You know, I keep hearing about how now is the time to stand up and be heard. I keep reading guilt-inducing posts on Facebook written to clergy saying that if you’re not talking about Charlottesville from the pulpit, you’re not doing your job. But you know what? Here’s how I feel right now: What is the point? If I said something about how racism and white supremacy are evil and sinful (which yes, I certainly believe), who would hear it? If I spoke about how Black Lives Matter is not a hate group, and if I said that making any kind of comparison between Black Lives Matter and neo-nazi morons is completely erroneous, who would listen? If I railed against the president, who is clearly (to me) sending messages of aid and comfort to the forces of white supremacy, what good would it do?
Here’s what I believe would happen:
- Those who already believe like I do would hear a word of affirmation. I’d get an “attaboy” from them.
- Those who do not believe like I do would see me as “one of them.” A social justice warrior. Or a libtard. Or someone who watches too much “fake news.” Or whatever. And they would ignore everything I say.
See, I can tell you categorically that there is nothing you can say that would change my mind on race. Nothing you can say or do will make me believe that the “white race” is suffering in America. Nothing you can say will make me stop believing in the reality of white privilege (and male privilege and straight privilege and cisgender privilege, for that matter). Nothing you can say will make me start believing that people of color are in any way inferior. Nothing. So where would I get the arrogance to believe that I could change anyone else’s mind? What magical power do I have that can change someone’s heart? I believe that I simply cannot communicate with someone who honestly believes that garbage. They would simply not hear my words, not the way I intended them. And quite probably: I would not hear theirs either.
Honestly, what conversation have you had that has changed your mind about issues this heavy? Has a Facebook comment flame war really opened someone’s heart? Did you ever walk out of a worship service and say, “Hmm, the preacher really had some points. I’m going to completely change my whole viewpoint on the world. I’ve been wrong all these years.” No. If change ever happens to someone, it’s not from a conversation. Certainly not from a conversation with me.
I am not recommending this for anyone else. I am not trying to encourage others to be quiet about this. If you have the guts and the energy to stand up and proclaim this, God bless you. I just honestly believe it’s useless. And I personally don’t have the energy to do it. I just don’t.
And I’m not trying to be a “centrist,” and say, “well, both sides just need to learn to live together and love one another.” No. One side is just plain wrong here. (The United States did some nasty things during WWII, but that doesn’t mean we were the moral equivalent of the Third Reich, or that we shouldn’t have fought Hitler.) I just don’t see what good it does to say that. This is America, unfortunately. Our country is filled with racism, misogyny, homophobia, and all sorts of assorted garbage. It always has been, and it probably always will be.
So why am I even writing this here? I don’t know. Maybe I’m hoping it’s cathartic. Maybe it’s my depression talking. Maybe I’m reaching out for some hope, for some assurance that it is worth it to put myself out there. But in my experience with people, it really just seems useless and meaningless. Feel free to comment, or not, or unfriend me, or whatever. Right now I just don’t care.
7 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Saying Anything”
I understand your discouragement about speaking up. Just maybe one person will be listening and you might make a difference in their mindset. It’s kind of like voting. No one is watching us filling out our ballot but it makes a difference.
It also makes a difference in spiritual and energy levels that aren’t visible to us. We can add to the positive energies out there. It might seem that no one is listening, that you can’t change anyone. But you can add to the higher vibrations that are much needed out there. We’re all depressed by current events. But never give up. You have a light to shine and you are needed. Your words do make a difference whether you witness it or not. We’re going through a great transition and the world is polarizing. Speak your piece and know that it will be received on some level somewhere.
Wishing you peace and love,
Thanks, Betty. I appreciate your words. They’re a reminder that every little piece of light adds to the light. I’ll try to keep that in mind. I think I’m just burned out right now…hopefully some time to chill out will help with that.
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Take care, Michael. I understand the need to recharge, rest, rejuvenate. May you return refreshed in body and spirit. And you’re right – every little piece of light adds to the light. ☀️
I understand where you’re coming from. Fighting is really hard, especially when it seems like the world is regressing into madness. No one Facebook post or sermon is going to change someone’s mind, especially on this topic. But everything that we see influences our opinions. Less than 200 years ago, slavery was widely accepted. Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Less than 20 years ago, people did not talk about homosexuals and their lifestyles in the open. And while we are by no means free of racism and sexism and homophobia, we are a hell of a lot further than we were because people spoke up about it. And people DID change their minds.
You need to take your time for self-care and rest when you cannot fight anymore, we all do. I would not blame anyone for taking that time. But I do not believe that our church would have even entertained the idea of becoming an RIC church if you had not spoken in favor of it. Ultimately it didn’t change anything concrete, but it was NOT meaningless, it was NOT useless, even if only for one person. Keep speaking truth and love because this world needs as much as it can get. Whether you see it or not, your words DO make a difference.
Thanks, Emily. I didn’t have the RIC vote specifically in mind when I wrote this, but certainly that sits in my brain at all times. I appreciate your words. I’m not sad to have two Sundays off now: hopefully by the time I get back I’ll be in a better frame of mind.
The problem is we have lots of Narcissistic Sociopaths. This behavior affects 3% to 5% of our population, That’s 1 in 20 or millions of people and they affect millions more.
I agree and also say nothing. Easier to get people to change their underwear than their mind.