I saw something that disturbed me today. My go-to outlet is always writing, but because I knew this would be a sensitive subject, I let my thoughts simmer for a while. So, as collectively and concisely as I can manage, here are some thoughts I have wanted to share for a very long time.
Today I passed a vehicle flying a full-sized confederate flag. That’s customary sight in the south, and one I have have learned to disregard without too much indignation, but there was another flag flying on the opposite side of the bumper: a Christian flag. I nearly had a wreck trying to take a photo. Perhaps the blurred photo is good for identity protection. It is perhaps an even more accurate representation of my reaction- my glazed vision and tear-filled eyes.
Rewind about 1 year. You can find me scrolling through my newsfeed reading a variety of heated articles and opinions on the legalization of gay marriage. I had only been out for a few months when it happened, and my confidence still wavered. Equality symbol overlays were beginning to appear on profile photos, and I smiled to see the number of stoic allies I had in my friend group. Then, just as quickly, similar overlays mimicking (more like mocking) the equality symbol began appearing on those who were vehemently protesting the LGBT breakthrough. The symbol was the Cross.
The gut-wrenching emotion I felt then was the same as what I felt today. Why? Because I am a Christian looking through the frosted panes of division.
Saying that the confederate flag represents an ode to heritage, a defense of state rights, or unfair cotton prices still points dismal finger back to the root of it all: slavery. Dixiecrats, the Klan, and George Wallace all flew the same flag. Would a loving God like to see a symbol of Christianity flown alongside a symbol of hate?
I run a larger risk here.
Heralding Christianity as the opposition to LGBT community is another travesty. Just like the evolution of Christianity has put an end to other social injustices, so must fundamentalist interpretations also be left behind. This is not the time or the platform to dissect Biblical contexts. Rather, it is a time to call such aversion to progressive Christianity exactly what it is: fear.
The body’s natural reaction to fear is to run or fight. Only until we put down our Christian weaponry can we stop, listen, and see that our opposition is holding fast the the same symbol. Let’s talk about our differences. Let’s ask questions and dare to see another point of view.
It’s about time we stop using Christian symbols to shield our prejudice and attack the things we don’t understand.
“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” -President Obama