I'm Probably Annoying You (And I Kind of Don't Care)
I think I'm annoying most of you. Up until a year ago, I had never posted a single political thing on Facebook. I don't care about politics (despite the fact that I was a Poli Sci minor. In fact, that's where my apathy towards politics began). I don't care about tax reform or foreign policy or Obamacare. I mean, I care to the point where they affect my daily life (like when I have to pay $1600 in taxes every 3 months), but outside of those 4 days a year, I don't care. I actually really hated it when people posted political things because, as I already mentioned, I don't care.
In fact, I'd say I don't care about most things. I'd guess about 85% of the things mean nothing to me.
Let me make you a list of things I don't care about: sports, the Kardashians, technological advances, space travel, anything on the CW, studies that try to convince me Diet Coke will give me cancer, the show Parenthood (quit telling me how good it is, I'm not watching it), celebrity divorces, how many miles you ran today, kale. Of the leftover 15%, I'd say I am fairly interested about 10% of that. These include things like snack foods, The Office, anything on HGTV, donuts, studies that tell me Diet Coke isn't that bad, power tools. The last 5% are the things I actually care about. But here's the deal, because there are so few things I actually care about, it means the things I do care about, I care about A LOT. We're talking "fight you to the death if you threaten one of these things" type caring. This list includes Ben, my family, tacos, Jen, Penny & Marshall. And people. Specifically, marginalized people. Nothing makes me sadder or angrier than someone not getting the justice they deserve, someone being made to feel insignificant, small, or not worthy of the love we know Christ has for them. Whether it's a black person getting shot for no reason, a refugee being denied access to safety, a gay teenager who feels hopeless and unloved, a woman who's been sexually assaulted and told it was her fault, or a drug addict who has no way out, these people break my heart. They are who I care about. The reason you've never seen me post political things before this year is because I don't care about politics. The reason you've seen me post so much this year is because I REALLY care about people and I feel like people have been getting the short end of the stick lately. So I apologize if my constant posts about refugees and Donald Trump and rape culture and unarmed black men being shot are annoying to you. I'm sorry if they've offended you or made you question beliefs you've held in place for years (actually, I'm not sorry about that. I take that back, that's kind of the point). But I won't stop. I can't. Because I care about these things more than I can possibly express. My heart absolutely breaks every time I see someone spread fear of Syrian refugees. My mind reels when another black man is shot. My stomach turns when I hear people defend Donald Trump.
Just let me make this clear: it's not because I hate Trump's politics. I could not care less about his politics. To me, this election isn't even about politics. It's about people. I realize most politicians are probably sketchy one way or another. I realize there are certain political issues at play this year. But I don't care about that. I care about the way he makes people feel. And hearing people defend him makes me sad because he is one of the single most oppressive people I've ever seen. He has said horrible things about Mexicans, Syrians, gay people, women, the disabled, veterans- the people I care about. The people I care most about in this world, Donald Trump has explicitly and unapologetically insulted, marginalized, and made to feel less-than. And that's what I can't stand for. That's what I can't be complicit in. I cannot stand by silently while people, who often have no voice of their own, are being treated like trash. I'm sure it's annoying that I post something about Donald Trump or refugees every day. But I don't care. Because it's important. It's important to me that someone stand up for the people that can't. It's important to me that my gay friends and my black friends and my Muslim friends see that there are Christians on their side, there are Christians that won't let them be treated poorly, and there are Christians who want to genuinely love them like Jesus does. And this is one way I can show them that. I'm not saying you have to be active on Facebook to make your friends feel that way. I'm not even saying you have to be passionate about the same things I am. But we should ALL be passionate about people being treated with respect. Especially if we're Christians. One of the things I'm most grateful for in life is the way my Mom taught me to see things from other people's perspectives. It was annoying as all get out in high school. I'd come home from school and tell my Mom what someone had said or done to me and while she was always sympathetic, one of the first things she'd say was, "Well how do you think that person feels? What made them say that? What do you think is going on in their lives that make them feel the need to be mean?" As a 16 year old, I hated that. I just wanted my Mom to be outraged someone would make her perfect, amazing, wonderfully talented, incredibly beautiful (too much?) daughter upset and to blindly defend me at all costs. But as an adult, I am SO thankful she didn't. It's given me the ability to see things from other people's perspectives, to see how it would feel if I was in their shoes.
I'm realizing a lot of people don't have that ability. So many people are driven by selfishness and fear (and don't get me wrong- so am I most of the time. Just ask Ben when I make him assure me 10 times in a row I don't have eye cancer because I noticed an eye freckle I didn't think was there a week ago). When people see Syrian refugees, they tend to think "I don't want them to hurt my family. I don't want them to hurt my country. My safety is more important than theirs and I don't trust them." When they could be thinking, "I wonder how they feel. I wonder how many people they've lost in this war? What would it be like to have my entire world ripped away and then be treated like a terrorist?" When people see an influx of Muslim immigrants they seem to think, "They're going to hurt us. They're going to take away our religious liberties and freedoms. My life will have to change because of them." When they could think, "What a great opportunity for me to share my culture and my beliefs with people I would never have gotten a chance to meet before! I bet living in a new country is hard, we should make them feel welcome and show them Jesus' love." And when people see Donald Trump running for President they think, "He'll give me what I want. He'll protect my freedoms. He'll protect my religion. He'll protect my party." When what they should be thinking is, "Donald Trump is hateful. Donald Trump has inexcusable views on women and immigrants. Donald Trump is the exact opposite of Jesus Christ, who tells us the #1 most important priority in our lives should be to love others and to love God, not insult others, oppress others, and protect ourselves and our lifestyle at all costs." I know this year has been full of tough choices. I know we're all just trying to do our best and make the right decisions for us and our families. I understand that fear is real and it's something we have to fight against every day (in my case, sometimes every hour). But I want to encourage you to push past the fear, push past the uncertainties and the politics and really look at people, real people, and think, "How do those people feel?" and more importantly, "How does Jesus feel about those people?" If you can do that and still vote for Trump or stand against refugees seeking safety in America or say "It's their own fault" when an unarmed black man is shot or a woman is raped, then that's fine, it is ultimately up to each of us to make our own decisions. For me, I can't reconcile Jesus' love of people with Trump's hatred of them. In my eyes, those two things don't go together. But if I'm missing something, if I don't see what you do and you disagree with me, that's fine. But I won't stop posting about it, I won't ignore it, and I will annoy the crap out of you with my Facebook posts. **Quick disclaimer. I understand I might not have all the facts, that there are political reasons for you voting for Trump or rejecting refugees. If that's the case, that's fine, but as I already mentioned: this election is not about politics for me. It's about people. People are way more important to me than politics. That's just where my passions lie. If you feel differently, that's ok. Just know that's where my priorities are and that's where I'm speaking from.