Saturday, August 23, 2014

Down with the Progressive Police.

    For all the progressive talks of "inclusivity," progressives are often as exclusive as the conservatives they like to demonize.
You shall not pass because I'm assuming you have bad intent. 
    I realize I'm probably going to take some heat for this. And my title is pretty combative, for which...I'm not sorry.

    I've had it with the progressive hypocrisy. I'll only apologize if I've failed to consider a perspective, so if I go wrong here, let me know how and why you're concerned.
    I'm writing this because I'm growing very troubled by the progressive policing I see happening on the blogosphere and on Twitter.


    You can't be a feminist if you're a man (why? Because they can't fully understand what it's like to be discriminated against? Do we really want to draw discriminatory lines like this? If they actually, truly respect a woman as fully human - none of that "equal but different roles balderdash - I want them to call themselves a feminist. The label "feminist" has been too much maligned as is).

    You can't be a feminist if you're pro-life (Because if one acknowledges a woman as fully human, they must suddenly realize that pro-choice is their only option. There's no room for growth. You believe XYZ so you must believe ABC, or you don't believe XYZ. Yeah, no).

    You can't talk about race if you're white (This one is kinda true. You don't get to say you know how it feels to be a racial minority or discriminated against. You better shut up and listen to people of color before opening your mouth. But you can humbly participate in raising the voices of those who've been oppressed by racism, which is, I suppose, technically talking about race, just in a different manner).

    It's not my job to educate you on LGBTQ/woman's/race issues (so how do others find out about this stuff, hmm?).

    Don't tell me to be nice. That's tone policing! (Ah, because kindness has nothing to do with love. Funny how those supposedly narrow conservatives advocating "love the sinner, hate the sin" use the exact same reasoning).

    Progressive Christians in particular love to talk about inclusivity. "The kingdom of God is controversial in whom it lets in" and all.

    Too bad the more progressive/post-evangelical Christians (which includes myself, I suppose) are incredibly hypocritical here.
    We love to cast down the sexists/racists/bigots. Good. Ain't no place for that in God's kingdom.
    And then we kick them when they are down. Eh, I don't think that's in God's kingdom either.
    But, for examples, see:

    1). Exultations over Mark Driscoll's demise, which, though he deserved to be reprimanded/removed for his horrific bigotry, he did not need many people who don't know him offering their opinions, judgements, and castigations. Discussing the systems that allowed his problems to continue is completely different than personal attacks and speculations.

    2). People shaming pacifist Brian Zhand's initial comments on Ferguson. Rather than expressing caution about the implications of what he said, people immediately assumed he wanted to silence the outrage and decided Twitter was the loving, Jesusy means to demonize him.

    I'm worried that Christians arguing for more inclusivity are, in fact, becoming as hostile as those they claimed to be different from. Except they're trading focus on personal sins like lust for fashionable, systematic sins like bigotry.
    We will be known as his disciples by our love. That's it. Love! Don't you see?
Yes, the Beatles had it right. All you need is love...
    Love involves calling out stupid shit. Love involves keeping out harmful ideas. But love doesn't involve public shaming techniques that only serve to draw more barriers to exclude more people.
    Please, for the love of God himself, see people as the very image of God around you. Please, for the love of God himself, try to assume good intent when you're inquiring about a questionable statement.

    I'm just as guilty of this as then next person. We all need to stop.
    I really am starting to suspect that  assuming malevolence is pure evil. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I was mean in this article; I don't know. I was definitely more direct and harsh than normal.
    Where do we go from here? How do we stop judging and start loving? Am I missing something here, being judgmental myself, or just plain wrong?
    Let me know.


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