Stop the Spread

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This world is insane. I’ve always known this, but yesterday just gave me a headache.

On one hand, I have a friend who has the “audacity” to talk about social justice in front of his evangelical facebook friends, with (sadly) expected results. He’s being treated like he’s abandoned the faith altogether.

I jump in on his posts to make points just so he doesn’t feel like he’s all alone. And, as the charge has been leveled at my friend, I’m pretty sure a number of the other people commenting think I’m a goddless marxist.

On the other hand, I’m watching another facebook thread from people who just don’t like being told what to do and want to say how miserable the Palmyra Police Department is. Someone there is intimating how the department tolerates the use excessive force.

And as that’s a town thread, and I’m a chaplain for the department, I feel the need to be present there because our officers are doing their very best in frequently really crappy situations 1. And these folks don’t need to have a dump taken specifically on them 2.

This is the world we live in. People want us to think it’s about left vs. right or conservative vs. progressive–I’m pretty sure it’s really just all people who want to build a better world for everyone, and know how to listen to something with which they might disagree without losing their minds, vs. bitter jackasses who just need to win.

I’m tired of bitter jackasses, and I’m fed up with how they can only be happy if they infect others with their bitter jackassness and make even more bitter jackasses.

So the moral of the story is:

  1. Understand that highlighting social justice doesn’t mean “people are being racist against white people 3.” There’s systemic rot in this country we just keep carrying, it has to be dealt with. So let’s deal with it.
  2. Recognize that the people we’re inclined to hate are, in fact, “people.” As a Christian my theology says they need to be afforded dignity as a matter of their existence. It’s not a matter of “deserving it,” it just is. The right of people to be treatied with dignity and respect is the same as the sky being blue, it is a simple fact of reality. And, yes, this includes bitter jackasses 4.
  3. Don’t spread the disease of bitter jackassness. If you do, you can praise Jesus all you want, or be the most progressive person on the planet 5, but you’ll still end up making the world around you a worse place for you having been there. As a baseline, let’s all be better than bitter jackasses, we can work forward from there.

  1. None of which are my stories to tell. 
  2. The bad cops who have tarnished the profession, and the systems which have too long excused that tarnish have led to a general dump being taken on the whole profession. 
  3. Seriously. If you utter that, look in in the mirror and say, “My privilege is showing.” 
  4. And this can mean that a bitter jackass has to be told, “Hey, you’re being bitter jackass. Please choose a better path.” Because being a bitter jackass is a terrible thing to twist the image of God. 
  5. Or both of these. Or thousands of other things.