In the new age of acceptable fascism, I guess the thing I find most troublesome is how familiar it feels. I stood in Dachau Concentration Camp as a child. I looked at all the photos and the ovens. I stood there as a five year old and have never been able to shake that feeling. I loved Germans. I spoke German fluently as a child. How could they have done this? Or stood by and let it happen? And the rest of us? Where were we?
I sat in a Southern Baptist Church in Arkansas for the last time as a young woman while the minister spat into the microphone that all the gays should go back into the closet with the other skeletons. I grew up around the kind of Christianity that refuses to acknowledge the full humanity of Methodists, black people, brown people, immigrants, Catholics, Mormons, rich people, anyone on welfare. Jesus, the list goes on and on. My family thought the KKK was horrible, but warned me never to go into the black neighborhood two streets from my grandmother’s house.
You can’t have fascism without bigotry. They are intertwined. And being stared at in a restaurant because I’m laughing with my wife hadn’t happened for a number of years, but man, when it happened this summer, all the hair on my neck stood up and I kept track of that guy until he finally left in a huff. How dare those queer people enjoy themselves in front of my family!
Finding and loving Mary, and being loved in return is the best of me. It’s neither a shameful thing nor an immoral thing. And you’ll have trouble arguing that Jesus supports you if you disapprove of my relationship when that is clearly not the case. I promise you, the Jesus from your book is a fan of me, and my love. He would eat at my table; he would hold me in his arms. He would stand in my wedding party and bless us.
Dude was a radical. A proponent of love and the impoverished. A warrior against the rich and the greedy and the corrupt. He did not dig the self righteous.
Do not be silent now in the face of fascism. Do not be silent. This is no time to let the most vulnerable be terrorized because you don’t like to feel uncomfortable. Fuck your comfort. Morality is not relative. What we are witnessing in America is wrong. And if we refuse to act, if we only watch and do not speak, do not organize, do not protest, then we have failed one another. And we have failed ourselves. You have to invest in seeing people around you as the other. You have to invest in that. Or you can choose love. A lighter burden. A better path.