I am trapped in a huge swirling whirlwind of controversy! Well at least in my Facebook world which really isn’t that huge. (If anyone can help me expand my social media imprint please call, write or text.)
So, the other day I had just had It. I was so sick of reading the news and reading Facebook and being downhearted or offended or blown away by the hypocrisy I see every five minutes on my phone.
The biggest thing that makes my blood boil is unfairness. I think it comes from playing lots and lots of board games with my family whether it was Monopoly, Password, Masterpiece, or Mystery Date. (Mystery Date was really a game only me and my sister played. You went on a date and you were either paired with a blonde guy in a tuxedo, a surfer dude or a rough looking dud. I loved the dud. I just knew I could change him for the better. And he was so dangerous and scruffy looking).
(Oh sorry, you are probably wondering how the bus is today. Well it’s a brand new bus which should be exiting news, but the back seat is only a two-seater instead of the preferred three-seater so there is someone right next to me. And worst of all, he’s not my bus crush. I don’t think I have a crush on my bus crush anymore. I looked him up on Facebook and he seems somewhat racist and a bad speller.)
When my family played games and had a question about a rule, we looked it up on the box lid or in the printed-out directions that came with the game. Sometimes the rule was a bit vague and we would have to decide amongst ourselves, and would have long heated debates until we came to a conclusion. It was drilled into us that one never ever broke a rule. That was a source of great pride.
When I got older and played with friends, I found that the rest of the world didn’t feel this way. People bent the rules or interpreted them their own way to their own benefit or even jokingly ignored them. Without fail, my reaction to this was furiousness. I found myself screaming and yelling at people which is not a personality trait people look for in a game night guest.
Here is what finally cured me of this.
One day I got into a fight with a friend while playing Scattagories and she left my house almost in tears. I felt awful. The next day I went to her house to apologize just as she was getting home from the doctor’s office where she found out she had cancer. Of course it was awful and terrible. I dearly loved her and the cancer was serious. A year later she was at the end of her life and we had long since made up, but I always felt guilty. One of the last things I said to her was that I was sorry I yelled at her about Scattagories. “It was really awful,” she replied. You can believe that cured me of game-fighting.
Still, I hate unfairness. I still resent that guy who pulled in front of my car and caused me to have an accident and then jumped out in his full-length fur coat and announced I was making him late for an event. Then he told the insurance people that it was all my fault and he shouldn’t have to pay the deductible. I still seethe thinking about it.
(The stranger next to me on the bus just fell asleep with his head on my shoulder. You all don’t realize what I go through to get this blog out to you. It’s almost unfair.)
Saul knows how I react when he unfairly accuses me of something. Let me tell you about Saul. He is a lovely, charming man unless you pick a fight with him. Then he is in it to win it and will say pretty much anything to be the victor. Sometimes what he says is so outrageously unfair I almost am stunned by his creativity.
So, the other day I was sick of the hypocrisy on Facebook and, in my opinion, the blind defense of that crude narcissist in the oval office. Many people I know have deleted those old high school friends who feel differently than they do about religion and politics, but I think it is good to keep the dialogue open. But I’ve been getting discouraged lately. I see lots of posts about Jesus from the very same people who support Trump and his attack-and-bully manner of governing. One woman who praises God with every other post made a DACA “dreamer” joke—a joke about innocent children. I wish I could explain the feeling I get when I read these posts. I mean, really did Jesus ever use any child as a butt of a joke? Admittedly, Jesus doesn’t really seem like he was much of a joke-teller but still…
So, the other day I saw the report about Trump joking that Pence wants all the gay to hang. I am not a victim. I’ve been through a lot. But sometimes it just gets tiring. I was called names in school for not being masculine enough and never ever once did anyone reach out in my defense. In the 80’s AIDS was killing young innocent friends in their 20’s like my sweet friend David at a time when people didn’t know how to protect themselves. But many people didn’t care. Because wasn’t there something shameful about men having sex with men? And I took on that shame. At that point, I wouldn’t have even dreamed of being able to marry. It was just accepted that that was too much to ask because…really…isn’t being gay less than? My mother told me that if my father was alive he wouldn’t have accepted me. We actually fought about it. I never understood why she felt she had to win that argument. Give your son a break and lie a little sometimes.
At this age I’m getting sick of it being okay to make a gay joke. People are killed in other countries (and sometimes this country) for being gay. And I honestly feel that many of the religious people who want to be my friend at least on Facebook would never stand up for me if my right to marry my husband was taken away. (Even though Saul is a tough adversary in a fight, I do like being married to him.)
Again, I’m scrappy and I’m not saying poor me. I like being gay. If I wasn’t gay I wouldn’t have gotten to see so many Broadway plays or truly appreciated women like Elaine Stritch or Angela Lansbury or Beatrice Arthur.
And I assure you I didn’t choose this as some sort of lifestyle. The last thing I wanted in high school was to be different. I so wanted to be like all the other boys but instead I had a mad crush on my government teacher.
So I posted this:
“To all my Christian friends. Thank you for all your support and outrage you expressed to me as your friend over this. Oh, wait you didn’t. Because you’re hypocrites. Sorry to interrupt you from worrying about who stands or kneels at football game. Much more important.”
Okay okay. I generalized Christians just like so many people generalize gays as overly emotional men who love musical theatre and strong older women actresses.
I almost took down the post but Saul encouraged me to keep it up. Saul has no issues putting up provocative posts. I think it’s that same gene that makes him unbelievably unfair in fights.
And then suddenly I got huge responses from people and I have to admit it was kind of uncomfortable. Lots of people cheered. One yelled Fake News! (I HATE the fake news thing. It’s so very convenient when you don’t like what you are hearing.) Some Christian reached out to me privately expressing their support and their hurt about the post.
I had a jumble of feelings and still do. I most definitely know some really great Christians. One officiated my marriage. Others live their lives quietly and don’t post overtly about their private faith or just do it in a quiet and humble way. I love my friend Jill from high school and Sheryl from high school and so many others who are good people who I would never mean to hurt ever. Oh, and Jackson–You are the best, my man! The best! I’m am honored and humbled to be friends to you and Jeannie.
So, no. I don’t hate Christians. I hate hypocrisy. And I think Jesus did too.
And Jesus got angry at hypocrisy especially in the name of religion and I think it’s okay finally at this point in my life to get angry too. I can’t help but wonder what Jesus would be like on Facebook
I protested in the 80’s but I wasn’t in front lines with those who fought for medicine for the men who were dying of AIDS. I did some marches for the right to marry but didn’t get my hands that dirty. I am just too damn afraid of offending and hurting.
But isn’t enough enough? Aren’t I responsible for confronting bigotry and hate and ignorance? Will I be judged at the end my life for not making a fuss or for making big change? Were people who fought slavery afraid of offending?
My niece Jesse is my role model. She is a mom who works with drug addicts and, man, she doesn’t take shit from anyone. Maybe her guncle (that’s a gay uncle) can learn a thing or two from her
The gay rights movement was started in 1969 by some tough old drag queens who were tired of being harassed by the police
The civil rights movement was started in part by Rosa Parks who had had enough of the back of the bus (although it really isn’t so bad back here as long as it’s your choice—just speaking from experience)
They changed history.
So, I guess I’m starting to wonder if it’s more important to fight for what’s right than to be looked at as a nice guy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Keith Hoffman is not taking your BS anymore! He has two cats.