I haven’t posted a blog entry in a century, maybe. I’ve been absorbed with work, practicing the fiddle like crazy, trying to finish a batshit little novel about tracking down my sister in heaven, and, oh yeah, COVID. But today, scrolling around Twitter, I found myself SHOUTING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP and (almost) throwing my phone across the living room when I saw a tweet from some lady spewing hate and scripture at LGBTQI+ people. I am not going to link to it because it’s horrible, horrible, horrible, and I don’t want to give her any more attention than she deserves, which is zero.
But rest assured, I replied with scripture of my own — you know, all that Super-Jesusy stuff about loving one another, not judging one another, being non-divisive children of God together. Then I thought: Hey! I know! I’ll dig up that old blog post I wrote about this sign-holding evangelical dude I tried to talk sense into at the Women’s March back in January 2017! That’s on sort of kind of almost exactly the same topic! Jesus! Love! Sunshine and flowers! All of us being implored not to judge! Yay! Yes! Excellent!
And then, opening up the post, I scrolled down and found a comment — a heinous, holier-than-thou, scripture-spewing piece of garbage that I’d somehow missed. The writer was there to inform me that, ooopsies!, gays are actually “unnatural”! And saying otherwise means I’m actually not a Christian! It means I’m actually a Leftist with a capital “L”! What’s more, he said: “I’m here to suggest you actually hate Jesus and what he stands for.”
And once again I found myself SHOUTING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and (almost) throwing my phone across the living room.
Not because the guy accused me of being a Leftist. I certainly am, my friends. AND BREAKING NEWS: SO WAS JESUS. If if he were to sign into Twitter right now, he’d be tweeting out his dismay at his so-called “followers” who are so obsessed with judgement, so in love with hate, that that they fail to realize THEY’RE MISSING THE WHOLE POINT OF BEING ALIVE.
He’d be telling them they fail to comprehend that hate and judgement and exclusion and silencing and oppression of any kind — against gay people, trans people, nonbinary people, Black people, people of color, Indigenous people, people who follow another religion, people who follow no religion, disabled people, incarcerated people, poor people, homeless people, refugees and immigrant people, people who suffer emotionally and mentally, people who don’t “fit in,” people who don’t want to “fit in,” oddball people, people who read books in bars or mutter on street corners, people who are only trying to make it through the day and figure out who they are and whom they love and what brings them joy — THAT ISN’T WHAT JESUS WANTS.
He’d be tweeting loudly:
PIPE DOWN, HATERS.
He’d also be tweeting:
LISTEN TO ME.
And then he’d tweet:
WHEN I TELL YOU TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, I DON’T MEAN YOU SHOULD BE ATTACKING AND DIMINISHING AND DEMONIZING AND DAMNING EACH OTHER TO HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY.
WHAT GOSPELS ARE YOU READING, ANYWAY?!?
DIDN’T YOU NOTICE THOSE BITS WHERE I HUNG OUT WITH THE OPPRESSED?
THIS ISN’T ACTUALLY THAT HARD, FOLKS.
And it isn’t. He wants us to love each other. Period. Recognize that all of us are flawed. Period. Recognize that we’re all here in the same circle of life, walking toward the same beaming flame of love and giving and goodness at the center — whether we call it “decency” or call it “God.” (I wrote about that a while back, too.) We do our best. We stumble, get up, keep going, keep loving. We laugh, we cry, we try. We look across and see others who stumble and cry and try, not judging them in their journey but seeing them for who they are. Loving them. Carrying them, when needed. Knowing we’re hear to learn from our fumbles and give with all our hearts.
Sounds idealistic, right? Corny as hell? Yet more sunshine and flowers? Smiley-face emojis and ice-cream sundaes and shiny happy people holding hands (thank you, R.E.M.)? Acceptance, compassion, generosity, warmth?
Yes. That’s what Jesus wants. IN ALL CAPS.