I am not a Plank

As we begin yet another week of posturing and rhetoric that reduces people to labeled pawns in the great American political game I want to invite folks to listen deeply for the stories of people who, at first glance, seem alien to you .

As each issue rolls across the stage remind yourself (and perhaps those around you) that you are not an “issue”.  I am not an issue or simply some bauble to be dangled in front of cameras glaring for the next controversy.  I am not a Plank.  I am a woman, a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend, a wife, a teacher, a student, a lover, a writer, a Christian and a child of God.  I will not wait any longer for my rights in my country to equal yours.  I should no longer be afraid to tell the doctors caring for our children that I am ALSO their mom – terrified that my daughter might receive less or no care in moments of critical need.  I should not have to worry if someone will take my children from me because I am too controversial right now.  We should not teeter on the brink of ruin if my partner is injured or killed in the line of duty. I REFUSE to keep watching and reading of children taking their own lives because “good Christians” look the other way or even watch pridefully while their own children bully babies to death.

We are not an issue my friends nor are we some fictional, monolithic “lifestyle”.   We are Children of God, beloved by our creator and ready to take our rightful place in our society that is groaning toward justice.

Underneath the Planks there are millions of real people, joyful and broken souls, hopeful and tired hearts, holding up the grand stage on which the drama unfolds.

Remember, it’s not policy – it’s people.

 

About Kimberly Knight

Kimberly has a long history of back-pew sitting, Wednesday night supper eatin' and generally trying God’s patience since 1969. She's lucky enough to have made her technology addiction a career and serves as both the Director of Digital Strategy as a southern liberal arts college and Minister of Digital community with Extravagance UCC.

  • Dwight Davis

    This is fantastic. I absolutely love the beauty of the writing and the passion exhibited here.

    I’ve recently undergone the journey from having a typical conservative evangelical view of homosexuality to being more progressive and accepting and, most importantly I think, loving to my homosexual brothers and sisters. If you and your family are ever in Birmingham, AL, my wife and I would love to cook a meal for you.

  • Hilary

    What struck me most reading the different platforms on marriage between the parties was not just the difference of opinion, but the strenght of the language used. The Republican position was from a place of fear, and the Democratic posistion was from a place of confidence. The Rebulican language was of being under terrible attack, a horrible threat to the very fabric of civilization. The fear that if the ‘Other’ becomes your equal, then you are somehow less equal. There was no room for a straight, married person to look at a gay person who wants to be legally married and say. “Your equality does not threaten mine – I don’t have to be afraid of you.”

    The Democratic position was one that embraced equality between different types of families without fear. A straight married man could look a gay married man in the eye and say, “Before the law we can both protect our families, and your equality does not threaten mine. I am no less a man and husband for you being a man and husband.” There is even room respect disagreement without fear, in that the platform expressly states that no religious institution would be forced to officiate any type of marriage ceremony against their beliefs. This is the confidence and strenght that does not need fear.

    You are so, so right that people are not planks. We, GLBT families and beloved allies are not planks or platforms or some hypothetical lifestyle that will reck havoc and distruction. There is real pain, fear, love, and joy in our lives. But there are also real people behind the platform on the other side, with real fear, pain, joy and love. And when someone wants to cut your throat out of fear that you will try to cut theirs, it is really hard to see past protecting your own jugular to see and try to calm their fear. What you are doing here, telling stories to de-Otherize people is the only way I can see to try and reach past that fear. I support you wholehearted and will try to help as I can.

    I’m not sure where it is in the New Testament, but I have come across it on various Christian blogs and posts:
    ‘Perfect love casts out all fear.” I think that’s the best we got going for ourselves.

    Shalom – Hilary

    • Kimberly

      Wonderfully said Hilary, thank you for shining a light on the vastly different tones of rhetoric.

  • http://proseandthorn.net Perry

    Terrific, Kimberly! If you think about it, what is a bible but an intransigent platform for institutionalized religion? At least political platforms are mutable.

  • Susan H.

    Amen, Kimberly!

  • Ian Lynch

    It is interesting that some of the pushback in our church’s conversation about creating an Open & Affirming statement is against labeling. While we all wish that “all” really meant all, we still know that we must name the marginalized in specific ways so that they may be included. A fine line that is important to walk.

  • http://um-insight.net Cynthia Astle

    Amen, Kimberly! Count our family among those Christians who also believe that God loves all people unconditionally, and that all people regardless of any condition or status are entitled to human rights. What’s more, we not only believe this, we work to support it and we vote! Always remember: No “plank,” no regulation, no law, no human action, nothing can ever separate us from God’s love shown through Jesus, the Christ.

    • Kimberly Knight

      Um, Cynthia you rock! Grace flows unfettered :)


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