I read a lot of news articles from a number of sources. I also share a lot of news articles. Most of what I post and share goes almost completely unnoticed, with the exception of the handful of like-minded Facebook friends who usually agree with me. Every once in a while, I strike a nerve. When I do, they are almost always Texans. I don't know if it is because they expect all Texans to think alike or that they just happen to notice a post every once in a while and then others see that they have noticed and jump on board too. Either way, each time, it costs me some "friends." But heck, I think that means we weren't really friends in the first place.
Regardless, I have been unclear in a Facebook post and I upset some people, and I decided I needed a space to be able to expand my thoughts and be clearer. My intention was not to upset people, not to put them on the defensive, but to help people to expand their views and open up their minds and worlds to see a bigger picture. I, at least partially, failed in doing this.
Here is what I shared.
"And Christians wonder why so many people are leaving religion. We, the Christians, often seem to be quite the hypocrites...for a great many years now, really. For this (erring human, who often falls short, but is always striving to be more like Jesus) Christian, it makes me very sad and angry. In my humble opinion, you can't support the Trump administration and all his minions and be a Christian. He goes against all tenets of Christianity. TO CLARIFY: I am making the point that in my opinion, you cannot both stand with Trump & his cronies & stand for Christian beliefs. I am sorry if you cannot see this point."
(The meme shared shows a family with the dad with an open Bible on his lap. The son says, "So if the Bible says we should help the poor, welcome the foreigner, heal the sick, respect others, not lie, not commit adultery, and not steal, then why do we support Donald Trump? And dad replies, "Oh, Billy. We don't actually practice these things. We only preach them.")
The response I got from some, all of them related to me in some way, hurt my heart and made me realize how very far apart our views are, which is frustrating and confusing and very sad to me. Let me explain.
To begin with, here is a bit about me and what makes me tick because it is clear to me some friends and family may not understand me.
I feel things very deeply and passionately, all the way through me from my head to my toes. I have an unshakeable faith in my God and in the principles of Christianity. I am very loyal, and I will always do what I can when someone needs something. I wholeheartedly love my family, both near and far. I am sensitive, but tough. I will not back down from an argument or stance that I feel is important and true. I have an abiding sense of justice and what is right and wrong. I will engage with strangers if I think they are doing wrong and need correcting or calling out. I talk a lot sometimes, but I need silence and solitude and time alone to think, to be, to re-charge. Music and movies and animals and loss, whether mine or someone else's make me cry. My heart often trumps my head, even when I know better. I pray continually, all through the day.
I am also deeply political, meaning that I stay apprised of what the issues are and what is happening with our government policies and the overall attitude of all three branches of government. I feel very strongly about my duty and responsibility as a citizen of this country to be aware of what is happening in Washington, D.C., etc.
I like balance. I need to be able to reconcile where people stand with their beliefs and who they support. I need to be able to find reason for why things happen. I like to be in control of my surroundings, or at least in control of myself within my surroundings.
I seek beauty in all things, and I find it…in nature, in art, in stories, in music, in people. And I often take pictures of it or paint it or write about it.
I do not wish to condemn or judge. I wish to broaden worlds and minds and educate in all things in all ways.
I am profoundly hurt when I am misunderstood by people who I thought knew me and my heart. I have high expectations of people, and I don't allow all people to really get to know me. When I do, I feel very let down when they misinterpret my actions or words or do not support me in my endeavors. People often let me down. I suppose this is because I am rarely ever truly understood or truly known. And that really hurts.
So, short story long, it appears…this is who I am.
Now, what I meant when I shared the above or what I mean when I share other similar things is this: I cannot reconcile how someone who loves God and follows the tenets of Christianity can possibly support the hate-filled, fear mongering, abusive and divisive words and policies and lies of our current administration and the politicians who follow and enable it.
What I mean to say is: how can you support a president who uses such ugly words against and to describe women (or objects to be grabbed and used); who calls other politicians who fail to agree with him names and respects no one?
What I mean to say is: how can you stand beside this man whose policy – yes, his policy (do your homework) separates children from their parents. These are parents who seek a better, safer life for their children. Would you not do the same in their position? I really hope you would.
What I mean to say is: how can you stand with someone who wants to discriminate against people who are different than say a white, privileged, heterosexual male?
What I mean to say is: how can you stand with someone who simply lies because the truth just does not matter, or he doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie or just doesn't care whether what he says is true? Honestly, I don't know why he does it, but it does not matter why. He lies. That is all that one needs to know.
What I mean to say is: how can you support someone who calls himself a nationalist? In case you don't know, the term nationalism, based on a dictionary definition means: an extreme form of patriotism, especially marked by a feeling of superiority of other nations. Nazis were considered nationalists, as an, albeit extreme, example. Now, white nationalists are neo Nazis and KKK members. There is a difference, but honestly, when Trump said that he was a nationalist just this week in Houston, I am not sure if he was pandering to extreme patriots or those who hate people of color. Either way, how can you stand with this man?
I think that conservative/Republican America has underestimated the sadness, the fear, the anger and the depth of feelings that liberal/Democrat America has involving this administration. There is a deeper divide in our country than there has been in a great while.
What I mean to say is that how can you stand along side a man who seeks to destroy our entire institution of democratic government?
If you stand on your religion as your base, and hold tight to abortion issues and gay rights issues, you need to broaden your knowledge of issues concerning this country. First of all, this administration does not care about your religion, not one iota. Secondly, I recognize there is no point for me to try to convince you that abortion will not go away if it is illegal, but that women (and fetuses) will die in desperation, doing whatever they can to obtain an abortion, legal or not. And on top of that, abortion numbers have been going down and down and down for years, but I won't argue with you about that. Thirdly, LGBTQIA rights really don't concern you unless you fall into those categories, but as a religious person, I believe you should seek to love all people and treat them with kindness and mercy. Remember God loves all people and does not make mistakes. They and you will be judged one day, but you don't have to worry about them.
So, what I mean to say is this. If I struck a nerve with this post, maybe it's is because you realized you don't know that much about the policies and stances of this administration and you need to learn more. Or perhaps you realized you need to change your ways or maybe you just don't know me very well and you should ask me to explain what I mean.
I am open to discussions, but the comments made it clear that my point had been missed. I am not sure if it is possible for the veil that divides our thoughts and stances on this administration to be lifted so that your eyes can be opened to why I feel the way I do or how I hear and see what is happening or vice versa (because I do not understand how anyone still supports this man and his regime).
I don't want to give up on you, and I don't want you to give up on me. However, I do want you to understand that to me these issues I discussed are not just passing political rhetoric, but are fundamental principles on how people should treat other people and how we should approach our world, our country, our neighbors.
This is why my heart hurts so much. I see that there are so many people I love and care about and admire and trust that are blind to the greed, the hate, the lies, the fear being instilled in them every day by this administration and its minions, including FOX news. And I don't seem to be able to reach these people. And yet, if you need me, I will be here. I will not stop loving you. I will not stop being loyal. I will not stop standing up for what I believe is true. I will not stop praying for you, our nation and its leaders. I will not be silent. I will not stop attempting to broaden minds and attitudes.
If after all this explanation and look into my head and heart, you cannot see me for who and what I am and stand for, perhaps you might think to yourself, "I should try to get to know her better to understand her more." Of course, you might also think, "I don't care what she thinks or how she feels." And that's fine too. It's up to you.
This is who I am. Peace to you. Over and out…