{A 4th of July Ode to Power & Privilege}

randomly, i was born

with more than I can ever even

comprehend.  in a nation of liberty

founded on the backs of indigenous

people, slaves and immigrants.

i am white.

the blessing of education and unearned power and a fluke

of skin color.  I am the child of

pleasure and privilege for

I have never suffered,

never truly wanted. I am stuffed. Every day,

I have no thirst or need that ever goes unabated.

I am randomly born.

The question is

how will I use this strange power?

No longer random,

but Choosing

by giving up what’s “mine;”

becoming a part of Sacrifice.

“Why Do You Care So Much About LGBT Issues? Are YOU queer?”

It’s an honest question, I guess.  But the implication is that in caring for friends who are gay, lesbian or bi-, or any persecuted population, there must be some underlying story.  Let’s be truly honest, at least I will be, for a moment.   And I guess I’ll generalize dangerously, but I think I’m fairly close to the truth when I say …

Some Christians don’t know how to love people that they do not like or do not understand.

They are often the ones who avoid the discomfort of being in a setting with any group that makes them feel a minority.  That is if they even think about it.

They may wrap their beliefs up in a neat and tidy box, but the fact is they are unwilling to have a friend who is queer.  I dare you to step out of your comfort zone.  And I can promise that nothing untoward will happen.  And you just might learn something about yourself.

Let’s broaden the conversation and throw out an even broader generalization but I believe that most people, Christian or not, very rarely allow ourselves to be without our power.

Perhaps unintentionally, but it rare that white people put ourselves in places where we don’t hold that (white) power.    Yeah, I’m talking about white people because being white, we have power just because of the color of our skin.  And we might be complete wing nuts, but it will stay true. Also, being straight in today’s society holds power(Being a man holds power, but that’s not the subject here I just had to say it.)

Here is the real truth.  I have someone very close to me who is bi-sexual.  This is someone who I love.  Someone that I would like to come to know the Jesus I know,the way I know him.   Someone who rejects Jesus because of reputation of “the Church” and someone who considers it evidence of bigotry that Christian’s lack love for them…

The friends and acquaintances over the years that are queer — some out and some not, but I love them.  I hurt for them.  I heart aches over the rejection and disapproval that is shown to queer people mostly by Christians.  When I picture those friends in my mind  I have to acknowledge to myself that their lives are incredibly difficult and it is mostly because our culture is so bigoted and I want to love them, take them home and care of them.  It’s the Mother in me who would adopt all these “kids” so that they’d know unconditional love.

And as for being a minority within a dominant culture, well

the little I have learned is that I have all this power that I don’t even acknowledge most of the time.

And this power makes my life so much easier than those that are not white or straight.  Most people, other than whites,  face  the biases and prejudices of the dominant culture every single day.  My culture. My people.  My tribe does this and it hurts me.

And one of my new year’s resolutions (Go ahead, check.  I wrote them down here.) was to place myself in positions where I was a minority — Whether that is my lily whiteness — or my being straight — or my being  a Christian — I want to be with other people, without my power getting in the way, so that I can learn.  I’ll become the better person for it.

So why do I care so much about friends who are LGB or T — and People who are Homeless — and People of Color — and Women ….  And generally anyone who is persecuted for something that they are, because I hope I am a bridge person in between.

I believe that this is what Jesus would want me to do.

It is as complicated and as simple as that.