Life As a “Godless Liberal Democrat”

I just saw a couple broke down on the side of the highway. The windows were down so you could tell that they obviously couldn’t get the engine to crank and didn’t have air conditioning because they
were sitting in this heat index in a non-moving car with just the windows down.  And I passed by getting my coffee and I told myself if they’re still there when I come back, I’ll stop and see if they need a ride. She was on the phone both times when I passed by so it looked like she was trying to call somebody and wasn’t having any success. When I got back and turned around to help them, a ride pulled in at the same time.

Now, I recognize that in 2016 you’re not supposed to help random people on the side of the highway. Still…

That’s what I’ve always found so ironic about the “Christian” right and the gun lovers, the ones that have taken to ridiculing, harassing, bullying, tormenting, and stalking me constantly. Those that attack politically similar people the loudest always wrap it in some variation of Jesus — telling me and others that we’re  “Godless liberal Democrats.”

That’s what is so strange about that — you don’t know me.  By that I mean, you haven’t seen me in 20 years. You don’t know how much faith is rooted in my life and you don’t know what the hell I’ve been through. One couldn’t survive some of the things that I have emotionally — and survived them alone — if you didn’t have a faith-based system of fairness and equality and a higher power that connects us all.  My Uncle Chunky told me when I was little: “If the Lord is my God,  Whom Shall I Fear?”

And I’ve always sort of believed that when it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go. And I shouldn’t let that get in the way of practicing random acts of kindness while I’m here. What I find just so blatantly hypocritical about the continuous attacks on my political affiliation — and it’s not just people I know, you see it all over the Internet because it’s been sold to you on Fox Newss
— is that it’s somehow always loosely wrapped in “God.”  Like you, the people that believe more in defending a woman’s right to not take a pill to expel an eight-week clump of cells while you watch Syrian refugee children going to the ocean weekly; children dying in Africa and India of $0.29 vaccine prevented diseases and don’t ever seem to care, are the only one to speak for God.

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again:  I’m not afraid of God. Not anymore. I was when I was younger growing up in the Church of Christ — and that’s not an indictment on the character of the Church of Christ, that was my interpretation of it. But it was that you can never be good enough for God, and that no matter what I did, it always seemed to me that I was continuously paying the consequences for sins I wasn’t even aware I committed. When I hit my knees, my continuous prayer always seemed to be I’m “I’m so sorry!” long after it became clear to me that I had no idea what I was sorry for.

Now, some have gotten angry at me and told me to leave the church out of it, but I can’t do that. I’m only speaking from my experience and my experience was with an upbringing in the Church of Christ — not a Methodist or Baptist or Catholic. So I can’t speak to anyone else’s interpretation of faith, only mine and the way I — me, not anybody else — internalized that.

I don’t look at God like that anymore. He’s not some angry, raging, all-condemning being in the sky that’s constantly looking to strike me down. He’s a loving presence that disciplines me when necessary, but never more than I need. When I began  to look at God more like my Uncle Chunky and less like some abusive, super punishing being, it only strengthened my faith. Because I begin to run to God instead of away from when I couldn’t be perfect.

Little things like that, a willingness to help strangers on the highway, always strike me as funny. Us Godless left — isn’t that what you call us, NRA? — are always doing random, kind things like that.

Odd, huh?


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