A Rhetorical Kevin

If you could be a character from a book or film, who would you be? Why?

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the prompt is “Tony Mendez in Argo,” and then I realized that I’ve said that dude is my favorite writer for eleventy billion entries so maybe pick someone else. It’s not an actual Kevin. It’s a rhetorical Kevin.

If you get that joke because you’re also an Argo fan, you’re welcome.

I think I would be a good spy because my survival instincts make me sharper and more creative, focusing on “stage presence” and not the information smash and grab that comes along with it. Tony believed that it was all a show, magic tricks and transcendent acting, because to fail is the worst kind of anxiety. From his books, it’s not that bad when something is happening to you. It gets bad when something is happening to your asset, because the lack of control and the helpless feelings come and visit you in the night.

That could be the whole entry right there, but at the same time, you already knew all that about me and I’m going to branch out.

There are lots of good options. I’m sort of like Michael Valentine from “Stranger in a Strange Land” already, because I am the same personality type as Jesus (INFJ). I didn’t just make that up. Jesus is historically thought of as INFJ, and Martin Luther King, Jr. actually was.

Wow. There’s my answer. Huh.

The writing prompt doesn’t say that it has to be a fictional character.

I don’t identify with his divinity, I empathize with his humanity.

Martin Luther King was just as flawed as I am now. Led people toward the promised land, yet wanted to bang everything that moved. Cheated on his wife multiple times, but we don’t remember that part of it. We remember the story that stuck.

I am hoping that even though I am just as flawed, I am worthy of that kind of redemption in history. That I’ll be remembered for calling out prejudice and hypocrisy wherever I see it. That I will acknowledge that white supremacy Evangelical Christianity has ruled the United States for hundreds of years……. and the black Evangelical church also gives itself permission to think I am only sin personified. It is not the same, but if we walk a mile in each other’s shoes, we can tell where they pinch.

All I am saying is that when you’re talking about discrimination against queer people and the “word of God,” all races are equally bad at it if they’re the sort of people who think God wrote the Bible, that people like Matthew and Paul were just conduits because God couldn’t hold the pen.

The evangelical church has given its followers permission to exclude and berate anyone they don’t think measure up to their standards, and it’s funny how keeping those standards applies to everyone except them…. when being queer was never actually a sin in the first place. At some point, I will probably go through the “clobber passages,” the pieces of the Bible taken out of context to say that I’m a sin. I will refute them all and then I’ll get raked over the coals on social media. But if you aren’t willing to take the chance that Westboro Baptist will picket your funeral, you’re not doing Christianity right.

I’m picking up the mantle they left behind, but not because I’m all that and a bag of chips. It’s that talking to people and making them believe in themselves is my gift, and thus far, I haven’t been using much of it.

Or have I?

Who knows. It’s not an actual Kevin. It’s a rhetorical Kevin.


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