Murmurs and Antagonisms

Orthodoxy via Heresy

Tag: LGBTQ

On Not Being Unworthy: Antifascism, Racism, and Trump

Donald Trump is president. And I’ve already yelled at my father, cried alone, watched friends cry, witnessed friends worry, seen friends planning for the worst as best they could, partaken in this planning. I’m still processing. I posted initial thoughts on Facebook but there’s more to work through. Everyone has a hot take. Everyone has a desire to explain how we failed. It’s most certain that someone failed. But shifting blame and responsibility to third party and non-voters (statistically improbable), to Clinton’s pandering to the elite (evidenced and clear but not primary origin of people’s hatred), to the failure of the two parties to reach out to working class white people, all these are shifting blame and all them true to some extent.

Can we straight up give people the barest dignity of agency? White men and women, the majority of whom voted for Trump hold a lot of blame. They voted, they chose. Whoever voted for Trump consciously is to blame. I don’t care why so much as they did this. Do all these persons support Trump fully? Of course not. But they clearly support Trump enough to vote for him. Today at an event to lament and express anger and sadness two white men spoke. One spoke, scared shitless, of how he was a Republican but wanted to try to understand people’s hurt. No one said anything except encouraging him to look at the faces. The second white man spoke and stated how he had voted for Trump because of the same fears as everyone there. He hadn’t listened. And much has been sad about the failure to listen. Also true.

I don’t have clear thoughts. But it’s worth noting a few things, scattered thoughts:

  1. Liberal fantasies are failures. The liberal consciousness cannot account for white rage. Liberalism has become the location for celebrities and easy memes. It’s predicated on a naive cosmopolitanism and humanism that makes Trump being elected unfathomable.
  2. Leftist politics needs to exercise caution. As my friend Sean has stated in various places: suddenly remembering that poor white people are harmed by capitalism and systems must not mean we ignore racial antagonism.
  3. What this moment, the next succession of moments, demands of us is hard. It demands that we somehow find a way to sit with the family we have (though no one is obligated to do so) who voted for a man we find repugnant. It demands radical education. If Jared Sexton is right that ” Blackness is theory itself, anti-blackness the resistance to theory,” then radical education is an encounter with Blackness. It is, as Frank Wilderson states, trying “to develop ways and means for your speech and action to be authorized by a Black/slave grammar of suffering rather than the grammar of suffering of subalterns.” It demands disruption. When the KKK take to the streets in December to celebrate: throw rocks, stop them, disrupt their movement. It demands getting involved with local organizations. It demands staying angry. It demands that if Trump follows through with his threat to create a registry for Muslims you register. It demands that disrupt walls being built. What it demands is everything other than checking out, sitting out. Be creative, disrupt, think more from the grammars of suffering and not those of dominance.
  4. If you’re white: start educating yourself; start listening; don’t question anger; don’t question ideas. If you want to question ideas educate yourself and find friends who will engage with you. Build relationships. The work is on us. The goal is not to get persons of color to be our fans, to ignore their distrust of us, their anger. The goal ought to be to find ways to be comrades together, to keep working to fight in good faith as best you can. The goal is to educate yourself and step back. Anger, distrust, that is all valid and okay. All we can do is to sit with those who hurt and do the work to educate ourselves, to think new ways. That is on us. Never on our friends of color. Ever.
    [Addendum: If you’re white and “woke” get off your ass and do the work to educate other white people. Correct white people. Call them out. Shame them to be better.]
  5. If you’re male identified/straight: listen to your LGBTQ friends. Care for them. Educate yourself. Stand with us. And learn to see how the World favors you.
  6. The World is anti-Black.
  7. Antifascism is always self-defense.

 

I’ll probably have more theoretical and articulate thoughts later. But these are concrete thoughts I can articulate right now.

Bathrooms: A Redundant Take

I didn’t want to write this. I really didn’t. Partly because it means reliving parts of growing up that are harmful, partly because it means saying what has been said before. But I have to, just to make some things clear.

Yesterday, Russell Moore published this startlingly simplistic blog post  was pretty much immediately ripped to pieces by Twitter, especially progressive (queer) Christians. Rightfully so. What Russell Moore says in this piece trickles down through the denomination he is a part of. Moore is the head of the Ethics commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. A Convention that this church is a part of. The pastor of this church in Georgia spoke at a town hall meeting and said that this situation was perverse. This situation refers to the simple idea of letting people piss where they feel comfortable. Moore’s theology has been rightly criticized and questioned, though I doubt he will change a thing. What’s disturbing to me is that on my Facebook feed images like this have been shared:

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What’s disturbing is that Moore’s theology masquerades as the loving side of biblical theology. His theology is predicated on the exact same assumptions as Kevin Swanson, Bill Jack, and others. The theology Bill Jack and Kevin Swanson share is one of violent behavior. Swanson advocates bringing back the death penalty for gay people (and presumably trans people). Bill Jack, on Swanson’s radio show, pretty much took time to rip on my college (Calvin College) for being LGBTQ friendly. I emailed him about that because for a while I considered him a mentor, a friend, a man I respected. I attended Worldview Academy (the religious organization he is affiliated with) for three years, I was on staff as an intern for a week, I thought he was a good man. Now I’m frightened by him. But I emailed him to correct some things and to make an appeal personally. I wrote (in part):

“I’m also a queer student. 
I’d like to write you and wonder about your radio broadcast about my school. How much do you know about Calvin College? You seem to have exhibited an inability to understand a few key things about the CRC and Calvin Chimes.”
To which Bill replied:

“…in response to your claim that Calvin College has drawn you closer to Jesus, who is this Jesus you say you worship?  Show me this Jesus who winks at sin, excuses vile behavior and fails to call one to repentance.  What truth and what beauty has Calvin taught you if it is outside of Scripture? In short, support your position from Scripture, not from feelings or from Calvin College statements, my young friend.  I fear you are in danger of God’s wrath and God’s discipline.”

Bill recently, along with my former debate coach from Colorado, decided to propagate fear, hate and mocked the plight of trans individuals on Kevin Swanson’s radio show.

All this to say, I don’t intend to say what Jesus would or would not do. Nor am I interested in decrying this as not “real Christianity” because it is very much real Christianity. It is very clearly based on an interpretation of sacred texts of Christianity. It’s very explicitly their way of following Jesus. And it is violent and evil. I didn’t want to write this post because the religious right has been castigated a lot (most times deservedly, others times not) but this was too much.

Trans people are being threatened with violence, being threatened by men who want to protect their daughters from sexual violence by threatening to assault (even shoot) trans persons. The issue is that this theology trickles down through families, through people. Moore’s theology is two steps too close to Swanson’s for comfort. And extending grace is becoming impossible and frankly less and less lie a valid option.

If your theology resembles Moore’s or Swanson’s or Jack’s you are willfully participating in violent theology. And if you’re okay with being complicit in that I might not be able to have a conversation in good faith with you. Nor should you expect any queer person to have a conversation in good faith with you.

Christianity is and has been violent. It has also been good and beautiful. Choose which form of it you want to partake in, because I know which side I’m on and it’s with the trans girl who just wants to piss, it’s the trans guy who just wants to shower, and it’s with then-binary person who simply wants to change after a sporting event.

As stated, this post is redundant, has been state more clearly by better people. But these men (Swanson, Jack, Moore) have a readership, audience, and have influenced hundreds (thousands) of people. They have an impact on people, their theology has an impact on people. And it’s worth calling them out and naming what they’re saying as evil. Because it is evil. But this is redundant, won’t change anyone’s minds, but it needed to be said because I grew up around these people and their theology. I saw it wreck me, watched it wreck others, and I’ve seen it lead to throwing people to the margins and mockery.

To anyone still in speech and debate in Colorado with Steve Vaughn: get the hell out.

To anyone tied to Worldview Academy or Bill Jack: get the hell out

To anyone tied to Kevin Swanson or Moore: get the hell out.

 

On Gay Marriage: Pissing People Off

[This is a follow up to my post On Gay Marriage, just a few various thoughts]

1. The question, or point, the previous post was aiming towards was not one of the rightness or wrongness of gay marriage. Rather, I wanted to suggest that in  being in the world feeling multiple things at once is possible, good even. But ignoring that some of the comments made it abundantly clear that we are discussing surface level issues. Marriage is the idol of our allegedly secular (read: Christian) nation. It’s the project towards which big money has been going these past ten some years. None of this is to discount the lives lost to get us where we are today, but it is to say that marriage is just another Christian commodity, gay or not. Everyone has been sharing Justice Kennedy’s statement about marriage. Other than the fact that he sounded like an idiot high school kid he was expressing a distinctly Christian form of marriage.

2. Like it or not, these issues are uninteresting in many ways to me. It was increasingly clear over the past three years or so that gay marriage would be ruled legal in the US. It’s all centered around discourse that still partakes and finds itself embedded in the Christianity so many people seem to want eschew.  I get it. But when you’re talking about love in an American context you’re still talking about a colonizing, often Protestant love, a love that extends the Christendom project of America.

3. And that’s the rub. The liberal, capitalist elite run the social justice issues of the day and in a sense co-opt the labor of the average person. When you can make your Facebook profile picture a pride flag, when WordPress has a pride flag at the top of the dashboard the other day, it’s clear that this isn’t anything resembling a small person issue. And in many ways I can respect the middle America conservative folks who feel threatened by big money shoving an agenda down everyone’s throats. So, I get it. There’s something to be said when one’s values are threatened. Laughing conservatives off the stage is understandable but at the same time it kind of reifies the discourse.

4. If our single concern is marriage equality I think we’re missing the point. I think I’d rather combat my whiteness and subvert it to the best of my ability than worry about equality especially if equality merely means sharing HRC logos and the passionate speeches of celebrities who have nothing to lose.

5. As Yasmin Nair states, “But the sad truth that many of us learn after years in sexual playing fields (literally and figuratively) is that how many people you fuck has nothing to do with the extent to which you fuck up capitalism.”

6. I’m going to eschew sex positivity if it’s still tied to capitalist, Christian, pseudo-secular discourse. I’ll pass on talking about marriage equality while those in power are murdering the least of these.

7. Gay marriage is part of the commodity forming machine of capitalism at this point. We can definitely do better.

On Gay Marriage: There is No Contradiction

Gay marriage is legalized.

This shouldn’t be news to anyone who reads the news, is on social media, or has friends who do the former two. Gay marriage is legalized and I’m celebrating with my friends who are married, who want to marry, and who need to have their marriages recognized by law so that that they and their families can partake in the benefits everyone else can. But I have some other, more curmudgeonly thoughts. Thoughts directed primarily at Christians who hold a traditional ethic. But thoughts also directed at progressives.

A traditional ethic is fine. Hold dearly to what your conscience dictates, what you interpret the bible to be saying. That’s fine. But at some point maybe ask some questions. At what point does traditional marriage become an idol? At one point does fighting for heterosexual unions distract from other, more important issues? Where’s the outrage about Charleston, Ferguson, Beavercreek, McKinney, New York City, and any other place where Black bodies are under attack? Where’s the outrage about settler colonialism? Where’s the outrage and worry about the capitalist system that’s killing our economy and environment? Where’s the concern for nonhuman animals being slaughtered for our mass consumption by factory farms out to seek a profit? Care about any of those? Or just gay dudes making out? And maybe ask if your view actually is hurting queer folks?

Cause frankly you don’t need to like, support, endorse, or even give a single shit about gay marriage. Like stated, I don’t care if you change your views and in some ways I’d rather you not. But marriage seems to be the hard on of choice and it bugs me. I think Jesus cares a bit more about the Palestinian kid being murdered at the hands of Israeli soldiers than gay couples marrying. Could be wrong.

I’d like someone to tell me how gay people are impeding the bringing of the just kingdom to earth in all its fleshly glory?

But it’s okay. Hold to your traditional beliefs. But if you’re not coming out and fighting against the murder of trans persons, against the workplace discrimination of LGBTQ persons, against police brutality, against nationalistic terrorism done in the name of the red, white, and blue, please step off. Otherwise, I’m going to say you’re making marriage an idol, a bigger deal than St. Paul ever made it, than Jesus ever made it. And wondering why you don’t care about the actual least of these in society.

But this isn’t just anti-conservative Christians. I’m kind of pissed at the progressives too. At one point did we decide it was okay to be a part of a screwed up system? Why do we want equal rights to be in the military and government? It confuses me? I feel like honesty demands that any progressive worth her salt admits that the gay marriage movement isn’t a minority movement, not meaningfully. Sure, go off population stats but then you’re playing into the hands of the conservatives. When Apple, White House, Amazon, Starbucks and basically any other large company endorses you you’re not a minority movement anymore. Not really.

And that’s not always bad. Gay couples can marry and receive benefits, as they should. But it distracts from more pressing issues surrounding trans healthcare, murder, and assault. Big money isn’t gonna save you, it just makes gay marriage another privatized commodity in the capitalist machine.

What’s the point of this point? I’m just pissing on peoples joy and sorrow. Yep. That’s right. Mostly I’m registering publicly that the work is not done for progressives at all and that conservatives need to get their priorities in line.

I rejoice with the couple who drive me to church on Sundays in Michigan. They’re two of my heroes and I admire, love, cherish, and appreciate their friendship and for welcoming me into their lives. Appreciate all that more than they can know.

I love my conservative friends who challenge me and push me to do better. More than I have ever made clear or probably ever will.

But I can’t get behind either side full heartedly, not when queer people are being murdered and killing themselves, not when people are being killed by the police, not when sentient beings are being slaughtered for our pleasure and enjoyment.

I rejoice and mourn. Both are possible.

Conservatives: rejoice in your gay friends today and mourn the loss of a traditional ethic. There’s no contradiction.

Progressives: mourn with the conservative Christians and rejoice. There is no contradiction.

I rejoice with my progressive, gay, queer, friends and mourn the continued loss of life.

I mourn with the my conservative friends, because they feel attacked and regardless of whether they are or not they feel something and I mourn and suffer with them.

That’s being human. This isn’t just a piss party. It’s a post to try and get us to focus on bigger issues, on issues that are pressing still, demanding attention, and to move on from our victories and losses and use them as motivation to move forward, to learn to think the unthought and work from within difference.

On the Christian Question (of sorts)

The Christian Church, whether one likes it or not, acknowledges it or not, is sitting in the middle of a cultural shift. A cultural shift spurred by new issues. Or, I guess, “new” means these issues are now more public than before. Between gay marriage and Caitlyn Jenner, Christians have a lot more opinions than are fit to print. Besides the fact that the LGBTQ movement has been co-opted by the white, rich, elite and is no longer really a “little guy” movement (at least as concerns gay marriage) and ignoring the fact that somehow it takes a a rich, white woman to get people talking about trans issues, despite both of these things I think we’re asking the entirely wrong questions. And in this regard, Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option at least makes sense. That said, I still think there’s a better question for the American Church.

In The Gift of Death Derrida discusses the notion of the secret and how Christianity incorporates and represses what came before it. The point is that Christianity can account for everything and anything. As a friend pointed out, Christianity repressed Marcionism all the while embracing and incorporating it. The same goes for Platonism. The problem isn’t that folks like Matt Walsh are assholes who aren’t “Christian enough” (which means, I guess, not loving enough). The problem is that we haven’t dealt with Christianity on its own grounds. We haven’t really asked, or thought, if Christianity can work from within the differences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. We haven’t really begun to think about the white supremacy that fills Christianity full. This is part of the reason folks like Gil Anidjar have been writing (and asking) about the Christian question. We have a lot of answers about the Muslim question, the secular question, but not a ton about the Christian question.

The issue isn’t really about Caitlyn Jenner or gay couples or explicit racism. Rather, the issue is dealing with the ground upon which and from which Christianity arises, how it incorporates Lockean essentialism and white supremacy. But it doesn’t just incorporate. That’s the beautiful thing: Christians can say that trans murder and assault is wrong and evil but also manage to say that trans identity is invalid. Christians can condemn racism but never have to face the incorporated white supremacy of their doctrine.

In many ways Christianity is the most beautiful sleight of hand. And maybe Christians ought to start thinking the unthought, thinking what they’ve repressed rather than lashing out. Christians are good at criticism but awful at self-reflection. This isn’t to become better at being Christian but to actually start dealing with Christianity on its own terms. In this sense I don’t think we can ever have an honest conversation about racism or LGBTQ issues. Mostly since trying to have those conversations seems to boil down to surface tensions.

Maybe Dreher is right, maybe we need the Benedict Option. But maybe we need it so we can actually begin to think the unthought within our own belief system. But, I doubt that that’s Dreher’s goal.

On Labels

This is going to be harsh.

But cisgendered, straight people like to tell LGBTQ people and society that if only we got rid of labels LGBTQ folks would be accepted more readily.

The argument goes as such: “If we didn’t have labels like “gay” then actualy gay folks would be accepted more readily. Like, I don’t have to come out as straight so why should they have to come out as something either? Like, I don’t get it.”

Problem: this works within a cis-heteronormative understanding of reality in which, of course, no labels need to exist. Because everyone is assumed to be cisgender or hetero labels are meaningless. If only those damn queers would use fewer labels then they’d be accepted.

But people don’t realize that saying this erases key differences and the necessity and power of self-definiton. It’s similar conceptually to colorblindness. Colorblindness functions as a seemingly poignant statement but fails by erasing difference. Additionally, by erasure it substitutes difference with a colorblind white washing. Same goes for LGBTQ people. Identities are straight and cis washed.

So, please, stop it.

 

Stop Being Nice

Kind words aren’t enough. They never are.

Being nice is not the answer. It never has been.

Wanting justice, demanding justice, demanding fairness, these are good and right. And I get that in some contexts peacefulness may be the better part of valor, but nothing significant has changed by being nice and saying kind words. Christianity is no different.

Christians, me included, are guilty of making the bible soft. And, no, I refuse to argue that we make the bible soft by cushioning its’ truths. We soften the bible’s demands for justice and love. We soften the God who has a preferential option for the marginalized. Christians are too nice.

We tell people they’re loved by God even though they’re gay.

We tell people all will be made well in the end and racism will die the death that death died.

We tell transgender/gender non-conforming folks that they are loved and we’ll pray for them to love their bodies.

We tell these marginalized groups in America all these nice, trite, gentle words. But we ignore the bible.

Let’s recap for a second what the bible states regarding the oppressed:

From Amos 5: “There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.”

From Acts 8 a gender minority says: “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”

I need to listen to the voice of the prophets, demanding justice. I need to listen to a God who will cast down those in power because of God’s love for the oppressed. I need to listen to the God who sides with prostitutes, lepers, queers, ethnic minorities, and immigrants.

I need to listen for God’s voice in the cries of those the United States bombs.

I need to listen for God in the voice of trans women who are murdered for being women.

I need to listen for God in the voice of persons of colour who suffer violence against their bodies by the powers that be.

I need to listen.

And stop softening the bible.

If God loves trans folks: I need to  fight for them. Fight the misgendering, fight the violence, fight for their recognition.

If God loves ethnic minorities: I need to fight racism, fight the structures of racism in communities, in my church. And shut up.

If God loves those we bomb: I need to stop simply praying, do something. Write my senator. Protest. Change how I think, vote, if I vote at all.

If God loves gay people: I need to fight for their rights as citizens of a country. Fight for their acceptance.

I’m convinced heaven will be full of queers and persons of colour teaching us what grace and beauty looks like. Heaven isn’t just for white, straight, cisgender people. Remember this.

 

Response to Kevin Williamson

[TW: transphobia]

Cox’s situation gave him an intensely unhappy childhood and led to an eventual suicide attempt, and his story demands our sympathy; times being what they are, we might even offer our indulgence. But neither of those should be allowed to overwhelm the facts, which are not subject to our feelings, however sincere or well intended.

This from arguably one of the most poorly articulated pieces on trans folks I’ve ever read. I get what Williamson attempts, and in some misguided sympathy, can admire what he is trying to do. But shock for shock’s sake ought to be governed by some kind of sensibility. And, thankfully, unlike Matt Walsh, Williamson actually writes well and with some sense of vigor. But his article is still garbage.

The main flaw I find with his idea comes down to biological determinism. He constantly appeals to scientific “fact” as if it were some new deity we can bow our heads to in submission. Scientific “fact” however is malleable and extremely subject to change. Never mind that Williamson appeals to basic observable facts and ignores the studies done on the minds of trans folks themselves which seem to indicate more to this discussion than initially thought. So, for all the appeals to science he seems to not actually care about science as it continues to evolve and develop (isn’t that sciences purpose?).

Additionally, for one who presents himself, seemingly, as opposed to the tyranny of the government he seems hell bent on imposing tyranny of science upon a portion of society the tyranny of “objective fact”. Nikolai Berdyaev, in his classic Slavery and Freedom,  states, “The free man ought not to bend the knee either before history or before race or before revolution or before any objective unity which makes pretensions to universal significance” (71). The point being that sex is an objective unity which makes claims to being significant. Male and female somehow mean importance on a universal level. Mr. Williamson engages in a monism which is, “. . . the denial of personality and freedom” (68). Williamson assigns categories to people and thus denies their personality, he objectivizes them and makes them into a mold, an item and cog in the machine of societal functionality.

Look. I doubt Mr. Williamson will ever see this brief response. Heck, even if he does I could care less if he were to acknowledge it since I’m an eighteen year old kid who has a passion for people and loving on them as best I can. All I do have are a few things I wish to say in regards to this topic, stemming from Williamson’s Laverne Cox piece and his previous Chelsea Manning piece:

1. Comparison of a man wishing to be tigress seems inane and superficial. There’s a difference of species to species change and identifying and experiencing dissonance between assigned sex and gender.

2. Seems to lack appreciation for the intersection of language and science.

3. While I appreciate that in his Chelsea Manning piece Williamson actually provides stats and extrapolates on his argument he seems to lack sensitivity to those who experience gender identity problems. In fact, suggesting that there be some sort of therapy to better help people cope with their gender problems (sounds startlingly similar to reparative therapy for gay folks) misses the point. I appreciate his concern for the duty of doctors but I wonder if he realizes some of the more recent statistics regarding trans folks?

4. But I have a problem with how he went about these articles. He has a tone which strikes me as divisive, schlocky, and frankly, poor. Instead of engaging he seems to want to sit on his pedestal and speak “truths”. Instead of engaging, opening up, he shuts down. He misgenders (which is violence) and perpetuates the idiocy of trying to discuss without patience and openness.

So, Mr. Williamson, please reconsider. I admit these are the half formed thoughts of a soon to be college student and I don’t have all the answers. But there’s more to this world, Mr. Williamson, than is imagined in your philosophy.

Bible vs. People: People Win

The bible is a book written by men and inspired by God.

No more, no less and too often we treat it as more. The bible is a book and like any book tells a story. That story isn’t about creationism, predestination, homosexuality, or any myriad of issues we want it to be about today. Heck, the bible is minimally about ethics as understood in the Western world. Ethics, biblically, are linked to Jesus. The book we too often idolize is the cradle which holds Jesus.

And I’m tired of everyone treating biblical faithfulness as the litmus test of salvation. Though, maybe not directly, far too often people imply that lack of biblical faithfulness (which usually means any disagreement with their specific interpretation) goes hand in hand with heresy or some other kind of idea that we’re not saved.

The bible is about Jesus and somehow we lose that. And Jesus tells me to love my neighbor, the least of these. And, frankly, that love has led me to support a less than traditional idea when it comes to lesbian and gay folks. When people have died, are dying, being subjected to injustice, that’s not God’s heart. I get Romans 1 leaves little room for some but I don’t know where I stand on that passage and, frankly, I really don’t care. If I’m ever asked if being gay or lesbian is a sin I’m gonna say no. Being “something” or “anything” (I know those words are stupid) cannot in and of itself be a sin. Orientation is not a sin. People are made in God’s image and because of our sinfulness we’re gonna mess up, we’re gonna over emphasize certain biblical ideas and interpretations. And I know I could be wrong. But I can’t hold a view that has been about silence and death.

Love your neighbor, admire the beauty within, see God in the Other because that’s where God is to be found. But never forget the bible is not deity, it’s special/beautiful/disturbing/all kinds of jacked up, but it is primarily, solely, about Jesus. And if what we believe does not love our neighbor (and letting kids die because we tell them they’re sinners, abominations, committing mutilations etc. isn’t loving) or help us better love then, sorry, I can’t hold it.

“I rest my faith on nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness…”

Jesus Doesn’t Care

I quit caring so much about gender, about sexuality, about providence, about creationism, about all the inane topics which come up regularly among (especially) homeschool kids because we’ve got no life (kidding).

Everyone wants to focus on whether or not the Church is being over run by the gays. Everyone cares so much about whether women dare to be pastors because, well, breasts cause men to lust. Everyone cares about how you express yourself whether it be by shutting you down or confining you to a societal gender role. Everyone cares too much about the age of the earth. And no one seems to care enough about what Jesus cared about.

And I’m one of those people.

(Parenthetical: I know that Jesus’ concerns relate directly to some of the forementioned topics but that’s not the point so shhh)

Jesus didn’t seem to give a rip if God created in six days or a million or if God used evolution or not. Seemed to be low on his radar. Which, thank God, is why we have Ken Ham, to help Jesus out and bring out his deep concern for the order of creation and mechanics thereof. I wonder how much a first century desert walker, despite being God, knew about science?

Jesus didn’t seem to care whether or not God ordained everything, or elected everyone. And of course we want to say, “But he says, ‘Those you have given me . . .'” and all  I can think is, Really? Really?

Look. Jesus didn’t seem to prioritize these things for the simple reason that (shocker here) they’re pretty boring. If Jesus had gone around talking about creationism half his audience wouldn’t have gotten it. Much less divine sovereignty and election, at least the current way we present it.

Jesus spoke to things which concerned the people at his time, and concern us now. But we’re too lazy to see the radical nature thereof.

Example 1: Jesus fought against the Empire. Rome ruled the world (as anyone with basic knowledge of history ought to know) at the time and Jesus comes in declaring himself deity, king, and lord. Pretty radical stuff at the time. His death, understood rightly, is a political death. He challenged the Jewish leaders and the Roman leaders at the time. The irony, though, is that unlike other revolutionaries who tried to revolt his was a subtle, silent, nonviolent one. As he told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Jesus cared about nonviolence. Something American aren’t too fond of.

Example 2: Jesus cared more for the poor than we can ever grasp. It’s actually pretty fair to say that he gave priority consideration to the poor. He elevated them by equating those who are beaten down by systems of oppression (another key) with himself. Try telling that to American evangelicals.

Example 3: He cared about life. And no, I’m not about to rant on abortion. Jesus cared about all aspects of life (birth, creation, living, death, birds, bees, trees, etc.) and he even said he came so that “they might have life to the full.” Somehow that part got missed in evangelicalism crusade to tell people how to dress and be human.Guess what? Jesus wants people to live life to the full and, as Joel Osteen-y as this is gonna sound, that means Jesus wanted people to live in a way which makes sure that they can enjoy life. And telling people to not like who they want or dress how they like has led to too many young deaths, so sorry evangelicals, checkmated by Jesus.

My point in all this: Jesus had bigger concerns than the crap evangelicals seem to care about so much and want to worship and die on. I’m glad you want to defend dinosaurs but seriously? I think Jesus had bigger concerns.