Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Trying To Understand Hypocrisy

So there's Someone in my circle who works hard, is very popular, and is very Christian. Dogmatically Christian. Or maybe I should put that Christian part in quotes.

I overheard a conversation this Someone had with another friend of mine, about why black students don't appear to get involved with progressive causes, movements, and our space in the same manner as students from other population groups. Someone's answer: Black students are Christians, and progressive movements and our space are too inclusive.

So I listen to Someone's reasoning. Reasoning should be put in quotes, too. Someone replies with some of the same tired arguments I've heard some Christians use to justify keeping some people in and others out: gay and lesbian issues shouldn't be included in equality and progressive movements, because being gay and lesbian is like smoking cigarettes (I swear, this is what Someone said) and that you can choose to stop it, just like cigarette smoking, AND that's the way black people who are Christians are going to see it -- either black or white, no gray, and no area for negotiation.

Yeah. You see my eyes rolling, don't you? (This is why I get accused of being consescending, at times, of our less progressive neighbors, but I digress...)

My friend, who is highly educated, contributes time and money to progressive causes and political candidates, and is comfortable dealing with gray areas, discussed the ideas presented by Someone very calmly, but with key points to back up the points. Someone's only defense, or key points: My God is very clear about this, and that's the only evidence black people who are Christians need. Someone also went on to say that being in our space has taught Someone how to be tolerant (again, you see my quotes) of gay and lesbian people, but that Someone still doesn't have to accept them. In other words, Someone says friendships are possible with someone you stand in judgment of. Huh? Can I pull out the ignorant card now?

So. Where's the discourse? Where's the discussion? Especially if Someone, and people like Someone, put up the walls of discussion with what they perceive to be the end-of-discussion argument -- their religion. No ifs, ands, or buts.

So this got me thinking. How many of us have folks in our circles who love hanging, getting advice, using our creativity and ideas, but still stand in judgment of our lifestyles? Lifestyles, in quotes, again. I don't understand the logic or thinking patterns of people who believe equality is for some, but not for everyone. Who believe that, in the words of a family member, "I'm not homophobic just because I don't support gay marriage or think gay people should adopt or be teachers."

OK. Then what are you?

Now, I am a person who grew up going to Sunday school, and now I attend a very progressive Catholic Mass in L.A. My church does not justify judging or casting others out. We accept all. And love all. So I know the argument that all black people who are Christian feel a certain way. That kind of logic is crazy. That's like saying all people from a group are un-thinking, monolithic, robots who follow along with the program. I think we're all a little more advanced than that.

And that leads me to thinking about something else... the way some folks judge the way you choose to have, or not have, a spiritual or religious life. That one way of having a relationship with God (or the choice not to have a relationship) is better than another. The way people get schooled on the way, place, and manner in which to believe (or not to believe).

Can someone explain? Because I'm trying to understand the hypocrisy of supposed "loving thy neighbor," except in the cases of blah, blah, and blah. How is that logic justifiable? Or does logic get pushed out the door when you've proclaimed yourself judge, jury, and end-all-be-all?

Maybe the black students don't come into the space because they fear Someone will sit in judgment of them. Hmmm... Wouldn't that be the funny and ironic part?


~^^~Elsie~^^~ said...

Hi FS: Ur post upset me - regarding the behavior of these people who call themselves "Christians." I am a peace-lover, don't like it when people act "that way." U know, judgmental.

Yes, there are people within in my church as well as my family who disagree with the "lifestyles" of my homosexual friends. My mother shuts her eyes to it, says "I don't wanna know about that." I won't win the argument so I stopped challenging her on this. In regards to "Christians," when around my church family I make the statement that we are all God's children and He loves us just the same, no matter what. They don't ever voice anything about their judgments around me.

In regards to equality for homosexuals, I will start supporting it more. There's an organization I am planning to get involved with. I believe we should all be treated fairly, regardless of ANYTHING. what someone does in their private life @ home is no one's business because it does not affect work performance or friendship unless they "pre-judge" it to.

Joanne said...

Oh, Fred, don't get me started on this. I have always had a problem with the fact that most religions that I know of preach the "love thy neighbor as thyself" philosophy in one breath, and condemn, vilify and judge others in the other based on nothing more than religious preference, sexuality, etc. It's soooo hypocritical to me.

And, Someone's argument to me is a non-argument. Like saying, "hey, I'm not prejudiced against black people, because I have black friends or I hang out with the black people at my job." UGH!

Ignorance in any form and many forms is so frustrating.

Anonymous said...

A former friend used that cigarette analogy with me too!!
Notice I said "former"!

So I quess when we go out clubbing, instead of odering a drink, we should ask the bartender to get us a 9.5 inch with menthol.

Kevin C

BuddahDesmond said...

After I started reading Someone's argument and reasoning, I was pissed! The sad part however, is that Someone's argument and reasoning is common among a lot of people. And what a misled group of people they are.

"....being gay and lesbian is like smoking cigarettes," what a crock of b.s. This is reasoning at its worst. How can you make a justified comparison of the two? Someone's reasoning puts sexual orientation in the category of being a (so-called) bad habit. So if you take it any further you'd be able to put patch on your arm and poof! Your sexual orientation would change. The level of ignorance in this society seems to keep rising as the days and years progress (when ideally it should be declining).

I seriously think that people were sleeping when the passage about loving thy neighbor came up. Loving thy neighbor means just that. Accepting them for who they are. Treating them as you want to be treated. Not standing in judgment of them. Any relationship not based on this to me seems null and void. And Someone can be tolerant of gays and lesbians but still not accept them (And don't we all know that tolerance and acceptance are two totally different things.) And "Someone says friendships are possible with someone you stand in judgment of." Please pull out the ignorant card now!!!!

In terms of spirituality and religion, I believe that each of us has our own individual relationship with God/The Creator/The Most High. It's just whether you choose to act on it or not--and this is your choice. No one can tell you different. No one has the right to tell you how your relationship with God should be. It's an individual thing. And like any system of beliefs, it shouldn't be forced upon others.

We just need to let people live their lives and be who they're supposed to be. What's so hard about that? Love all. Respect All. Accept All. It's just that simple.

Trent Jackson said...

I appreciate this me thinking about a few things especially in the wake of my mentality at this particular moment in time...You've sparked something in me Mr. Smith...