Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Listening to the radio. . .
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.