It has been an emotional week. The days surrounding elections always are. The Macedonian teenagers making a quick buck by pretending to be a stay-at-home suburban Christian moms in Ohio are posting propaganda on Facebook in a large enough font for conservative grannies in my Facebook circle with poor eyesight and a fear of being irrelevant to post on their walls. This comes up on my feed and it makes me want to delete these people from my digital life. it is so sad to watch smart people be duped and toyed with emotionally. It makes me want barf.
I partially blame America’s Got Talent. Before that show, we voted collectively a few times a year. We’d read articles, listen to experts and debates or at least watch an episode of 60 Minutes. We vote for America’s Got Talent every single week. It has trained us to vote based on how a person makes us feel. We think it’s organic but there are people behind the scenes, shaping the season and cultivating storylines to tell us who to vote for. America’s Got Talent’s stage even looks like a Republican convention threw up for crying out loud.
I went to an adult Sunday School at my friend’s church several years ago. I had been an avid Sunday school attendee in high school. Most of the questions we had to answer in the high school class were fill-in-the-blank. That didn’t surprise me. Kids are stupid. I was surprised to discover the questions and and answers in the adult Bible study were also fill-in-the-blank and not that different from the ones in the high school class. I wan’t expecting essay questions but I was expecting something different or at least more complex and nuanced. To be fair, not many think their best early on a Sunday morning after a few donuts.
I forgot what the lesson in the adult Bible study was. (So much for fill in the blank) I do remember a woman telling the adult class that she felt persecuted at work because her co-work got upset with her after she informed the new mother that her newborn baby was going to hell. I could tell nobody else in the room agreed with this woman but they would have to live with her in this small town of a few thousand for many many years to come. They just tilted their heads and looked uncomfortable as woman went on to describe how she had been persecuted and had to endure the vile words of the heathen mother of a damned baby. (Oh, how I cheered for that mom in my head)
I spoke up because I didn’t live there and I knew I would never have to see her again. I was also knew she was wrong even on a Biblical level. ( Even the Bible makes room for an age of accountability) Anyway, I told her, “You cornered a new mother and threatened her baby with the eternal fires of hell and you gave her no way to get out. It’s not like the baby can speak or confess a belief in anything anyway. What response did you honestly think you were going to get? What good were you going to do?
There is a difference between being persecuted and being disagreed with. You were simply disagreed with. It’s uncomfortable but it’s not persecution. “
I saw other people’s (including her husband’s) head nod in agreement with me, as long as they were out of the woman’s eye line. She didn’t see it my way but maybe she has grown since then.
This reminded me of how much we put up with in order to be civil. Nobody is perfect but we do have to live with each other and if we cut everyone out of our digital life that we disagree with, we will forget how to converse and stop growing ourselves.
I am not going to delete Trump voting friends from my social media but I am going to call them out. Because of them, children are in cages and families are needlessly torn apart. Children are abused sexual and physically because of the Trump administration and I will never miss an opportunity toTrump voters them that. This is not persecution. This is accountability. The blood is on their hands.
I’m Spring Day (real name, hippie parents)
Moving back to the United States after having lived in Japan and traveling the world for 16 years has been a bit of a head fuck, especially since I now work in the U.K. My blog “The United States of Shock!” is where I give my brilliant and bitter two cents, pence, yen and euro on my experience with culture shock and current events. If you have any questions you would like to have answered in a snit, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org