#ExvShare: Shout out! Do not hold back.

….and now for something completely different. 

I want to hear from you, the listener. 

I want to know: 
How are you doing? 
How are you coping with an increasingly polarized social media landscape? 
What sort of self-care or spiritual practices are you using?

I also want to hear how you are working through relationships–of any kind–where political, social, and theological disagreements have created a rift in the time leading up to and since the election. What are some examples in your life of ways you’ve struggled to reconcile with others, let alone reality itself?

 

These are open questions for me, and I don’t have a great sense for the best way forward, or even if there is such a thing as a “best” way forward. 

There are several reasons why I want to collect these stories. First, I’d love to collect these stories and share the compilation as part of a future episode. I think we can all benefit from the wisdom of the crowd, and from hearing a diverse set of voices. The Excommunity is much more than just me and my guests. It’s all of you. 

Second, the episcopal lectionary is absolutely killing it with apropos scripture. I’m recording this the week of February 5th, and today’s Old Testament reading was Isaiah 58:1-12. Here is what verses 1 through 9 have to say:

Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
3 “Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator[a] shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

— Isaiah 58:1-9

If that doesn’t sum up the struggle a lot of us are feeling, I don’t know what does.


Finally, Felix Salmon wrote a great piece on Fusion called “Impartiality or diversity. Pick one.” Here is a key quote: 

Today, the personal is political; identity politics is politics. Political stances aren’t just something that we choose to express when we open our mouths in a certain way; they’re a way of living in the world. If I am a gay Yemeni immigrant, or a black trans woman, or a Muslim trans man who’s a survivor of sexual assault, then to be open and unapologetic about my identity is to be a partisan in the most urgent political debates of the day.

— Felix Salmon, Fusion

I believe this. We have to understand that identity politics is politics. It takes vulnerability and courage to share our identities, but it can be rewarding as well. For many, “sharing your identify” is not even optional; it’s who we are. And I think sharing your own perspective is the only way forward. 

I’ll be keeping this open for at least a couple of weeks. Use the hashtag #exvshare to propose and answer questions. 

I welcome responses via email, at contact@exvangelicalpodcast.com, or via phone. I have a Google Voice account set up to receive voicemails at 312–857–4196. If you are comfortable having your voicemail or email shared on the show, please say or write that your message is “ok to share.” And of course, you can always provide feedback regarding any episode at contact@exvangelicalpodcast.com.

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