What if we have an opportunity with this Rick Warren controversy?
First let me preface my diary by stating that I'm a Religious Scientist (not a Scientologist, click here for a wikipedia article.) I believe that everything we experience in life is coming from our own belief of the world.
That is a HARD thing to have to balance with something as initially disturbing as Rick Warren's selection to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration.
Unlike those that support HRC and the Log Cabin Republicans, I believe that everyone in the GLBT community deserves full human rights NOW. Unlike many, I believe that the anti-GLBT dialogue from those like Rick Warren contributes to the huge spike in anti-GLBT violence which was beautifully summarized by PICO over on Daily Kos today. How our leaders speak sets the tone by which people act and react.
When I saw Rick Warren was Obama's choice, I felt betrayed. However, these last few days, I've been wrestling with my own tendency to view myself as a victim of circumstances – even those circumstances that are fully within my control.
Victim/not victim. What is the difference? In the abstract, that's not difficult to understand.
In the moment of seeing what is clearly an abandonment, or a turning away after WE helped him get elected it's not as easy.
I agree with the folks who are complaining that in saying that he is for working together in spite of differences and what's gone in the past, Obama is saying that it we (the GLBT community) that has to give up being right and come across the aisle to shake hands and accept Rick Warren.
What if that's what Obama has in mind for us?
The other night, someone commenting on a GLBT themed diary on Daily Kos made the joke that without us, straight people are destined to have bad clothing, hair and drink cheap wine from a box.
Okay, you grinned, you know you did.
Even when we in the GLBT community are feeling most abused and diminished, we know that deep down we're very special people. What if Obama is, knowingly or unknowingly, calling for us to step forward and BE special?
Again, I've been wrestling with my own thinking and personality in the last week, and at that micro level (which is quite macro for me, thanks, but in the scheme of things..) I've been seeing where being right about being victimized has kept me back. Engaged in whipping up big drama has kept me back.
We are righteously whipping up big drama over Rick Warren's selection.
Is that what will best serve us as a people?
One thought – Rick Warren is giving the invocation. Dr. Joseph Lowery is giving the benediction. Rick Warren starts, but Dr. Lowery finishes.
Is that not a metaphor for what is happening here? We're starting the ceremony with self-righteousness, focusing on those that appear different so as to gain advantage, and selfish greed – and we're ending up with inclusion and acceptance and working together regardless of the apparent differences.
Moving from one to the opposite way of handling things. If we move to inclusion and acceptance and working together, we're going to HAVE to include and accept those that have not and do not accept us.
What if we, the GLBT community have this glorious opportunity to LEAD?
The website DailyOm today posted a spot-on comment about exactly this. They couldn't have known that we'd be wrestling with Rick Warren today. It's serendipity, if you believe in that, or it's the word of Spirit right at the moment it's needed, if you believe in that.
I'm going to give you the opening paragraph, but because of copyright and the site's TOS, you'll have to click through to read it all.
I don't know how exactly we're going to lead from this, but how about we start to look for ways to do so that aren't reaching back to the last 28 years and trying to be the powers that be that dictate terms to the other side? How about if we in the GLBT community follow the words of our newly elected leader, which are so poignant and so needed right now, and we accept, love, and work with everyone?
What if GLBT people were viewed as not only the ones with all the style, wit, flair and vibrance, but we also were the ones that gave the world peace and hope?
If we can create what we have already done, marginalized and closeted, we can do this. If we can create lasting community service organizations to help ourselves when the straight community abandoned us in righteous judgment over AIDS, we can do this.
It's a far more empowering mission than figuring out how to gain revenge for betrayal.
December 19, 2008
The Great Transformer
Loving What You Hate
“Hatred can be irrational, and it has a greater impact on the individual who hates than the person or object being hated. Yet overcoming hatred is difficult because hatred reinforces itself and causes greater enmity to come into being. The most powerful tool one can use to combat hatred is love. Deciding to love what you hate, whether this is a person, situation, or a part of yourself, can create a profound change in your feelings and your experience. There is little room for anger, dislike, bitterness, or resentment when you are busy loving what you hate. The practice of loving what you hate can transform and shift your emotions from hatred to love, because there is no room for hatred in a space occupied by love.”