So I’m listening to a podcast about the Seth Rich scandal, and of course there’s commentary on Hillary Clinton and Marine Le Pen, and I am struck by the inconsistencies in politics.
Then I read a blog by the current leader of my parent’s cult about the “Old Paths”, and I’m struck, again, by how “old paths” ideology is more about idolatry and legalism than it is about Christ, than it has ever been about Christ.
Feminists don’t care that Hillary has treated rape victims deplorably, it’s fine, because she has a vagina! She’s on our team!
Marine Le Pen is a horrible person because she’s honest about religious threats in her country. It doesn’t matter that she has a vagina, she’s not on our team!
Obama sold weapons in the Middle East! Fuck him! Traitor! Muslim Terrorist! Unless Trump does it, then it’s totally cool, because he’s on our team.
They love Christ, but they don’t have the same “Standards” I do, they don’t dress the same way, they like different music, THEY aren’t *real* Christians. They aren’t on our team.
They like Jar Jar Binks! They Aren’t Real Star Wars Fans! Filthy Casuals! They can’t be on our team.
And so it goes.
There’s a balance here, as there is in most places in life. Which sucks, because black and white are easy, but balance is hard. It’s important to understand that teamwork matters, that pulling together for a common good is important. Particularly when we consider society as a whole (but society is a group of individuals so…).
It’s also really damn important to remember that your personal identity does not, and should not, come from what religious, fan or political team you’re on, but rather, those “teams” should be a reflection of your character. How have we not taught our children this? How do we ourselves forget this so often?
I see it so often – whiny college children who demand free things from other’s pockets, but aren’t giving themselves. Being a part of a “team” that cares about giving, doesn’t make them givers. Your team doesn’t give you merit and value, your actions do.
People DEMANDING others be more “Tolerant” and “Open Minded”, but refuse to even hear other points of view. To even hear them, much less consider them for their own merit, because those points of view might be from the other team. This is a real thing, by the way, and it’s called “Motivated Ignorance”. Recent studies show that people will not read news from the opposing political side, in many cases, even if you pay them. The hell? If you read The Libertarian Republic, you should also be reading Vox, and vice versa.
Christians who claim the love and grace of Christ over their own lives and sins, but judge others for things as vapid as the clothing they wear or the music the worship with. They’ve gotten so lost in their “Be Ye Separate” that they’ve completely separated themselves from the point of the Gospel, and of Christ – Levitical law is out, guys. You are not a Good, Holy, Christ-like person because of your team. You’re just kind of an ass. You should see to that.
Serious question, adult peoples of the internet : When was the last time someone treated you like shit because you weren’t a part of their team? Was it because if who you voted for? When was the last time you treated someone like shit because they weren’t a part of your team? Was it because they did or did not like your religion? Did they say that they were or were not a feminist? I got called a Nazi and lost a few friends over the last election, simply because I voted for President Trump. They didn’t even ask why. Different team = Nazi.
I’m guilty of this. I have a very hard time with women who voted for Hilary. Not in the vote against Trump sense, which I can understand even if I disagree with, but women who wholeheartedly supported her as a candidate and think she would have been awesome. I have a very hard and have to constantly remind myself it doesn’t make them all giant hypocrites who are ignorant and easily bought. I shouldn’t think that way, but I do. Because Hillary? She pretty much the opposite of everything I believe in or find to be of value in a person. She’s not on my team.
Do you know who you are without your “Teams”? Do I? If we strip away our teams tomorrow, removed labels we proudly pin on ourselves, what are we left with?
How can we possibly learn to love, accept, and form deep connections with those on other teams, until we ourselves learn to be okay without being defined by our teams?
How do we raise children to be individuals, if we ourselves are not comfortable with being individuals? Do we forget to teach them that standing up for what’s right often means losing people and being mocked? Do we forget to remind ourselves?
I would really, if at all possible, like to raise my child to not be a part of this bullshit, this needing to feel like she’s a part of a self righteous group in order to feel validated. I hope to raise her to be able to be friends, close friends, with those who have different religions and points of view. I also want her to be able to look at an idea or ideology and go “Well that’s a bunch of evil bullshit” and not waver when people call her mean. I hope for her to be able to weigh those things on their own merits, and do the damn research, find the historical context, get into the nitty gritty, to not just take these things – bible verses, political ideologies, movies, poetry – at face value, but rather dig deep and fully understand them, and come to her own conclusions. Conclusions that, hopefully, because she’s done the legwork and considered all sides, she can stand confident in. Even when her protesting peers go “YOU AREN’T PART OF OUR TEAM!” and she finds herself standing alone.