I recently had posted a small rant at Black Girl In Maine’s blog, and it has me thinking about other things in life.
I’m middle class in everything that counts for that socioeconomic status, except for the money, in a nation where money seems to be the big defining thing for people’s worth and their ability to access things like healthcare, which should be a bit more of a right, and a lot less of a luxury.
I call myself a left-leaning moderate, and that’s pretty much true, but then again, it isn’t. I am liberal; it’s just that I have a few right-leaning viewpoints that make most liberals blanch and therefore get me kicked out of the liberal club. So no matter how much some people might try to label me a “radical liberal” for a few specific viewpoints, the fact is that I’m a primarily liberal guy who isn’t left-wing.
Running off that, I’m liberal and progressive in many aspects of religion, even though I put my faith in the Bible being the Word of God. I have some very fundamental beliefs, but at the same time, the spin I see in them and the implications that feel true to me often run counter to what many fundamentalists and evangelistic folks believe. Because, I believe there is a Hell and there is a Satan, but I don’t think that everyone who fails to confess Jesus with their mouth is destined to go there. I don’t feel comfortable with abortion, but I also refuse to demonize those who have them or who support a woman’s right to choose. I believe that churches shouldn’t be forced to marry same-sex couples, but I believe that they should be able to get actual marriages that are in every way equivalent to traditional marriages.
In the end, what I feel like is a man without a country in a sense. It’s not that I think I’m the only one who has these beliefs and feelings; I know I’m not.
But among Christians, I feel I cannot open up about many topics honestly. Among liberals, I don’t feel I can be open about all my views. Among my peers, I don’t feel like I can be honest about my financial woes. Because in each of these groups, to be open is going to make people uncomfortable and treat me differently than before. No matter how many other things we share in common, the differences are what will stand out.
I’m no saint, but one thing I do know about myself is that I accept people mostly for who they are, and it’s rare that I hold a person’s differences against them. At the same time, I find that most people who claim to be open-minded and fair don’t share this trait, and so I must be on guard about what I say, lest I end up with even fewer people to talk to and hang out with than I already have.