Us and Them (Plus a Very Off-Topic Bonus Gloat)

The bonus gloat is this: As I type, I'm listening to the audio recording I made of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's sermon (he consecrated our new bishop last weekend, it was fantastic). My tail is about to wag right off my butt.

Meanwhile, back in real life...

I'm hearing so much "us and them" lately. Partly because of the upcoming midterm elections, but also in social spheres.

I visited an older woman today, who said she wishes they'd keep national and international news out of the newspaper, because she only wants to know what's happening locally-- or at least in the United States.

I listened to a group of (WASP) Christians speak disparagingly about "Southerners," and then in the same breath heard them say that they can't understand why a "black man would run for office in Tennessee."

I'm co-leading Adult Formation on other faiths, and I was discouraged from pointing out that our video explained Judaism from a Christian perspective-- possibly not telling the story the same way a Jewish person would.

I want to love. I want to be respectful. I want to be in relationship. But I don't like to consent through silence to this American-Christian view that we're the only important people in the world. I want the freedom to speak-- and I usually take it, but I won't as a guest in someone else's parish.

I spent time with a wonderful woman on Monday who has the same concerns-- that our arrogance, and our self-concern, are not at all Christlike. Our self-righteousness is dangerous, and pride goeth before the fall. Would that we would all identify it in ourselves. That when we pray each week, "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us," we would consider how we've trampled other people's boundaries, their safety, their dignity.

Forgive us. For what we have done, and for what we have left undone.


  1. Anonymous11:10 PM

    My tail would be skipping down the street all by itself if I were you! What a fantastic experience!

    I am also getting very weary of the "us vs. them" rhetoric. Neither "side" (as if there were only 2 sides!) is immune to this type of unloving and unhelpful talk. Thanks for your thoughful post.

  2. Beautiful post! All sides seem to have become so judgmental about anyone not specifically aligned with "their" side. It wastes time and puts up false barricades.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins