This week I speak to “Martin Luther,” someone who requested anonymity in order to tell his story.
Martin finds himself in a situation where he no longer believes in the evangelical worldview (and that’s putting it mildly) but he is unable to extract himself from the social circles that he finds himself in, or unable to express his true beliefs to those around him. Many listeners may relate.
This article strikes at the heart of what many people within the evangelical community do not understand. Impartiality is no longer a pre-requisite–or even a possibility–for political discourse. Indeed, for many people groups such as the African American community, it never was. But through a broader understanding of sexuality, gender, and an increasingly ethnically diverse and interconnected populace, the number of folks who are concerned about these social and political issues grows larger every day.
A second point: everything now has a political dynamic. If you are against same-sex marriage or believe homosexuality is wrong, that is making a value judgment on a person. Those judgments lead to harsh policies that affect a person’s life in real, tangible ways.
The key quote from the article:
Finally, one more quote for the cishet white men like me:
I urge you to read the article, and consider this point of view. I am not impartial. Neither are you.
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:
If that doesn’t sum up the struggle a lot of us are feeling, I don’t know what does.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.