My intended audience are fellow liberal dudes who aren’t threatened by the idea of working for a female boss or having a woman serving as POTUS and Commander in Chief. Men who believe that hard work should pay off, and yet also see the need for single-payer national health care. Guys who, while perhaps not perfect, have shed much of the toxic forms of masculinity and have owned and integrated the healthy kinds of masculinity – including embracing and integrating our inner divine-feminine sides. Guys who’ve done all of this and still love: rocking out to heavy metal, riding motorcycles, camping, fishing, hunting, pumping iron at the gym, getting our hands dirty – putting in a hard days work, enjoying a good pour of suds, rooting for a favorite sports team, enjoying action movies; cussing like sailors, and who laugh at fart jokes (well, not necessarily all of that, but you get what I’m saying). Healthy liberal guys who provide the “polarity” (energetic drive and difference) that many cis-straight women crave.
Wait. Did you hear that?
And, you know why they think we don’t care for them? Simple. It’s because we don’t. They see us rolling our eyes when they pull up. They notice when we avert our eyes away from them not even give them the time of day. They may have hatred in them and act out in ugly ways, but they aren’t stupid. They feel our disdain and loathing. And the more they feel it, the more they double down and act-out.
Bottom line: Liberal brothers we’re complicit in the hatred our conservative brothers are spewing out and projecting into the world. We’re complicit in the deaths when some of them resort to mass-shootings to express their rage. We’re complicit to the extent that we FEED the sense our hurting brothers have that we don’t care about them. We’re complicit to the extent that we avoid befriending them and learn how things are going in their lives. Shame SHAME on us for being so f’ing judgmental and elitist about who we choose to associate with and be seen with.
Fact: Even if the House of Representatives impeaches Trump; even if the Senate convicts him – and VP Pence – and giving them the boot; our nation will still be in trouble and face the real and present danger of men who feel increasingly ostracized, shamed, and shunned for wearing hats and t-shirts that support certain political views and affiliations, and being in trades and vocations that are in harms way due to ill-conceived governmental policies (ironically including ones imposed by Trump) and the shifting of societal values.
I for one am going to befriend some dudes who I otherwise wouldn’t. I for one am going look them in the eyes and offer a brotherly smile when I see them pull up next to me. I for one will give a nod of recognition“I see you man. I meet you. We’re sharing this moment, this life, together. I care.”
I for one will firmly shake their hands – silently telling them that I’m a pacifist they want on their side in a bar fight.* I for one will go out of my way to talk to them at the fuel pumps, stores, and bars. I for one will banter with them about sports and the weather. I for one am going to seek to befriend them and hear about their lives. I for one am going to learn the names of their pets and children. I for one am going to learn about their joys, hopes, fears, and dreams. I for one am going to attend the funerals of their aging parents when they die. I for one am going to give a damn. I for one am going to start being the Christian (and just plain ol’ upstanding civilized citizen and good neighbor) that I’ve been pretending to be too long.
Yes, I’ll continue to canvass for the candidate of my choice (for one of the women running); yes, I’ll show up to vote in November 2020; but this is the work that matters.
I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Jesus, Matthew 5:44
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. Paul, 2 Corinthians 18-20
XX – Roger (moved to Iowa City, IA this past summer)
***UPDATE: Friends, posting this piece first as a status update, then as a blog, on Facebook has apparently led to my account on Facebook being disabled – apparently permanently. I suspect that their algorithm robotic scanners may’ve seen some words in this piece that are terms often used by those engaging in hate speech – and assumed that I was doing that. It’s right and well for Facebook to not allow hate speech on the forum, but I’m clearly not calling for more hate, but rather, increased love. I don’t think human eyes read my article – just their robotic scanners. If any of you have any connections to the powers that be over at Facebook please let them or me know! Thank you. – Roger
** New Update: I wrote a new blog on Dec. 9 that offers a gentler version of this piece. It may land better for some. See: “Can we Cancel Cancel Culture?”
[Photo above of me and my brother-in-law doing some “manly” work recently helping out my parents. He and I don’t share much in common theologically or politically (though surprisingly more than I originally assumed). We have more in common than not and we can work together to make the world a better place.]
* homage to Stanley Hauerwas, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and Tex Sample.
Rev. Roger Wolsey is a certified Spiritual Director, United Methodist pastor, and author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity
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