The Post Where I Talk about White Christian Radicalized Racists and Lose a Lot of Readers But That’s Okay Because This is Getting Ridiculous, Ya’ll.

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Facebook.

Wow, huh?

Over the past several days I’ve watched friends post incredibly racist things about Muslims and scratched my head. Because I know if I say, “Um, excuse me guys. My husband was once a 2 year old little Muslim refugee” they would respond “Oh, well we don’t mean him, Fayez is great, it’s just those others…”

And that just doesn’t wash. Because that’s like someone saying, “You just can’t trust women, they all look the same and any one of them could be a real bitch, oh, but not you, Liz. You’re okay.”

No thank you.

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And then I saw a Christian friend post this. And something inside my head snapped. Like, literally I heard a snap like a rubber band popping or a twig breaking.

I’m watching a lot of white people become just as racist and close minded and in some cases, radicalized, as the Muslims they fear (*sidenote… they’ve likely never even spoken with a Muslim before). From the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, to the attack just this week on the mosque in Quebec City…it’s clear that something is going awry with the white folks.

And then I’m watching Christians who have heart attacks over whether the government is going to make them bake a cake for gay people make a million excuses for why those Syrian children don’t need to be here, or need to be screened for more than the already allotted two year vetting process (if my husband had had to wait for two years for safe place to live he might not be here today).

If this is the spirit of Christ I’ll eat my shoe.

I don’t know why this surprises me. This is a facet of life that African Americans have known about and experienced since, well, forever. As that old quote goes, “Racism isn’t an opinion, it’s an offense.” But I suppose I’m like most people, and sadly didn’t understand until this hit home on my own doorstep.

“But Liz, don’t you worry about your safety? Don’t you worry about 9-11 happening again?”

Of course. I live in New York City. I also worry about the skulking man at the end of the subway car being a serial rapist and following me home. I worry about an extremist white guy barging into my local movie theater with a ton of guns that he bought with very little effort or red tape. I worry about all the super-bugs that antibiotics can’t cure.

The bottom line is, yes, terrible crap can happen. And terrible crap will happen eventually. That is life. That is the cost of admission for living and breathing on this planet.

But it’s the constant worry, and belligerent anger, and racism, and radicalism that results from fear that I categorically reject.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Timothy 1:7

Fear is not the spirit of God. Fear never produces a sound mind (or judgement). And apparently, fear makes angry white Christians post insanely racist memes on Facebook. Like. A lot. I will no longer make excuses for these people and say things like “they’re just stuck in their ways” or “they mean well” or “they have a good heart deep down.”

When people tell you who they are, you should believe them.

I reject the brand of Christian benevolence that only applies to American white folks.

My Jesus was a Middle Eastern man who came to flip the tables of the religious and have dinner with the tax collectors.

I am thankful that the UK and Canada provided a safe refuge and home to my husband and his family. I’m thankful that I married into their family so that I could experience a group of people who follow Islam and show love to those around them, and who accept me and my faith and my daughter without reservations.

I categorically reject the racism I see right now.

I categorically reject the fear that is floating so thickly in our ether.

I will put one foot in front of the other and call it out, and love my family, and smile at people who look differently than me. I will pray that God intervenes not only on the world stage, but also in the white-fueled anger polluting our churches and communities.

I’ve never been good at straddling fences. I see no reason to start now.

Because this is ridiculous, ya’ll.

 

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44 Comments

  1. ellebee says:

    Not losing this reader! One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi, something like “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” Thank you for being unafraid to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jess says:

    *standing ovation* 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
    Watching all of this unfold from Canada and I have had to unfriend/unfollow so many people on Facebook because of exactly what you stated so well here. thank you.

    Like

  3. Deb says:

    Thank you for speaking out. This isn’t a time to sit back, hold our tongues and let things unfold, because what’s unfolding is downright scary.

    Like

  4. Susan Michelle Buckley says:

    Life was easier before Facebook. Most people would not dare say the things they are willing to write on Facebook. Through Facebook I have learned things about extended family and friends that make me me want to cringe and question all I knew about them. It is a sad time.

    During these times I keep on coming back to a quote from Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sarah says:

    Another reader sticking by you! This is such a well-written post, Liz. As a Canadian, I am very fortunate not to live under Trump’s rule but I am very fearful of the future. I am fearful of what he wi do to everyone who is different. His election to the presidency and his first actions are so similar to Hitler’s when he was elected as the Chancellor of Germany in 1936.

    Like

  6. SueZK says:

    Liz, as usual you are the sound of sanity, of intelligence and of well informed information. Your blog is wonderful and I wish you and your sweet family peace. Keep writing. We love your words

    Like

  7. rolandixor says:

    I’m glad you wrote this. I wish I could send it to some people I know, but I unfriended some people on FB over this same issue (though some people I still have in my friends list also need to see this). Mind you, I did get a little out of hand with *one* statement (though not as one might think – reading that) – and I regret that – but I do not regret feeling passionately about the way that my people (Christian people) are misrepresenting the (Man behind the title) Christ they so boldly proclaim to be like.

    Where has the compassion gone? We can bark all day about SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN SIN… But we can’t seem to see the SIN staring us in the face – every time we speak in such a heartless tone about people who have nothing more than the breath in their nostrils!

    To be honest it disgusts me and more than any other sin a person could commit (sexual or otherwise) – THIS is the one issue that sometimes makes me not want to be identified with “these people”… Though I don’t say this because I think myself as better than them, but rather – because I wish that *we* (as a collective) could do much better!

    Like

  8. Michele says:

    What a timely and brave post! Thank you, Liz! Living in rural Kansas, I’m surrounded by folks who have never met someone of the Islamic faith. I’ve had the opportunity to know only one and she is a precious, loving, beautiful soul. I wish I knew how to guide others through their fear so they may see the person, rather than a twisted ideology projected onto an entire faith.

    Like

  9. Sarah says:

    Well said! I, too, have been particularly confused, disappointed, and angered by the views of people who claim to be “Christian”. The hypocrisy is startling. I think those of us with different views need to continue to speak out, but, even more importantly, I think it is our everyday actions that can be most powerful. Kudos to you for taking a stand during these difficult times.

    Like

  10. LizzyFerro says:

    I feel this post on every level – I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out how to interact with people that I used to love and respect, that have become so toxic. I’ve tried to explain that this isn’t a republican vs. democrat thing, but rather, basic human decency – they fail to see that though. Thank you for sharing your feelings so eloquently. ❤

    Like

  11. I feel this post on every level – I’ve been struggling with trying to figure out how to interact with people that I used to love and respect, that have become so toxic. I’ve tried to explain that this isn’t a republican vs. democrat thing, but rather, basic human decency – they fail to see that though. Thank you for sharing your feelings so eloquently. ❤

    Like

  12. Liz. . .You can’t get rid of me that easy!! I love the Lord too. . .and HATE what is going on in our country. On the flip side of what you wrote. . .I have been “attacked” on FB by radicals from the other side of the fence. . .one in particular takes offense that I DO NOT post anything about what is going on. . .but instead post about worshipping the King! In that conversation I DID NOT stand down. . .let God’s love ABOUND! #wearenottojudgeothers

    Like

  13. Jenn says:

    Facebook feels toxic lately. I’m thinking about breaking up with it. Or at least a Ross and Rachel style break. But, I’m with you, I hear you. I think I’m dumbfounded at how many people I know who have awful, ignorant and ugly things to say that also say they know Jesus. It makes me sick. I’m still trying to find my voice in this mess. I’m encouraged that you’ve found yours.

    Like

  14. Diane says:

    I have commented here before, mostly because your posts shine with love. We, my husband and I, are atheists, and I’ve had a friend of more than twenty years state that “liberals are all atheists and have horns and worship the devil”. This is SO NOT TRUE, and I let her know that. I told her that I stopped believing in her God when I was 13 years old, and now at the age of just shy of 63 have still not grown horns. I let her know that the person she has become over the past 18 months and her following of Trump has turned her into “someone I don’t know anymore”. Atheists are filled with love, we simply don’t worship a God, and not all liberals are atheists. We want goodness and love on earth for everyone, and the current administration in Washington D.C. appears to not want good things for anyone other than the top 1%. My stomach churns every day due to not only what is happening today, but what our future in America holds for us all. Thanks for your post, Liz, Love…. the hornless one.

    Like

  15. Sandie says:

    Agree! I’ve had to limit my news intake, because all this hate hurts my very soul. I want to respond with love ALWAYS, but it is exhausting. So I’ve checked out of most social media, well most media, and focus on finding new ways to love….. Be well

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Susan Falkenbach says:

    Hi Liz,
    Loooong time reader here, I love you so much, for being brave enough to call out the racism, hate and hypocrisy that is the antithesis of the Gospel.

    How did everything get so upside down?

    Thank you for speaking truth & saying what needs to be said. As Christ followers, we cannot afford to be silent.

    Like

  17. Joy says:

    Thank you Liz, for being the voice of so many of us that feel so strongly the way you do but could never put it together with such passion and truth. Incredibly frustrating to know there is still so much prejudice and ignorance ( same thing , I guess) in this world. But so hopeful and relieved to know there are people like you speaking out. Bless you!

    Like

  18. somer says:

    since the pre-jane days of curbside trash turned spray painted treasure, i have enjoyed your musings and your style, but today i would like to truly thank you. i haven’t been able to form the words so eloquently myself. reading yours i felt comforted. it is a good and wonderful thing to find others, with grace and compassion, on my side of the fence. so again…thank you.

    Like

  19. Holly says:

    Beautifully said! I’ve been reading you for years and I’ll continue to until you sadden us by no longer writing. I agree with you 100% and have been unfriending on my own FB like it’s going out of style. Thank you for your words and inspiration, you are that breath of fresh air that is so needed.

    Like

  20. Cristy says:

    Liz, I’ve been reading you for many many years and I just love you & worry about you when you don’t post.

    I got off FB many years ago, too overwhelming, annoying and depressing, and so many people are so fake and post such ugly things. When I found I’d blocked more than I’d ever had as friends, I got out. Now I avoid listening to NPR in order to avoid hearing Trump’s smarmy voice and his shenanigans.

    Thank you for continuing to write and post photos, thanks for continuing to speak your truth. Also, you make me miss NYC.

    Like

  21. Elizabeth S. says:

    Coming late to this. I lost all my blog links a few years ago and just happened to google yours today, so I don’t know what you’ve been writing about lately — but thank you for this post. When the loudest voices lately have been intolerant and angry ones, I am happy to see Christians asserting the values of love, acceptance, and compassion.

    Like

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