, globalism, unfettered immigration, and diversity and the intolerance of the bad things of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia.  About these there was no debate nor was there any question.

As the conversation went on, I discovered that I was almost by nature a racist, xenophobe, homophobe, and Islamophobe since I was born in the Midwest, live in the South, and am an orthodox Christian.  It comes as news to me but apparently not news to them.  Though they were not all from the salt water regions of the US, they were all pretty united in their certainty that Clinton's description of the basket of deplorables were guilty of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia and were not to be tolerated.

I am not a supporter of Trump and neither am I supporter of Hillary.  I am not enamored of Gary Johnson and will vote for the one I figure will do the least damage to the positions I hold against the deplorable legalization of abortion, for the traditional definition of family, in support of the freedom of religion, and against our modern day scourge of terrorism (which seems to have one overriding thing in common that should not be overlooked).  I did not come over with the Pilgrims but am a Johnny come lately -- part of the fruit of the late immigration of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.  Although I had not felt it before, as I listened I felt a distinct wall between those speaking on air and me listening in my car.  I suddenly realized that I was the kind of person that these speakers found contemptible and my opinions intolerable.

The truth is that there are bigots and brutes on all sides and in every corner.  But it troubles me that by nature I was assigned a persona when it was not me who had changed views but culture which had moved at a very fast pace and very far away from me.  I tend to think that most folks like me are neither bigots nor racists and are not phobic toward any of the sacred groups mentioned.  To disagree is not to become phobic and to hold to different values is not bigotry.  Again, my point is not that I moved but the world around me moved rather quickly to distance themselves and politically correct positions and speech from where I was and remain.  I am not sure what to do about that.

The congregation I serve has many young folks in that demographic who are not at all like the the folks I listened to on the radio.  They are also not stodgy nor curmudgeonly like I am.  They are just honest Christian people who believe the values they were taught even as they are remarkably without prejudice.  While my prejudice is often the source of complaint, it seems that the real prejudice lies with those who can no longer stomach what only a few years ago were the ordinary positions of ordinary people of all ages, in and out of politics.I don't think I am bitter but maybe I am.  If I am bitter it is not because I am a frothing at the mouth neo-Nazi.  It is because I have been marginalized by culture on the move away from me, by political opinions that refuse to tolerate disagreement, by judicial activists who cannot convince with their arguments and who must legislate me out of business from the bench, and by the smug elites who have decided their is no place for me and my neanderthal kind in their progressive vision of the future.

It is no longer a culture war we fight to win.  It is a fight to survive and to continue to believe, teach, and confess what is no longer popular and probably detestable by those who have moved on past me and the antiquated positions I hold.  I wonder if you might not feel somewhat the same.


John Joseph Flanagan said...

This post is indeed a depressing commentary on change, disillusionment, uncertainty, and growing old. The enthusiasm we felt in our youth, and the optimism we experienced about the future may rise and fall with the tide of life, but for us Christians it is important to keep our focus. Martin Luther had recurrent problems with depression, and many of us as well, but we cannot deny that this too can be overcome. Living simply and humbly with our complete trust in Jesus, we must realize we could never accomplish all we wanted to do, we are always dissatisfied and restless, and we look back at our past forgetting how God saw us through the bad times and gave us hope when uncertainty abounded. We grow old, as I am now, and we see old friends dying and loved ones leave us, some struggling with pain and disease in their final days. But even this does not make me bitter in any sense. It is the way of all men and women. But we as believers must always be optimists and confront dark moods and feelings of regret or depression. After all....we have Jesus.

Anonymous said...

One thing that strikes me is that faith begins with repentance, itself a gift from God. It begins with the understanding that I have done wrong. One aspect to the present PC faith is their absolute certainty that they are in the right and must root out those who are not sufficiently PC. One other thing about this new PC faith is that there is no forgiveness for those who have committed offenses against the PC faith.

When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18

Carl Vehse said...

NPR is a fifth-column media leftist propaganda toilet with its sewer connection going straight to your radio speaker.

A Christian, especially a Lutheran, listening to NPR, even absentmindedly, is similar to a Christian, especially a Lutheran, listening to the sales pitch of prostitutes on a street corner, even absentmindedly.

ErnestO said...

I found this last week in my email and shared it with my family, I think the last sentence sums up my latest shock from our PC World.

Who are working Americans:

A rather thought provoking note!

I used to think I was just a regular guy, but I was born white, which now, whether I like it or not, makes me a racist.

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today's standards, makes me a fascist.

I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me a homophobe.

I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.

I am a Christian, which now labels me as an infidel.

I believe in the 2nd Amendment, which now makes me a member of the vast gun lobby.

I am older than 68 and retired, which makes me a useless old man.

I think and I reason, therefore I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which must make me a reactionary.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.

I value my safety and that of my family and I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing extremist.

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual's merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

I (and most of the folks I know), acquired a fair education without student loans (it’s called work) and no debt at graduation, which makes me some kind of an odd underachiever.

I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland for and by all citizens and I honor those who served in the Armed Forces, which now makes me a militant.

Please help me come to terms with the new me… because I'm just not sure who I am anymore! I would like to thank all my friends for sticking with me through these abrupt, new found changes in my life and my thinking! I just can't imagine or understand what's happened to me so quickly! Funny …all of these changes have occurred in the last 7 or eight years!!!!!

As if all this nonsense wasn’t enough to deal with… I’m now afraid to go into either restroom!