Friday, July 27, 2012

Bias: Yours, mine, and everyone's we know

This space is usually one I reserve for poetry, or when it comes to it, arguments in an uphill battle against Amazon. However, if you’ve read the news in the last week, or have simply breathed U.S. air, you know that fists are flying between marriage advocates and Chick-Fil-A and marriage opponents and Amazon (or Starbucks or Target or Google), so this is my jumping-off point.

That politically, we are charged enough to boycott or malign a company for its donations (read: philanthropy; read: charity -- a virtue, mind you) might be a better barometer for our moral code as a society than, say, if I wanted to marry my boyfriend eventually. That instinctive, reactionary kneejerk that sounds the boxing ring bell and gives us cause to spring upon one another. That we love money so damn much that we are appalled by the organizations others will give their finances to. That money speaks so loudly in what we would all hope is a civilized society. These are reasons I take pause in this election year.

I pause over a Christian culture that does not recognize its own slander and hypocrisy against its brothers and sisters. One that springs upon Disney or the Muppets or Oreo with knives drawn for their “seeking to indoctrinate” children (or something of similar insidious nature), only to turn around and play martyr when Chick-Fil-A executives receive the same treatment from their opposition for their politick. One that discounts the faith of more "liberal" or "progressive" or "insert snide label" denominations. One that points to the Bible and says, “I’m not telling you you’re going to hell; God is,” or proclaim unfounded and ominous “prophecies” about the future of a nation that allows same-sex couples the same dues afforded opposite-sex couples, as though Christianity Today or Fox & Friends or The 700 Club were divinely appointed as the mouthpiece of God. 

Or the haughty chuckles and hollow confidence in "history being on one's side" from the other side of the aisle. For making prophets of politicians. For making houses of prayer into dens of militiamen. Only when God's intangibility, invisibility, and interminibility lends himself to our profound uncertainty do we wholly and necessarily rely on him. Thus, certainty from any direction strikes me as anathema to a life of faith.

My point is this: Compassion, people. One does not maintain any moral high ground in public discourse when history (read: the Bible) proves the sickle swings both ways.

I’ve read that same Book. Cover to cover, cover to cover. Enough to know that I’ve never found solid, clear, or concise instruction in its pages. Anywhere. At least not the type that's cut-and-dried enough for laws written outside of a theocracy. Instead, what I’ve found are a bunch of sad-sack motherfuckers who continuously sought to craft a god in their own image only to discover One who obliterated their notions of righteousness. And grace. Time and time again.

And you know what? I like it that way. Because I’m a sad-sack motherfucker who secretly hopes God hates all the same people I do and will underwrite all the causes I wish to succeed; instead, I’m profoundly amazed (often on a daily basis) by the grace God extends to me, my family, my friends, often in spite of my expectations. I’m amazed by his love. I’m dumbstruck by the compassion Jesus showed Samaritans, lepers, and other outcasts who never asked did a thing wrong except be born of the wrong heritage, on the wrong side of the tracks, with the wrong skin, and directly into inequality and indignity. And that is enough to give me an inkling -- an inkling that God is bigger than even this squabble, a squabble I am deeply, deeply invested in.

An inkling that suggests that when all is said and done, when history comes to pass, and eternity is upon us, we may all stand surprised by how little God conforms to our expectations.

This is where I find hope, where I find faith, and where I find love. And are these not the greatest?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic, Dave. - Hannah