God Help Us

The DMV (The District, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) went blue, so the pallor on the city is still palpable. As I was shopping, I overheard many exclamations of disgust… most loudly from minorities because the election said to them just how much they’re worth…. including me. Losing marriage equality doesn’t affect me right this moment, but it will in the future if Trump is serious that erasing it will unify the country. I also have a few friends that work in The White House that are about to lose their jobs (no, the President and I are not close…. yet), which is always the case when the country switches parties, but it doesn’t ease their uncertainty for what the future will bring. The good thing is that since they have experience working in The West Wing, they’ll probably graduate from humble public servants to highly valued private sector consultants and lawyers. The good news is that the inauguration is not tomorrow. They’ve got time to find jobs. But uncertainty is always unsettling… and the plain fact is that there’s a lot of it.

What is settling to me is that I live in a very diverse neighborhood that will not stand for the asshattery of prejudice. People will stand up for me, and I for them. I can only hope that the reports from the rest of the country on bullying are overblown, but I don’t think so. I think that Trump’s foul language (not cursing- I don’t give a fuck about that) regarding racism and homophobia have allowed others to stop hiding their true beliefs and put away the masks they’ve worn in public for all too long. The one good thing about blatant racism and homophobia is that you know who to avoid up front, instead of everyone being nice to your face and luring you into false security.

I didn’t write anything yesterday because I wasn’t clear-headed. I ate myself into a stupor as I thought about the direction my life would take over the next four to eight years… that in DC, it is possible but not probable that I would be the victim of violence as well. The reason I say this is that locals are infinitely kind and welcoming. It feels at times like it is The Gayest Place on Earth.™ I’m not the only gay person in my neighborhood, not even the only gay person on my street. It feels good to have people.

Dan and I went to lunch today and it was amazing to have calm in the midst of chaos. We talked about everything and nothing as we sipped our smoothies, because honestly, liquid lunch was what I could handle today after eating my weight in Doritos, snack size candy bars, and fudge-covered graham crackers yesterday. Some people were hung over from alcohol. I was sluggish to the point that it reminded me of an old Dennis the Menace commercial:

Dennis: Hey Tommy, want to eat jellybeans until we get sick?
Tommy: Sure! I’m kinda sick right now!

I am not convinced that this is our darkest time as a nation, but certainly feeling the most trepidation since 9/11, mostly because I have a front row seat to all the madness. Living in Houston and Portland, I had maybe one friend who was directly affected, but even then it would have been tempered by separation. Seeing their faces is difficult because I am absolutely the person that wants to fix ALL THE THINGS. I am in a very helpless place, because if a Republican had been elected, it would have been sad, but we all would have gotten over it. Electing a reality star that knows nothing about government is just beyond the pale.

I get wanting to reject the establishment. I really do. But this time, we are electing someone who’s never had a government job in his life and has no idea how the government works. He’s never even been on a school board… and if I thought back in the day that Barack Obama was all hat and no cattle because he was a one-term Senator, I mean it in a hyperbolic, histrionic intensity regarding our new leader.

However, unlike President Obama, I do not think that Trump will turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread. He has opened the floodgates for more violence, and this time, it’s personal. Christ Congregational is my church:

Press Release
Silver Spring, MD, November 10, 2016:

Vandalized Black Lives Matter sign on election night prompts local church and elected officials to support Black Lives in Montgomery County

For the fourth time, a prominent Black Lives Matter banner has been destroyed outside of Christ Congregational Church, UCC in Silver Spring, MD. The latest vandalism occurred on election night, stoking fears that after a divisive and harmful presidential campaign, the president-elect’s victory now validates a message of exclusion and marginalization of non-White communities.

“We are committed to forging a community, nation, and world of justice and just peace. We believe these conditions will only be attained through care and respect for each other, especially through dismantling unjust social structures that contribute to racism — and by attention to God’s aims for our community,” said Rev. Dr. Matthew Braddock, Sr. Minister of the church, in response to the most recent vandalism.

A press conference will be held at Christ Congregational Church on Friday, November 11 at 10:00 AM. Our purpose is to:

  1. Show that we are not a community that will tolerate hate.
  2. Reaffirm our position to value and support Black lives in Silver Spring and Montgomery County.
  3. Establish Christ Congregational Church as a safe place for African Americans, and other groups, who feel they are being mistreated in Silver Spring to make their grievances known.

Speakers will include:

  • County Officials
  • County Clergy
  • County Social Justice Organizations

Christ Congregational Church welcomes and celebrates people of all races, cultures, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

Christ Congregational Church is located at:
9525 Colesville Rd.
Silver Spring MD. 20904

Contact: Rev. Dr. Matthew Braddock
301.325.4240 (mobile)
matt@cccsilverspring.org

Rev. Jeffrey O. Thames, Sr.
301-385-6343 (Cell)

There has been violence in my neighborhood, and an equally proportionate, yet kind response.

God is not the Actor. God is the Responder.

All I ask is that when I am not capable of speaking the right words, God pushes me out of the way and speaks them in spite of me. It’s a great line. I didn’t write it. But I breathe it nonetheless.

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