Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Who am I? Myself

Well, the election is over. Mercifully! I suppose I'm glad Obama won (as opposed to the other one). It's historic. It's good for the African-American soul.

But I was for Nader. I'm always for Nader. Hence my problem. I am also so myself, always have been, and yet I've never been at peace being myself.

The last two years have been interesting and burdensome. My Christian evangelical friends -- mostly the white and hispanic ones-- kept expecting Christians to vote for McCain. Good lord, the way they were acting it was as if Obama was the anti-christ himself. In fact, I remember getting an email to the effect that someone had dreamt that Obama was indeed the anti-christ. Nah, I don't think so. (Of course I could be wrong, but who knows?) I just think Obama wouldn't like me as a friend. I think he'd think he was better than me. I think he'd scorn me -- in much the same way atheists scorn me.

Then there were my black friends. Whether Democrat or Republicans, most of them assumed I would vote for Obama. But why exactly should I vote for him?

Honestly, I'm 48 -- soon to be 49. I've spent a great deal of my life being treated badly by Christian and atheist whites and by rich and poor blacks. I could tell you stories but I won't go on. I tend to go through life on the borderline. The way I figure it, I live in God's kingdom. To the white christians, America is an extension of that kingdom. And to the black christians Obama's success is some kind of joyous enthronement of good.

A part of my problem is that I've been so wounded by every side that I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I just don't give much of a damn about what certain herds to which I ostensibly belong do or have or praise. Besides, as I have said, I don't really believe Obama would include me in his herd. But the other part of it is that I always think that Ralph Nader speaks deeply on the issues. When I say this, folks say, "You're throwing away your vote!" So? If my integrity says to do something I do it. My integrity is not dependent on who will win. I'm a Christian, after all. If I knew Jesus would have been crucified I still would follow him. I have no great need to win. Besides, voting for Nader helps the guy pay for his campaign and helps to establish the third party system.

In the meantime, I have returned to myself. And I am brave enough to say it here. Hopefully this bravery will help remove the woundedness I often feel when I get rejections from those who think I should be more herdlike. Truly for someone who walks the borderlands and who has integrity I care way too much what people think of me. And that isn't good for one's health. But at least I'm being a tiny little bit brave. On this day after the historic election, I dare to say that I voted for Nader. Life's fine. And perhaps I'm learning not to care what either of my herd thinks.

Part of the situation is this: I have never been able to be swept away or carried away by anything earthly or human. It's probably not exactly the best of traits but alas that's the way I am. I didn't get all swoony when Mel Gibson created The Passion. I don't go into paroxysms of grief when some great leader of the black or Christian or whatever community dies. And if I get all carried away about anything or anyone, it's usually about someone no one else in the world would have liked or thought twice about. And it's often about someone the world has hated. In short I save my extreme joy and my extreme grief for God and for those very like Jesus. I don't try to do it. That's just the way I am. It takes a lot to rock me; what can I say?

Wow!!! Mattilda also posted on not being too excited about Obama. Nice. We folks who battle fibromyalgia are definitely fighters against the norm...even when we seem to be fighting those normal expectations of those who are supposedly on our side.
-C
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