Right now, in America, it is my perception that being liberal is cool. Call it President Bush fall-out or even the aging of that hippie generation who hates authority - but there is nothing like educating the masses on the social ills that have befallen us because of our own incompetence. Its hard being liberal! Nobody knows what it means!
Why do liberals have it so rough?
- Anyone who calls you liberal is simply trying to insult you. The only thing they know about your beliefs/actions is that they don't agree with you. It isn't about a particular stance, its about a lack of the right moral upbringing. This is not just a personal offense; this is blasphemy.
- The ACLU is liberal. And the ACLU has a whacked out idea of what it means to defend people's rights. Oh! And Green Peace! All you have to do is protest in some crazy way and you can get whatever you want! Like throwing paint on fur coats makes people quit killing animals. And if you sit in that tree long enough, they'll stop making paper.
- Some call you open minded as in "you are so open minded your brain has fallen out." Christians would call this the lack of absolute truth. Some liberal Christians offer that there is an absolute truth and conservative Christianity has failed in revealing it. Which ever side you might be on, my liberal friend, rest assured you have a steep theological mountain to climb in convincing others you have a spine.
- You have to speak in generalities. Stats are your friends. Don't give a face to the person - oh no!
- The negative connotations that go with being liberal embarrass you so bad you now call yourself "progressive".
- Pride is a bit of an issue...the great grandfather of anyone liberal is the Age of Enlightenment. This wave of new thinking stuck its nose up at religion, tradition, and good common sense. That nose hasn't come down yet.
- And yet, its all your fault. When you are liberal the weight of the world rests on your shoulders cause you should have known better. I have some friends that call this "white guilt" for their middle class white male friends who defend the poor/helpless/marginalized. I think this is where the cut-down, "bleeding heart liberal" comes from.
Another reason I have a problem with liberal Christians is that I've been exposed to close-minded liberals in the seminary I attended. Let me explain in the nicest way possible...
Candler tries to be inclusive. And I praise God there is a place where people can be heard when they couldn't be heard before. The diversity and inclusive thought of Candler are wonderful strengths to offer for any school where you seek the face of God and the voice of Jesus. There is just one problem for me - in some ways, Candler is a very non-inclusive school. If you are conservative minded (theologically or politically) you dare not raise your voice in that place because you will get shouted down. You will be embarrassed socially. People will look at you funny and literally tell you how stupid you are and how you must have come from the back woods of Alabama. In trying to give voices to the marginalized, we have created a new walls that we justify as the right thing to do. Give them a dose of their own medicine right? Yeah. That's always worked throughout history....
And that my friend is why I can't be liberal. It is not the great salvation of the human race. Liberals are so thoroughly convinced that they are right (and show it with their actions) when in truth their agendas and social action teams lack any kind of love that might be mistaken for acceptance of someone who thinks differently.
I hope my church always has liberal people in it. I hope they will continue to call out those who need to be called out and lift up the broken and downtrodden. Don't leave...stay and help others see the walls that keep others out. Stay and help us see the chains that keep people down.
So there it is...I just can't call myself liberal. But I love you - my liberal friends. You remind me every day how this world could be a better place if I would take the risks you are taking (and thats a good thing)