Weekly Ponderings

Here are some posts that made me think this week. Inclusion does mean I fully endorse everything written in each post. If you want to read the posts in their entirety click on the title beneath each excerpt. Anything in bold is something I chose to emphasize.

“The difference between these two types Christians is striking. The Flagellants gave allegiance to an angry god who was satisfied by suffering and people degrading themselves. Their god was nothing more than a projection of unhealthy self-loathing. This belief resulted in these Christians offering absolutely nothing to the world around them.

Alternatively, the Christians who lived during the Cyprian Plague embraced the reality that they were so deeply loved by God that they could give themselves away without needing anything in return. They were caught up in a love so great that it lifted them above their need for survival. These Christians were able to break themselves open and pour themselves out for the healing of the world, just as Jesus had done before them…”

I Desire Mercy, Not Masochism by Zach Christensen

Right now the one fragile reality we can hold onto is that every person believes he or she is good and right. No one ever genuinely imagines they are doing damage, that they are being hateful, and bad as someone might appear from across a table or across a Twitter exchange or across the aisle, no one ever thinks they are the bad guy. In a nation of 300 million people, there are exactly zero who believe they are wrong or hurtful—and this is at least a place we can find commonality

May this nation find a way to repair all that is broken among us and between us and within us.

Even if it follows a terrible noise or a long silence—may love still have the last, loudest word.”

Fixing Relationships This Election Has Broken by John Pavlovitz

“In fact, I’d say one of the defining characteristics of Christianity today is that it has a consent problem.

When God’s love is offered freely to everyone…unless they reject Him, at which He’ll subject them to violent, painful, and — oh yeah — eternal punishment, Christianity has a consent problem…

When Christians want to be free to live however they please, but also want to use the government to force the country to live under “biblical” laws, Christianity has a consent problem

When women are expected to give men a chance whether they want to or not,because men have more godly authority than women so we ought to trust them, Christianity has a consent problem

There are individual exceptions to this, of course. Certain groups within Christianity who are different, truly respectful and loving and inclusive…

…until Christianity as a whole takes a good look at its refusal to recognize or honor the boundaries of others and work to change their rampant tendency to control the lives of all they can in the name of God, consent be damned…Christianity is not a safe place for anyone. And more and more people like me will have to leave it to find any sort of freedom, respect, and dignity.”

I Belong to Me: Learning Agency & Consent Outside Christianity by Dani Kelly

And again, don’t get hung up on why people of color can say certain things and you can’t. The onus is not on marginalized groups to be inclusive of us. Or to be really blunt: it’s not the job of minorities to make white people feel normal and like we belong. In this country, we’ve always seen ourselves front and center…in movies, award shows, commercials, leadership positions, government, everywhere.

We’ve always known we belonged and were valued and held power and authority. That’s the basis of white privilege.

Our viewpoints and accomplishments have never been in danger of being overlooked and ignored, so we don’t need any special protections, recognition, or careful consideration for being white

Listen. Learn. Empathize. Relate.

If you are truly doing those things, a person of color talking about problematic experiences with white people or history will not feel like an attack on you…

It only feels like an attack when you are shut down, in denial, and not empathizing.

It’s not about the one joke or term. These are issues that affect generations and aren’t just things you can “get over” when they impact your daily life.

So instead, I’m just going to own it: Welp, I said something many times that was insensitive. It’s never my goal to be insulting or hurt people, so I’m going to be careful not to do that again.

The end. No defensiveness or denial. Owning it. Moving on…

My challenge to you today is to move beyond the conception of yourself as being colorblind or pro-diversity. Instead, start being anti-racism and do the work. Examine yourself and your biases. Know your blind spots.

Listen to people of color and teachers of color. Have the hard conversations even if you might not say exactly the right thing. Step up to fight the everyday racism you encounter. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be worth it.”

10 things every white teacher should know when talking about race by Angela Watson

“Many of us were shocked beyond words that this guy would ever say that he thought the reason for the silence was that there was simply nothing for those black folks to complain about…

Phil Robertson not only doesn’t understand privilege, but he also simply doesn’t understand the concept of “enthusiastic consent,” and neither do the toxic Christians who are likewise oblivious to the suffering of those they marginalize and the awful behavior they try to rationalize that causes the suffering of those around themselves…

typically, free will is not happening when there’s a huge threat looming in the background for anybody who makes the “wrong” choice. We call that forcing someone under duress, you know. Telling me that I’ll be shot if I don’t give my wallet to a mugger doesn’t mean I gave that person my wallet out of my own free will! Though to a Christian, that exact scenario with only minor rewording is just an average Sunday night revival service. But it lets the Christian throw his or her hands into the air and abdicate all responsibility for following a god who operates in such a beastly way: “Welp! Guess they decided out of their own free will to endure hopeless torture for eternity!”

When a group of people doesn’t care about consent, then all sorts of atrocities become perfectly acceptable and even pleasing to their god…

And a lot of this abuse happened because nobody spoke up while toxic Christians were getting rolling on their takeover of American culture. Nobody significant or in great enough numbers said anything. And so Christians decided that obviously meant that nobody minded what they were doing.

Are you seeing what I’m getting at here? Christianity has become a religion of asking forgiveness rather than permission. The ends always justify the means, and no action is too awful, too low, or too boorish if it accomplishes the goal. That is not a good way to live as people. It’s dishonest and unkind…

Imagine a Christianity where Christians asked before taking, checked in before trampling, and continued doing both throughout an interaction to make sure they weren’t accidentally marginalizing or ostracizing people around themselves. What would that even look like?

I know this is a difficult thing to imagine. It’d require Christians–like other privileged groups–to move out of their comfort zone and start caring about what non-privileged groups think of them. It’d mean accepting that other people have rights and opinions that might not mesh with their own. It’d most especially mean Christians would no longer be able to do whatever they want without worrying about others’ reactions…”

Silence, Happiness, and Enthusiastic Consent. by Captain Cassidy





“It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies.

They live in the awareness of their smallness.

Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a traveling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.*”
Aristides, 137 AD

* taken from Jesus For President, By Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (but found quoted in A Letter To Evangelicals, From Jesus  at John Pavlovitz’s blog)

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some posts I read this week that made me think. Inclusion does equal a full endorsement of everything in each post or the sites they are linked to. Anything in bold is something I emphasized. To read these in their entirety click on the name of each post beneath each excerpt.

Dear reader, what do I want you to know about what it’s like when murder enters your narrative? You see that it isn’t “pure evil” who do these acts. It’s people. People who you love, who you long to make choices for. Who are kind, giving, gifted, wounded, and floundering like the rest of us. Who choice after choice stopped thinking rationally until they could not see straight. And you see very clearly: It could be your child too. It could even be you. And we wonder, what do we do?”

What I want you to know about when murder enters your life story  over at Rage Against the Minivan

“This is what it means to be black in America.

Pure innocence is not enough to keep your head from being smashed with an anvil and your body wrapped in barbed wire. “Do not talk to strangers” is an inadequate safety message when a man can stalk your son and shoot him in the chest, and people will eagerly bid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the gun that did it. Even a heralded black man with a reputation so spotless that he somehow becomes the leader of the free world is still lesser than a white, imbecilic, dishonest dictator-in-training. Imagine how scary it must be to live in a world where you can be undone by any words uttered from a white mouth—even if they aren’t true.”

What Trump’s Tweets Teach Us About Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Emmett Till by Michael Harriot

“Without dismissing the legitimate concerns one might have about messaging in children’s movies, I must say I’ve been struck by the utterly uncreative response of the church in instances like this. I have written previously at TC about the limits of this strategy, and I think the cultural landscape has shifted in a way that makes boycotts even less effective now than they were then…

My fear is that during the previous age of influence, the church grew lazy and out of shape. In contrast to the millions of believers around the globe who have flourished as minorities under oppressive governments and punitive legislation, the church in the West has not been forced to exercise the muscles of creativity and cultural engagement. We have always been able to merely lean on our power in numbers. As those numbers dwindle, the church is now facing an epoch in which capturing the hearts and minds of people is an enterprise shaped largely by whoever can tell the best story, not stage the most effective boycott.”

Beauty and the Beast and Boycotts by Stephen Woolworth

“Your work is satisfying. It doesn’t pay well, but it’s worth it knowing that you’re doing your little part to make the world a little better. You take long walks and smile a lot…

But then you go online, or read the news, and see yourself painted as mentally ill, a pervert, a threat to humanity. You’re an “Other.”

People who have never met you are 100% convinced, with seemingly no room for change of mind, that you’re sick, and dangerous, and need to be publicly condemned, or at the very least reduced to an oddity, an other.”

Sometimes I Forget I’m A Monster by Jen Richards

“…I can’t help but wonder: how secure do we need to feel before we’re willing to heed Christ’s call? I’m not sure we should use math to decide whether or not to obey God’s commands, but if we did, surely these figures would make the choice clear. Should a 0.00003 percent chance of dying keep us from meeting the needs of those who are suffering?

How Secure Do We Need to Feel to Follow Christ’s Call? by Josh Larsen

Muslim and Arab Americans are in no way more deserving of anti-Islamic and anti-Arab bigotry and hatred than Sikhs are, and it is difficult to talk about the unintended victims of discrimination without making it seem like one group is less deserving of such abuse than the other. Vile hatred is of course completely inexcusable against any group…

The Islamophobic rhetoric and reasoning behind Trump’s travel ban has made travel even more difficult for Sikhs. Sikhs have widely reported extra searches at airports, have had their turbans searched and even forcibly removed, and have been detained for hours when trying to travel both domestically and internationally.

Singh is not opposed to airport security checks, so long as they are actually providing security: “I don’t mind being searched. But I’m always the only one searched. If you are only searching one person, how is that safe? I want to be safe too.”

The high levels of profiling and discrimination that Sikhs have faced at airports since 9/11 now have a brazenness that they did not have before Trump took office. “Now, if you want to pat down a Sikh — it’s patriotic,” laments Singh. He says that he is already receiving increased reports of profiling and discrimination against Sikhs at airports.

“At the top levels, if we have hatred, misogyny, and bigotry — there’s a veil of acceptance provided for [discrimination]. When you have a message from the top giving credence to that hatred, it is very hard to counter,” Singh says.”

Sikh Americans Prepare For Resurgence Of Anti-Islamic Violence by Ijeoma Oluo


Snowden: You’ve heard of the Nuremberg Trials, Trev? They weren’t that long ago.
Trevor: Yeah. And we hung the Nazi big shots, didn’t we? So?
Snowden: That was the first trial. The next one was guards, lawyers, policemen, judges. People who were just following orders. That’s how we got the Nuremberg principles, which the U.N. made into international law … in case ordinary jobs become criminal again.

From the movie Snowden

The questions and message of Arrival

(spoilers ahead for the movie Arrival)

I had heard and read that Arrival was a really good movie with a surprise twist at the very end. For once I am happy to say I was not disappointed. The movie is certainly tinged with sadness throughout and at the end (for those who have lost a child to a disease this movie could prove especially difficult to watch). Considering the questions it left me with it I’m very glad I took the chance in buying it even before having seen it. (An extra bonus to buying the dvd was to watch some of the extras and hear the interviews from the people discussing the story. In one of the featurettes they discussed the mixture of philosophy, science and other theories that led to the ultimate premise of the story.)

As someone who has often questioned God when it comes to pain and suffering I greatly enjoyed the way this movie asked a complex and difficult question. Though this movie doesn’t delve into whether there is a god or if he is a part of what happens in our lives that doesn’t make the question any less compelling. The question being:

‘If you knew how your life would turn out, would you choose to live it again?’

Or as I thought about it after the movie was over I would put it this way: If you knew how your life would play out with all its pain and suffering (and if you knew you could not change it) would you still live it?

And in this particular movie a more specifically focused question might be: If you knew that you would have a child who would die before you would you still choose to have that child?

As a Christian these kinds of questions haunt me because even believing that things will turn out ok for me in the end it still isn’t good enough (for me). I want to know that it will turn out alright for most if not all people. So here is another variation of the question:

If I knew that most people would suffer in this life as well as the next would I still want to be a part of God’s plan?

I suppose how one answers any of these questions might depend on how one’s life has turned out so far. If one has had a non-traumatizing American dream type of life than I’m guessing that person wouldn’t hesitate to answer they’d be happy to live it again. Though I fully realize that plenty of people who have faced great pain would still choose to live their lives again. But the reason we all know these questions could prove difficult to answer is because we know people who have suffered great hardship and heartbreak and we know that we all could be one phone call away from such pain.

The other thing that struck me about this movie was how the main character answers the first question given above. Her answer indicates a very pro-life point of view and yet the idea that maybe we would choose to never have someone in our life because of the pain it would bring is something another character does have to wrestle with.

How much pain would you endure to know any of the loved ones in your life? As one writer put it it is clearly a grace of God that we not be given the ability to see our futures in detail because it could easily overwhelm us. Especially if we know it is unavoidable.

So many questions and very few answers. This is often how I feel things are for me. But I think this movie did an excellent job of asking good questions while leaving individuals to sort out the answers for themselves.

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some of the posts I’ve read lately that made me think and/or taught me something. Inclusion does not necessarily mean full endorsement. To read the whole article click on the title at the bottom of each excerpt. Anything in bold is emphasized by me.

“The “It’s not me, it’s God” defense is troubling for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it allows me to disavow a situation and enjoy its benefits.

For instance, my dad often said that if he had been God, he would’ve made men and women equal, but since he’s not God, he just does what God says. This is fantastic because he gets to be more sympathetic than God and enjoy the benefit of a system that puts him in charge. He doesn’t make the rules; he just enforces them.

The second reason this troubles me is its removal of human moral agency, or “the capacity for human beings to make choices” (Wikipedia). By this logic, we are not moral agents who use our consciences and judgment to tell right from wrong. There is no array of options; it is black and white. There is only A or B, obedience or disobedience….

…the fundamentalist believes these:

  1. the Bible is absolutely true, and
  2. my interpretation is the only “clear” interpretation
  3. I don’t interpret.

The difference between a fundamentalist and (for example) me is that I believe what I believe is true, while the fundamentalist knows what he believes is true. The idea that there is no source of truth that outranks the Bible is, to the fundamentalist, not a belief held in faith but absolute truth…

The brilliance of ignoring the way hermeneutics works is that it allows fundamentalists and evangelicals to pretend (a) that God shares their prejudices and, in a marvelous sleight-of-hand, (b) they don’t have them.

I’m Not Prejudiced; God is Prejudiced on my Behalf  by David M Schell

“Could it be possible that God is free to love all of us, regardless of our decisions, circumstances, or backgrounds? Or is His will a slave to our choices? Is He bound to torturing unbelievers in hell because they made the wrong choices in this life? Is that out of His control or is it really the most loving thing He can do with us?

Do our actions force His hand so that He can do nothing but punish us? Do we really have more choice than God over the decisions He makes? Or does Jesus need to twist His arm to even love us in the first place? Is He free to forgive all sin or just the sin of repentant believers or the elect few? Does the cross really mean nothing until we believe in it? Is our belief a more potent spiritual force than Jesus’ sacrifice?

A God who cannot or will not love or forgive unless we or Jesus can otherwise convince Him to is a most impotent God indeed…”

The Incompetent God by Russell Croft

“Because they think that everyone is owned by someone, fundagelicals think that if parents aren’t the total owners of their children, then obviously someone else is–and in this case, that total owner would be “the state.” The idea that nobody owns anybody is a completely foreign one to them. It’s not something they can relate to. They think it’s a liberal lie spawned by Satan to trick people. Back in my day as a Christian, we exulted in being slaves “to Jesus,” and even sang songs about how wonderful that was. We knew that some sinners thought that ownership of humans was bad, but we just pitied them because they didn’t understand that they were slaves themselves–in this case, to “Satan,” to the world, to sin. By contrast, we’d chosen to be owned by “Jesus,” which was about the best a person could do in our eyes. If you had to be enslaved by somebody, at least you could choose to be enslaved by the entity that could save you from Hell if you obeyed as a slave should…”

The Gaze of Dead Children Follows Me Today  by Captain Cassidy

“When you don’t have respect for a segment of population, that ends up in violence,” she said.

Ms. da Silva works with Tem Local, a site that documents attacks on gay and transgender people in Brazil, in an attempt to make such hate crimes more visible.

“Before these things happened and were not seen,” she said. “Now we are starting to combat this.”

Torture and Killing of Transgender Woman Stun Brazil by Dom Phillips





The Church and mixed messages

(Today also happens to be the day that the US president put out a second executive order banning certain international travelers from coming into the country and halting all refugee migration into the US for 120 days. The first blog excerpt I quote was written after his first order along these same lines back in January).

In all fairness I’m not referring to the whole church when it comes to these mixed messages. That’s the difficult thing about talking about an entity like the church. Its too easy to lump everyone together and act as if everyone is equally guilty. I realize that is rarely the case but I want to share some quotes from a couple blogs I came across that made some excellent points about the hypocrisy between what the church has said in the past and what it is doing now. The writer of the first blog I came across is Abby Norman. Here are the points that particularly stood out to me (its not long and you can read the entire post at the link under this excerpt):

“Many who sent me to my knees, weeping on behalf of the 10/40 window are complicit in sending those same people to die in the very places we begged God for access to.
The muslim people that we knew only God could reach are in our airports, and the church is complicit in turning them away. You asked me to give my life. You told me it would be worth it eternally, and now you cry SAFETY FIRST to mostly women and children who are desperately looking for safety.

The same church that told me that people were dying eternally damned because no one was willing to risk their life to tell these people about Jesus, is the same church that is telling me it isn’t safe for these women and children to be in our neighborhoods. I thought following Jesus was worth the risk.

You wonder why the millenials, even those raised in your churches, are exiting your pews en masse. It isn’t because we didn’t believe what you were saying. It is because we did. We believed you. You said, go do something dangerous for God and we said YES! But when it was your turn to welcome these people you said it was too  dangerous. We still want a Jesus who is worth following no matter the cost.

The evangelical church told us that souls were on the line, that eternal life was at stake. But the evangelical church was willing to elect a president who staked his claim on banning muslims. The church voted for that. You with your big T Truth and your make Godly choices, you decided that refugee banning was worth it…

I am asking: What do you really believe? If you really believe that anyone who hasn’t accepted Jesus Christ as their savior is eternally damned, wouldn’t you demand that any muslim who wants to can come in? Wouldn’t it be worth whatever risk there may be for the chance to introduce this muslim to Jesus?  This is what you told me. I believed it. My question now is, do you?”

Evangelical Church: In the wake of banning refugees, what do you believe?

And it so happened as I made plans to post this I came across another blogger (Fred Clark over at Slacktavist) noticing the same problem Abby did. He made this point in a blog entitled “How did a ‘heart for missions’ lead to contempt?”:

“The most modest claim about the effect of prayer usually says something like prayer may not change God’s mind, but it changes us. It teaches us that praying for others is a good way to train ourselves to love those neighbors as we love ourselves.

That seems reasonable. It makes sense that years of prayer on behalf of other people would, if nothing else, form habits of concern and care on the part of those doing the praying. But here we have a powerful counter-example. The very same people who have spent years praying for those within the 10/40 window now seem to regard those people with exceptional contempt.

That suggests either that prayer doesn’t work the way we thought it did, or else that all those people have somehow been praying wrong. (Or, perhaps, both.)”

So where did things start going wrong when it came to the church, prayer and caring for those in the 10/40 window? Or maybe we only wanted God to answer in such a way that it didn’t disturb our personal comfort and delusions that we can make ourselves safe?

As someone who grew up in a Christian family, attended church all my life, attended Christian colleges for both of my degrees and who lived overseas for 4 years mainly to be on the mission field these points make me uncomfortable and I hope it has the same effect on any Christian (particularly American) reading this.

I have made choices and sought after God most of my life because I was taught and believe that Jesus is worth following anywhere and worth any “sacrifice.” So why am I witnessing so many Christians acting like following Jesus’ example is now just an optional commitment when it comes to welcoming the foreigner and loving your neighbor?

Does anyone really think others (Christians or not) aren’t noticing the hypocrisy? There is a very disturbing message being communicated here. A message that is in direct contradiction to what I learned, read and heard most of my life from the Church.(In case you haven’t heard the Church is supposed to be known for its love).

Somewhere along the way many of us got lost or don’t have a very healthy view of love. We really need to stop obsessing over ourselves and get back to caring sacrificially for others especially those not like us. (That’s kind of a key point, I was told, in calling oneself a Christian).

Is loving, giving and sharing sacrificially like Christ only for those ‘special’ Christians aka missionaries? Despite the Church often making the mistake of holding missionaries up as super Christians the answer is undeniably no. Jesus called all His people to love. Neighbors or enemies…either category doesn’t leave any space for exceptions. So I to would like to pose my own questions and ask: When did we start having a problem with God answering our prayers and when is the church going to get back to actually practicing what it preaches?

(I realize some might make the point that what Christians believe and what our governments choose to do won’t necessarily align. However as long as most Americans are going to claim they are Christian I’m going to expect them to know what’s in their Bible, what Jesus taught, and to follow Him. In my not so humble opinion this would look like not supporting policies that are clearly hurting others and which also is in violation of God’s expectations of us).

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some blogs and articles I came across this week that made me think. Inclusion does not mean full endorsement. Anything in bold is an emphasis made by me.

“The most important command Jesus specifically gave was to Love your neighbor–this command was put on the same level as Love God. What does Love your neighbor look like? It looks like finding a beat up, half-dead member of ISIS on the side of the road, stopping, taking him in, bandaging his wounds, and spending your own money to care for him. Knowing he is your biggest enemy and showing him Love anyway.”

Not Your White Jesus by Sheri Faye Rosendahl

“Augustine didn’t believe in literal creationism. Heretic.

Galileo thought the earth revolved around the Sun. Dumb heretic.

C.S. Lewis may have believed people of other religions could find Jesus without knowing it. Both dumb. Both heretics…

But I’m not concerned with the validity of these heresy claims so much as the joy from which they are shouted. Move over baseball, because exposing heresy has become America’s new favorite pastime…

Pride explains almost all human behavior…

When we label someone a heretic, we are implying that we aren’t. By claiming someone’s theology isn’t correct, we are claiming ours is. It’s a roundabout way of elevating ourselves in relation to one another.

In turn, refraining from heresy labeling is to say we might be wrong about some things. We are admitting other people have solid points that demand to be considered. As we are naturally prideful, no one really wants to do this. So, we dismiss them as heretics.

The easiest way to elevate ourselves is not to build ourselves up. The easiest way is to tear others down…

We can’t just accept any assertion about God as fact. I agree. But truth is hard to write down when it’s incarnate. It’s easy to cry heresy when truth is a sort of celestial constitution by which we all measure our beliefs. It’s not so easy when Truth is a person…

I’m not proposing we stop thinking about God. It’s actually the opposite. We have to engage with foreign and challenging views of God honestly and humbly for the sake of our spirituality, knowing God isn’t defined by what we believe in our three-pound brains. We have to realize this isn’t a competition, and evolving views of God don’t disqualify us from knowing Him.

We shouldn’t be afraid of material like The Shack, or anything else deemed heretical by some. After all, it’s only after we engage with and consider these challenges that we can then accept or reject their ideas. But we must do so knowing pride drives our innate motivations.”

4 Bad Reasons Christians Call Each Other ‘Heretics’ By Peter Northcutt

“…That’s what Jesus is saying. “The poor will always be with you” because you are disobedient, hardhearted, exploitative and devious. The presence of poverty is not some inevitable law of the universe, it’s the consequence of sin — your sin, the sin of the wealthy, not the sin of the poor. The fact that the poor are with us is a rebuke. It is evidence of our guilt and failure and wicked thinking….

This is the argument we hear 99.9 percent of the time we hear anyone reciting those words from Jesus. It’s an anti-biblical, anti-Christ argument. It’s biblically illiterate, stupid and cruel. It is used, always, to harm and to deny help to others.”

Ignorant jerks abusing ‘the poor will always be with you’ will always be with you
by Fred Clark

You folks don’t — and can’t — understand us because you’re fundamentally unlike us. The premise is that city folk know nothing about small-town folk, and yet that somehow small-town folk know everything about city folk

And yet they assume that the same thing doesn’t apply to them — that they are able to speak with certainty about the values and character of those people over there, the ones who live under those city lights, without ever taking a ride around those places and getting to know those people…

His talk about “the importance of family” was his attempt to explain why the congregants in his white evangelical church in Wisconsin voted for Donald Trump.***
But that’s not accurate. They did not vote Trump because they love their families and because they value hard work. They did so because they wanted and needed to believe that other people — those people — do not love their families and do not value hard work. They wanted and needed to believe that loving their families and valuing hard work makes them exceptional — better, more deserving, more entitled, and wholly distinct from those people over there who don’t love and value those things.”

‘Where I come from’ we claim universal generalities as our peculiar virtues  by Fred Clark

“Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited [sic] sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days,” it reads. “With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend…”

“Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die,” the obituary said, “and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.”

‘Evil’ Man’s Family Gives Him the Obit He Deserved by Lauren Evans

“The reason I am sharing this is because people think it is funny to laugh at people with disabilities. You cannot see my disabilities but they are there and they are real. So next time you see photos making fun of people just remember you know nothing about these people or the struggles they face every day. It is never just harmless fun to laugh at someone.”

What You Should Know If You Laughed at This Viral Photo of Me by Jennifer Wilkinson

“We are doing everyone a disservice when we act like this is an issue about where someone gets to pee. This is a fight to rigidly enforce patriarchal gender roles and a gender binary while erasing those who don’t conform to it. It’s about making every person who doesn’t fit into that gender binary think about the fact that society doesn’t acknowledge us or respect who we are. It’s about creating a demonized and pathologized image of transgender people so that society will accept discrimination against them, even arguing that it’s for our own good.

This isn’t a transgender issue. This isn’t even an LGBTQ issue. This is an issue that affects all of us. It’s not about where some kid gets to pee; it’s about you being assigned a gender role and ensuring there are reprisals against those who dare to push back against them.”

The real issues behind this attack on Transgender rightsThe real issues behind this attack on Transgender rights by Sasha Fox