The day I stereotyped.

The other day I was at the water cooler.  Eyes bleary, weary from night wakings as my toddler’s wails penetrated a silent dark.  Sleep feigns me lately.  Co-workers took note of my drooping lids.  I told an anecdotal story of a friend who had the surety of rectifying my sleep problems, or rather the problems of my non-sleeping toddler.  In the story I mentioned that my friend’s daughter is Cuban- loud and opinionated.  This was not an offensive statement; I didn’t intend it that way.

Political correctness.  I’m not allowed to ‘stereotype’ because I’m white.  It is insulting, apparently, to claim that Japanese folks like pristine spaces and dislike clutter.  Joking that my Cuban friend came here by swimming is frowned upon.  Claiming that the Germans and Irish drink a lot is generally accepted in the comedy forum.  I’ve noticed that you can insult white people without people giving it a second thought.  However, folks from these other communities are given license to make jokes, about their own communities and white communities, without reprimand.

Double standards nag at me.

1.) To say a culture is loud and opinionated isn’t offensive.  It just means that they make their stance known.

However, I was told to stop generalizing.  I was told that individuals are different.

Yes, individuals are different, but sometimes speaking about populations as a community is understandable.  In fact, these same people, of color, congratulated me on my win after the election.

I was aghast.  I didn’t vote for him.  How is it that they can laugh and stereotype me, but I’m not given the same right?

I’m experiencing the same stereotyping in my news feed from dear Christian friends.

I’m an evangelical Christian.

I believe that there are differences in belief systems.  The tenants of my Christian faith are not equal to the tenants of Hinduism.  A logical fallacy ensues when we think that the grace of Christ is the same as reincarnation.  The two can not coexist.  One has to be false.  I could very well be wrong, but I don’t pursue Christ solely because I think it is a good thing.  I follow Christ because I believe his claims of his resurrection, repentance, and forgiveness to be true. It also makes me sad because grace cost Christ so much, his life.  To say that I can get into Heaven with whatever I believe is spitting on the most awesome sacrifice.

We want to get along.  We want peace.  We want people to know and experience love.  I get that.  I want that too.  However, let us not be naive.  Iran isn’t hugging Israel.  We have to choose who we will support in this conflict.  Other cultures don’t operate the way America does.

A Jewish friend of mine is hurting.  She fears that terrorists will come in.  This friend isn’t a white evangelical refusing to let Syrian refugees in or protesting same sex marriage.  This friend wrote a status recently.  She was tired of standing by.  Too long, she says, have her people sat by.  She said that while her community remains the most targeted for hate crimes, our media seems to be focusing on the ostracizing of Muslims and the LGBT communities.

Now, I find it funny.    She doesn’t have the same views of sin and repentance as I do.  Sadly though, because her skin is white she is categorized as an evangelical.  This friend is told she is hateful when she and her fellow Jews, are in fact, the community hurting most and their pain often falls on deaf ears.  They are told that they are exaggerating their plight.  Heck, they are “white”.  We are feeling so guilty for being white that we don’t recognize that not every white person is an evangelical.  Not every “white” person isn’t free from hate crimes.  You can look white, but not actually be “white”.  If we stop emphasizing color than maybe we will start the journey towards true reconciliation.  Things aren’t always what they seem.  Anyways, I digressed a bit.

[I think we have several hurdles to conquer for sex equality, but I will say that women are treated far better in the US than in Morocco.  I spoke out against a man while I was there.  He told me to refer to my husband.  I have friends from other cultures.  They also state that it is different here.  Women are granted more rights in America than in India or China; which might I add that abortion is used to kill girl babies because they think girls inferior to boy’s.  Abortion is a whole other debate though.]

When I assert this truth, I’m thought of as a bigot, a racist, a hate-filled person.  No, I believe that I should treat others as I want to be treated.  (Matt. 7:12) However, treating others with dignity and respect does not mean I have to abandon conviction.  Grace is not a license to be comfortable with sin.

I see both ends of the spectrum.  I see legalistic churches that shame their congregants for particular sins, or stratifying sin; but I also see churches that are letting sin run rampant without calling out problems.

Funny, really.  Times haven’t changed from the Bible.

You have the Corinthians and you have the Pharisees.  Both are rebuked by Christ.

Yes, grace is free.  I’m disgusted though when I see people using it as a license to pursue basal desires, whatever that might be…not just homosexuality or abortion.  [I’ll get a lot of static for thinking those are sin too.]  Trump has a lot of problems.  We all do.  I didn’t vote for him though.  However, I do know several who did.  Right now, I’m sadly witnessing hate spilled out at them.  These Trump supporters are called hateful, but are being met with hate.

You can think someone wrong.  You can be upset with a decision.  However, haven’t we learned the adages from our childhood?  In what ways does decrying hate with hate bring reconciliation?  Aren’t violent protests against a violent man hypocritical?

Funny, the church isn’t the only one being hypocritical.  Yet, I see the hate-filled speech from my liberal Christian friends too.  In fact, one of these Christian friends wanted to unfriend all of his friends that had supported Trump.  This friend said that anyone who supported Trump had innocent blood on their hands.  In what ways does this type of language usher peace, love, unity; the very thing we are trying to achieve…or at least what my “anti-white Evangelical” friends claim they are trying to achieve?

I didn’t support Trump.  I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a man that has used lewd speech.  I thought him unqualified too.  Yet, I will defend friends who did vote for Trump when I feel like they are being labeled, judged, and hated.

We are fearing for the minority.  We should.  However, Christ didn’t just die for the poor and the orphan.  He died for all.  We need to exercise compassion with all people.  Christ wasn’t white, but he wasn’t black either.  Christ was Jewish…a people we seem to forget in America because they often look “white”.

I get it.  We don’t want Muslims to feel imprisoned.  We don’t want blacks beat up for the color of their skin.  We shouldn’t want that.

In the same regard though, we shouldn’t want soldiers spat on (because they are protecting us from invasion even if we don’t want to admit it). Most other countries have a mandatory military term for its citizens.  Unless we have a draft, we don’t.  Can’t we be grateful for that in America?  I don’t like war.  I want peace.  I’m an Army wife wanting pacifism, but I respect the work my husband feels called to do.  I will stand by and support him.  I will defend him against American citizens when I feel they are hurting him through their apathy, insults, or physical violence.

We shouldn’t want cops being blamed.  Yes, there are a few corrupt cops.  Most though are defending the voice of the oppressed, abused, forlorn.  I will speak up for cops.  My brother-in-law is a police officer.  He has to fight against riots right now.  While the over time is good, he hasn’t been home to his family in about 40 hours, two days straight, due to protests.

I get that the #Blacklivesmatter was not meaning to say that all lives didn’t matter.  I think we need to see how there are still racial injustices in our country.  I agree.  However, let us not start rioting against cops to call attention to an issue that needs attention.  I don’t want most cops to start getting beat up because of a couple of corrupt authority figures.

There are friends of mine who really, truly, wrestled with this decision.  They voted for Trump, not because they wanted to, but because they believed that Christianity would be persecuted under Hillary.  They didn’t think they would be able to exercise their faith.  Some are fearful that Muslims will be unable to practice their religion under Trump.  Yet, there are Christians who feared they wouldn’t be able to exercise Christianity if they voted for Hillary.  One isn’t better than the other, but a choice had to be made!

Also, I notice a consistent talk of Trump’s indiscretions.  However, we seem to ignore Hillary’s.  There is the Benghazi debacle.  Also, we know that she allowed classified security information to be transferred over a non-secure server.  The government’s job is to protect its people, no?  If she does this as Secretary of State, wouldn’t it be a severe breach of safety if she were to have done it as President?

I have friends who fear that Trump is going to repeal Obamacare.  Do we not know that under Obamacare we have actually wound up spending more?  Small businesses, similar to the one I work for, had to lay off people or shut down because they couldn’t afford the insurance premiums.  Also, if you were unemployed and didn’t have insurance you had to pay a penalty?

Everyone should have access to healthcare, and if you walked into an emergency room, they should have treated you.  In the same respect, if you don’t want the insurance because you don’t see the doctor a lot, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.  I understand that there are individuals who can’t afford the bills if they don’t have insurance.

Quality of care decreases when the government controls things though.  They determine who can go where and when.  I admit that the way things were needed to change.  Instead of increasing government involvement, we should let the free market do its work.  Individuals could buy insurance where they could afford it because it would be competitive.  Private corporations would have to sell at a reasonable rate to make a profit.  When private corporations do it, it is better than the government.

Government is a few individuals that decide what is best for the masses.  Without term limits, the power can envelope the representatives.  Private corporations compete against each other to earn business and profit.  The pool of individuals is larger and able to represent the masses better. I’m for decreasing government and increasing private markets.  If not, I fear we will witness more civilizations like that under Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, etc.

The government’s job is to protect its people.  I’m all for immigration.  People can come here.  We just have to go through the process.  It isn’t wrong to have channels for coming into the country.  I was flabbergasted when a friend was denied access for working in Sweden simply because they claimed she didn’t show an expressed interest in learning Swedish.  She was signed up for a Swedish course!  Europe denied her!  Our borders are so much looser than the rest of the world and Americans are being told that they are hateful and limiting.

Anyone who knows me knows that I comment on American culture too.  I’m not a fan of the God bless America camp.  I believe God loves all nations.  However, sometimes we should stop insulting America and its citizens.  We have done a lot of bad in the world, but we’ve also done a lot of good!

So, you are allowed to hurt.  You are allowed to be upset.  Stop playing the blame game though.  Stop trying to solve violence with violence.  Don’t be volatile to hate.  It won’t solve anything.

If you feel that a particular group is being ostracized, go help them.  Instead of decrying their lack of respectful treatment, volunteer at your local offices.  Start to put policies in place that will work for change.  Be the change you wish to see.  Greet hatred with love.

I know I’m jumping all over the place.  I’m angry and frustrated and operating on little sleep.

My boss voted for Trump.  He has been called a bigot, racist, and a slew of other nasty terms.  However, if people knew him, they’d find out that he is married to an immigrant, who came here legally.  He is Italian.  She is Filipino.   His life speaks to the very opposite claims people place on him based off his political standings!  (FYI, he is Catholic, not a white evangelical.)

When did we get to be so narrow?  When did we cease friendships over opposing views?

We certainly won’t be agents for change when we only surround ourselves with people whose views align with all of ours.

Also, I find it hard to believe that only white evangelicals voted for Trump given how many of my friends seem to be speaking out against him!  There were minorities who voted for him, if we are honest with ourselves.

The evangelical church isn’t the only one who causes problems in this country.  The evangelical church has done harm to its community, but it has also helped it in so many ways.

We have every right to be fearful.  In fact, I guarantee you most Christians in the evangelical church are afraid what will happen.

Yet, we do not hope in the President.  For a Christian, our hope is in Christ.  When we are repentant, he opens his arms and welcomes us.  We get to enter eternity through him and his wonderful mercy, grace, and love.

If we want to stop stereotyping minority cultures, stop stereotyping the church (I’m thankful for the friends who have called me out on this recently).  Understand the reason behind people’s decisions.  Also, give room for disagreements and conversation.

I had a friend in high school.  I miss talking with her and I’m sure things would be fine if we caught up today.  I was a conservative, heterosexual, Christian-leaning (I hadn’t decided to submit my life to Christ yet, but my morals aligned with a Judaeo-Christian worldview) person who was close friends with a bi-sexual, liberal, Wiccan.  If we can get along and be good friends, still asserting what we believed was truth and not giving up on our convictions, then surely others can too.

In a world that says, “Sure, whatever is true for you is fine” Why aren’t we operating that way?  Instead, it appears that is only holding when we agree with the other person.  True tolerance gives room for humor and disagreements.  True tolerance sees that humans are multi-faceted, not to be pigeon-hold into one political party or only one bullet point of a professed worldview.

I’ve sat idly by smiling.  I’m done.  I’m tired.

Why can’t we be friends?  Why can’t we be friends?

 

*Oh and right now I can hear my parents say, “Stop sulking about everyone sulking and get back to work.  Life doesn’t stop just because your upset.  Buck up.”  You think I’d be mad at them.  Occasionally I am when they say things like that, but I need to hear it.  I should get back to work and not have taken so long of my work day drafting this opinion piece.  Perhaps my voice didn’t need to be added to the soapbox.  Sometimes silence is okay because you are acting on the change you want to see, not just paying lip service to it.  May I actually start exercising these things.  Through all of this, I’ve learned that I am naive and need to learn more.  As such, I’m asking for book recommendations.  I’m reading.  I’m wanting to find friends who are different (and those who have similar views) and have conversations with them.  The problem isn’t with everyone else, it is with me and my continued disobedience to God, my lack of understanding and knowledge, my pride.  It is time I acknowledged and changed that.  Will you join me in this endeavor?

 

Advertisements

2 Replies to “The day I stereotyped.”

  1. You covered a LOT in here! I’ll just leave a couple thoughts, since we can always talk about stuff more later (and civilly, I’m thankful!)

    You see a double standard and you’re upset by it with jokes and generalizations about groups of people … that’s unfair. But so are our systems and institutions, which have been unfair to minority groups for centuries. And sometimes, its stereotypes and jokes and generalizations that help keep those systems that way.

    No, white evangelical Christians were not the only ones who voted for Trump, but more of them voted for him than Hillary. When you say some Christians thought Hillary would prevent them from practicing their religion (I can’t see how, but that’s not my point), and other people thought Trump would prevent Muslims from practicing theirs, a choice had to be made … a choice did have to be made. The problem I’m having is that white evangelical Christians chose themselves. White evangelical Christians, in my opinion, continue over and over again to choose themselves to the detriment of other groups. I’m not being hateful. I’m being honest with what I see.

    We are allowed to be angry and sad about this. Don’t mistake people’s anger for hatred. There is plenty of hatred out there, you’re right, but there is also a lot of people being called hateful when they are just expressing their anger, often with much restraint.

  2. Thanks for your insights Jamie.

    I can see how the way we talk about something influences how we act. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. As such, perhaps the stereotypes should go away. However, if we are going to abolish it for minorities, we need to do it for the majority too. I know you think so too.

    I don’t ever think your hateful. I know your heart. It isn’t friends like you that I know who are hurting after this. It is friends who say they will terminate friendships with those who voted for Trump. Apparently their friendships aren’t grounded on a firmer foundation. I also think that the violent rioting is unacceptable. People can be upset; sure, protest. Yet, when we endanger the lives of others, that is problematic. These rioters are claiming they voted for Hillary because she didn’t promote hate or violence, but they are acting violently. It saddens me.

    I can see your point about white evangelicals choosing themselves when Christ calls us to do to others what we would have them do to us; in humility, treat others better than ourselves (Matt. 7:12 and Phil. 2:3). We’ve grown accustomed to comfort in America. In the same regard though, I’ve seen public schools permit Muslims, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. be allowed to refrain from practices or allowed to pray while the Christians are told to sit down and shut up. In a land that says we have the right to choose our own religion, it appears unbalanced. We could be more welcoming in the church, but I’ve also witnessed that conservative churches are consistently being forced to do things they might disagree with. In high school, when I was leaning towards Christianity, I had a teacher who ripped down the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) sign and proceeded to tell the Christians how hateful and demeaning they were. Um…yeah.

    My fear with government involvement in the lives of people is that eventually, people are controlled by the government and not their own free will. We need laws for the safety and protection of people, agreed, but not to become reliant on the system. The IRA posts the tax information and the table shows the top 1% paying over 50% in taxes. Yes, they are rich, but if we continue taking money and redistributing it with the government’s whim, we are slaves to the government. (My boss showed me the table. I’ll have to find it again.) I’m a fan of private corporations.

    I am okay with people saying they were upset with the turnout, wrestling with questions of what the future holds, etc. You’ve always displayed that balance pretty well. I have friends who are not doing that so well. They want to refuse goods and services to Trump voters. This seems to be contrary to the very thing they are fighting for, liberty for all. Sadly, some people who are simply angry and expressing hurt are being labeled hateful. That wasn’t my intent here. I’m sorry if it appeared that way.

    Thanks for the maturity and kindness with which you responded, even though you disagreed. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s