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?