Madame DeFarge, A Tale of Two Cities
Something's bothered me for a while and I've kept silent about it---well, if you don't count occasional spurts of frustration on Facebook and various forums. I remained silent because I just couldn't put my finger on what actually disturbed me. I couldn't, as hard as I tried, make a connection in my mind as to why I was disturbed or tack a name to the angst growing bigger and bigger inside me.
But this weekend I stumbled on photos from the Dickens classic, A Tale of Two Cities.
And then it became so clear. And when it did become clear, it became even more frustrating and...frightening.
This week, upon the death of Margaret Thatcher, I was shocked and dismayed over the giant uproar---the joyous uproar---of so many chanting all over Twitter and Facebook such things as "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead...' gleeful voices raised in celebration at the passing of a public official. By the degree of happy pandemonium, you would have thought a violent dictator had been executed. Oh, I don't know British politics but I do know hate when I see it.
And those merry cheers immediately brought to mind the roaring crowds I'd read of during the French Revolution. The crowds gathering to cheer on the beheadings of the aristocrats. Barbaric pleasure they took in these executions.
And, no, it wasn't just the reaction to the Thatcher's death that hit home with me. It was something that had been brewing inside me for some time and this event only seemed to bring it to the surface for me, to put a name on it.
The power of hatred among a group of people.
What may surprise you is that the hatred I speak of---the hatred that has upset me for a while now---is not among those bigots against who we fight for equality. Oh, they are filled to the brim with hate, that's for sure. But it's not them who have troubled me lately.
No. It's those who do fight for equality who are showing the hatred so blatantly.
Specifically, not a day goes by that I do not see on various forums the rants against Christians. Everything unfair thing that happens in the name of hatred is somehow lumped in with the name Christian. I see the word every day and it's rarely---if at all---in conjunction with anything good.
An us-against-the-Christians voice it seems.
And, upon seeing this so much, I was reminded of such violent events in history such as the executions in France during the revolts. The frenzied fury of those so full of revenge and hatred that they simply dragged every person who even hinted of having money and slaughtered them along with those who actually did deplore them.
The fight for justice and equality gone berserk. The furor seeping into sensibility and discoloring even the innocent; therefore sending them to death for having done nothing but been wealthy.
Unfortunately, such hatemongers as the Westboro Baptist Church have put a black spot on all religion as far as the fight for equality goes. Now it seems the very word Christian is the keyword for bigotry, along with the word Republican. Every day I read comments that---for every wrong done against the equal rights movement---it must be those Christians, those conservative religious zealots, etc., etc.
Do you want to know why this scares the hell out of me?
Because I am a Christian. Yes.
No, I do not attend church. I don't feel whether I sit in a brick building every Sunday has any bearing on what's in my heart.
But I do follow the teaching of Christ which---if anybody studied hard enough---would prove to be just the same philosophies as all teachers of peace since the beginning of time. He taught that we were all the same. Everybody sins.
And....I might add here that sin---the actual Hebrew translation---meant nothing more than missing the mark. An arrow shooting and falling short of the bullzeye. A human thing. Not a doomed-to-hell fault but just a very human part of life. We miss the mark, we get up and go again.
Love. He did teach love. He didn't hang out with the sanctimonious. They, in fact, were the ones who persecuted him because he was different. They were scared of him and his truth. He was a threat to their old ways, their ancient beliefs and holier-than-thou arrogance. He was the equality fighter of his day. He died for it.
If he walked among us today, he would be right there in the middle of the fight for equality. He would never have judged. Never.
Do you see what I mean? By using this coverall label of Christian, to lash out at anyone who does call themselves so, you're targeting me and you might accidentally be lumping me in with those who do hate. And I might get hit in the crossfire. Because the animosity is so strong toward the name, I fear it will only keep cooking until it boils over.
I do not know a remedy for it all. I only know it's unfortunate to find myself thrown into this mix, to have to defend myself and what I believe in when I am as big a believer in equal rights as the others who fight for it.
If anything, it breaks my heart for the Churchians (a term a minister used to define those who merely sat in a pew on Sundays but who did not practice what they preached) to call themselves Christians and then to display such bigotry and hate.
But, again, I don't know a way to fix it.
The only thing I can do is live what's really in my heart, to stand strong on my beliefs of equal rights for all. To let my life be a witness, to show that a Christian loves, a Christian loves everyone equally.
Just, please. When you do refer to bigotry and hatred, please be careful when using the word Christian. Because if you aim it at a true Christian---who really embraces what the man whose name it is derived taught---you've got the wrong guy.