Thursday, May 19, 2016

Are we really making fun of LGBT people?

I shared this photo this morning . . .

Underneath was a link to the article by Daily Snark - "Tony Romo Arrested in North Carolina for Using the Men's Bathroom."  It was just too funny not to share.  I am a rabid Eagles fan - I bleed green.  As a result, the Cowboys will always be The Evil Empire.

So after posting it there were a couple of people that got offended.  By their comments, they seemed to indicate that we were making fun of transgendered people.

I wasn't.  I was making fun of the Cowboys by saying the quarterback wasn't a man.  It's a joke - I don't really believe he's not a man.   That is what jokes do - they overstate things.

America . . . please listen.  You need to relax.

I am using Romo as a proxy for my disgust of a team by saying he is more of a woman than a man.  This does not mean I have anything against women.  I married one - I think they are great!

The joke in comparing him to a woman is that football is a very masculine game (hitting and tackling).  In the majority of the cases, women have feminine traits (not hitting or tackling).  So it was like I was saying Romo is more feminine and therefore not a good football player.  I am sure there are some great woman football players - but the majority of them aren't.  Sorry, it's just the truth.  It doesn't mean women are any less - it just means they aren't as good at football than men (in like 95.2% of the cases).  

It kind of robs the humor of it when you have to explain it.

We can and should have a laugh at this.  Loosen the belt a little bit here folks.  The humor is not about LGBT people and it is not even about women.  It is not saying masculinity is superior.  It is only saying masculinity is a necessary ingredient for football (and Romo lacks it).  Ha!  And it really has nothing to do with gender anyhow.  

We might laugh at a similar headline: "Rosie O-Donnell arrested for trying to use the women's room in North Carolina."  She is a pretty masculine figure - it is the stereotype we are having fun with here in both instances.  It would be funny watching Rob Gronkowski (or Rosie O'Donnell for that matter) dancing Swan Lake - because the required feminine grace would be missing.

This says nothing about how femininity or grace are superior.  And no one is saying we should make anyone ashamed for struggling with identity or any issue for that matter.

So no one is targeting innocent LGBT kids.  The only way we are making things unsafe for anyone is being so quick to jump to offended status.  Laugh a little.  This is a very difficult time for our nation to figure out how to respectfully balance the needs of the LGBT community with the non-LGBT community.  Christians especially should not be quick to write off the deep needs of the LGBT community.  We all struggle with what it means to be human.  We all need grace.  I think we will figure this bathroom thing out eventually but it is probably going to take some time.

In the mean time, let's have a little fun at our own expense . . .

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What in the world are Christians thinking?

The last few weeks have been very confusing for me.  I don't think I know who we are as a country anymore.  This is not about politics and political leaders - this is about people who want to follow Jesus - who are we really?

This is also about how people who are not-yet believers and how they are watching this whole spectacle.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took my sons to a Trump rally to see what the carnival was all about.  Turns out there were a lot of American 'Christians' who were very shady and ready for a fight . . . with anyone.  I couldn't believe even old people were okay with the obscenities flying around.

It really hit me that the majority of the people in this crowd would identify as Christian.  Probably a good percentage would identify as "Evangelical."  They looked and talked nothing like Jesus.  

It was really weird.  My unbelieving friends would wonder what in the world Christians are doing supporting this guy.  Especially when the Bible says this about fools:  

- A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.  (Prov 18:2)
- Be not quick in your spirit to become angry for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. (Eccl 7:9)
- If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs and there is no quiet. (Prov 29:9)
- A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. (Prov 16:7)

Be honest - the description is fitting . . .

And I am not being unduly harsh.  These are his words:

"I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness….Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?"  Cited here.

Most of our presidents were not choir boys - I get it - but if we are going to vote for someone who clearly operates so far outside of our beliefs, then I have two questions:

* Are we really Christian?  (Technically America is 77% Christian)  Is that only in name? (Gallup)   Is this fall the great unmasking of "Christian" America?    

* If we really are Christian then how has our faith been so lowered to think that our only hope is to support the lesser of two evils?

That's a fools choice.  

A fool's choice is believing that there are only two options - both are bad - and so you opt for the one that is least damaging.  

Why is it foolish?  Because there are higher callings in life than expediency or pragmatism.  Life is bigger than politics.  God is bigger than election cycles.  Many believe the alternative to Trump is a compulsive liar.  Good chance that is true - but our faith needs to be bigger than two people who are far from where they should be.  Don't let your fear of the future compromise on what you know is true.

Perhaps the greatest exercise of our faith this November would be to stay true to what Jesus tells us is right rather than picking fools over liars.