Hate In The Time Of Covid.

Me.

Me, who hears your anger.

Me, who hears your dogma and certainty and outrage.

Me, who watches as you assign blame for this nation’s devolution.

Me, who sees the objects of your wrath:  the people with names and faces and value in God’s eyes; the people you used to care about, but have dehumanized now. They are …

Me.

Me, who reads the articles and watches the videos you share. Propaganda pieces created by people that you think are your peers, your tribe, your team.

Me, who knows that propaganda machine doesn’t care about me and they don’t care about you. That giant, cruel machine is effective and determined to divide, to incite rage, to invent targets, and justify the incited anger at those targets,. It seeks to ruin and slander and win and destroy innocent lives.

Me, who reads your posts and articles and watches the videos you share, and with each one I feel the blows.

Because you participate in the machine, you willingly pass on the division and slander and hatred and rage …

To me.

Did you know that I am your target?

Maybe you did. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe I’m naive to have expected you to stop short of aiming attacks on people you know. Not that that makes it better, because it doesn’t, but it could be understandable, I guess, to not fully realize the destruction of your target on the ground when your launch is from an aircraft.

In just the last few weeks, especially the last two … you, who used to be so loving and caring and a peacemaker and a team player by nature … your aggression has been emerging. Quickly. So quickly. Already, in the past week, it is approaching militancy.

You, who I never knew to be like that, ever. Somebody, somewhere got your ear and heart and soul and changed you.

You, who were my classmates and coworkers.

You, who were my friends and neighbors.

You, who were my sisters and brothers in Christ.

You are different now. Now, of all times. Now, when so many are struggling with drastically changed lives, illness, financial devastation, and looming uncertainty.

Now, in the time of COVID-19.

Now, when the world needs help, support, reliability, and a reason to expect a better future. Now, when we need rest and a reprieve, you release this onto us. Now, when we desperately require caring and compassionate and loving people …

You give us this new person you have become.

Now, when I needed you most.

Because I, too, am seeking my footing. Like everyone, as life changed abruptly and drastically, I went tumbling in this atmosphere of massive upheaval.

I needed you. Just like all people depend on those they believe care about them. Right now more than ever.

I needed you to be who I thought you were. I needed to count on some people. Not all people, but some people. And I can, but those numbers of people are small, very, very small. I thought you were one of them — a person whom I could know, beyond-a-doubt, no matter how difficult or crazy the world became, would be good.

This has taken a toll I didn’t anticipate. You, not being who you used to be … you have caused me to trip and somersault and tumble in ways I have never tumbled before. You were part of a rock of sorts, beneath my feet. And it turns out, because you chose the route you chose … you are no longer a part of the rock beneath my feet.

You left who you were. You are no longer there. I never dreamed you would be one of those who would go rogue; who would turn inhumane and hate-filled; who would go frighteningly militant. I thought you would be here, always. I thought you would be godly and good, always.

But you are gone.

You are over there, hating at …

Me.

You are over there, fighting against …

Me.

Your words and militancy have found their target in …

Me.

You thought you were sending out your judgement and condemnation to people that you would never have to see hit by your missiles of destruction?

Me. They hit me.

Maybe you knew that and wanted that. Maybe you didn’t know. I say you should have known. Maybe you are so caught up with those voices that fill your ears and mind that you lost self-awareness. You certainly lost other-awareness. You stopped being concerned about who, exactly, you are targeting, and if, it is right even, this thing that you do now.

I don’t know if you will ever again be the person I used to know.

I am not angry. I haven’t been angry. I have been very, very, very sad for weeks now. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, exactly, that was making me so sad. I knew I could handle all that this pandemic has thrust on us. It was something else:  a low that was distinctly unique; one I have never ever felt before.

But now I know. People I believed in, people I trusted, people I admired and loved and respected and appreciated …

Hate in the time of covid.

You hate me in the time of covid.

And you are gone. You are no longer where you used to be. Nowhere near. I feel in my gut that you are not coming back. I have lost you forever.

And that …

Makes me sad. So very, very, very sad.

You probably aren’t, because you have found a new power. You are strong and mighty, alright. You have it, power. I know that firsthand, because I feel its effects. Your power to hit your target is real. You hit …

Me.

 

 

I

You Call That Caring?

I know a lot of faithful Christians, some I’ve known for several decades. I’ve noticed something over the past ten to fifteen years …

Many are increasingly vengeful.

Oh, they don’t package their revenge with admission — they believe they are “caring for humanity”.

They say things like, “The world has become godless. Back when I was growing up, we respected our elders, we went to church with our parents, we honored our leaders and our nation, we saluted our flag, we were taught about God at school. Nowadays, it’s ‘anything goes, there is no discipline, there is no respect. We worry we will soon become a nation without God. We won’t be Christian anymore, we won’t have traditional families anymore. Our country was founded on Christianity. And English. So God blessed us. We know in the Word, that when we don’t put God first, He will no longer bless our nation. We worry so much about the souls of all those people. Pray for them.”

They are worried about the poor souls. They care about the poor souls.

That’s what they say, but what they do is to exact punishment on those they “worry” about.

They see those people they “care about”, then go to battle to demand those people they “care about” mold to their image. If people don’t comply, they demand they be removed from “their constitution, their country, their church, their social system, their world”.

They do it on social media; they do it from pulpits and pews; they do it by activism; they do it in their conversations; they do it by their “ministries”; they do it by their votes.

If they are honest, their real concern is that the world has changed, and the social order of the mid-20th-century is lost. Their white-male-dominated-past was preferred, when punitive measures and theologies could achieve subjugation of less powerful people to their wills.

Could that be why a branch of Christianity is currently amping up legalism, proselytizing, and a theology of a punitive God? — To get their power back?

I know that’s a good thing in the eyes of those people, but is it a good thing in the eyes of God?

Religious affiliation does not equate to pleasing God. From the same Bible that people select scriptures to justify self-righteous theologies, is this, from Jesus:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

Speaking of the Bible, when did the scripture, “God so love the world …” get changed to “God so loved the USA … “? When did we elevate patriotism to equal stature as God? Isn’t that the definition of idolatry?

Could it be that “outsiders” look at religious Christians, who claim to represent God, and their condemning, rejecting, and oppressive attitudes cause them to run the opposite direction? Aren’t they simply distancing themselves from all that is godless? 

Isn’t that ironic? – that judgmental Christians consider the unchurched or unbelievers to be godless, but those “godless” people have the discernment to know better what God should be like.

“And that ain’t it,” they know, and want no part of it. “That is cruel. That is wrong. That is darkness. That is godlessness.”

For those who might have shown interest in Christian Sunday worship, did they arrive to open doors, or did they arrive to literal and metaphorical bouncers, judging them as unfit? If they entered, despite the heaping judgment or false welcome, were they immediately taken on as a project by the insiders, to transform them to the culture of that church?

Did people take over God’s role to do the transforming and molding; to “cleanse and make each person whole”?

Is God allowed to free them from the myriad captivities that happen to all of us as a part of living on this Earth, or do veteran believers actually compete with God, and push him aside in order to keep people ensnared? Do they race God to get to be the “savior” of newcomers? — “Aw, fresh blood, a naive one. A trusting one. A person of childlike faith. A sheep to take (captive) into my fold.” 

Are the people who flee those kinds of churches and “servants of the Lord” able to separate God from the people who claim to represent him?

If not, who is to blame for their resultant aversion to anything and everything of God?

Far too often, and more and more frequently, the blame rests on the people inside. 

selective focus photo of person holding book

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