Friday, October 8, 2010

Putting the 'lit' in Political

**UPDATE** So yesterday got even better with the following: through a flaw in the Laws of Physics, a cup full of Sprite Zero sitting on the counter levitated and dumped all over my head. Then, Casanova threw a monster fit out back, only to fling himself head first into a large pile of dirty dirty goose poo. I blacked out and woke up in the pond. Anyway, here's to a new day!**

In the warm amber glow of my hallowed College Memories, I found this gem. On occasion, as I walked across one of the Big Ten's regularly featured Most Beautiful Campuses (that'd be IU)(if you're curious)(I owe them a LOT of money) when I would be stopped by a sight....something like this:

Group of oddly-dressed people waving huge hand-made signs with obscure Scripture references. These people would be shouting things like "you're all WHORES! You're dirty WHORES!" and that, my friends, would generally convince me to stop and be a few minutes late to E306 or wherever I'd been charging off to.

Some of us would toss back questions, or refer back to things we'd heard Jesus had said, you know, about not judging and such, but they'd carry right on, telling us we were all going to burn in hell and that we were all whores and really *awesome* positive things that totally made us want to join their cause.

The saddest part was that this particular group was a family, and they had young girls standing with them, holding angry militant signs while they yelled things about all the young IU ladies and their alleged promiscuity.

I remember giving up after they refused to answer any of my brilliantly pointed (and rather knowledgeable) questions, because A. I got tired of being called a whore B. I was late for class and C. My friend and I were hungry and running out of time to grab a snack. Oh, and D. I was annoyed with the idiocy of it all. When we finally wandered into our class, the professor was all "Oh, a couple more stragglers from the little group outside, eh?" and we're all "yeah" and no one got in trouble because he just shook his head and agreed they were idiots and we all went on with our literary pursuits.

I always characterized them as what they were; they were side show freaks. Instead of swallowing swords, or tossing flaming bowling ball pins in the air, which *actually* is rather respectable, they were inciting anger and encouraging divisiveness in the most shock-effect way possible - saying shitty things in the name of God.

So, when I opened the paper and saw that the Supreme Court was reviewing the "church" that travels around to protest US military member's funerals, I instantly flashed back to the people who came to my campus and stood for hours, yelling awful things - all under the dubious banner of their version of Christianity.

It was a ludicrous side show then, and that church group is the same thing now. They have national attention, despite not deserving even a second glance. Is free speech an important issue? Absolutely. Do I want this group to get even five seconds more of air time on my nightly news? Nope. (Do I think that punching someone in the mouth at a funeral *also* constitutes free speech? In this case, YESSIR.)

(Or at least I can tell you what would happen if *my* military member were being interred and these people showed up with their random anti-gay, anti-military, anti-God signs. Because really, they have NOTHING to do with God. Not a thing. Not. a. thing. And if I ever had to deal with these....creatures...I'd find bail money. Trust this.)

Number one: I've always believed strongly in the biblical admonition to pray quietly by yourself rather than shout it out in the streets so you can appear more pious. (Go ahead, I promise you it's there.) So my views are my views, and trust me, I don't need any literature, pamphlets etc etc. I'm fine with where I am.

Number two: This is how it is. And if you read the literature wrong, I mean, I don't know HOW confusing it can be, but if you did, please try to read it again. And again. And again. Because okay, these people claim to know the mind of God. Right? Right. "God hates fags" "Thank God for dead soldiers" - that kind of logic. (And by logic I mean 'mental failing'.)

I'm going to be very clear. God is love. God is peace. God is everything that is good and pure and hopeful. God is faith. God is redemption. God is sanctuary and serenity.

God is none of the things those people say.

Jesus was humble. Jesus helped the destitute. Jesus defended the downtrodden. Jesus, I think, would be pretty CLEAR about what those people needed to do with their signs. Put them down. Love your neighbor. Serve others.

Let me make it clear, in case there is any doubt here: NO ONE I know has EVER changed religious or political ideology because someone has screamed or yelled or insulted them.

Our soldiers deserve better. Our country deserves better. These people deserve less. Let the veterans' groups keep showing up and standing in front of them. Let them be unseen, unheard and ignored until they take their hate and ignorance and walk away with it.

Comments, questions, whatevah


Anonymous said...

These people are disgusting, i bet they have never been in a war zone, or know why we have to fight. Everyone is jealous of our nation. These people need to move to the middle East and see if they can act that way. Never smear a US vetrans funeral.