Stupid is as stupid does
This is a relevant quote from the movie, Forrest Gump! I am not sure what happened to everyone in 2020 but it feels like we are definitely living in the era of stupid. Why are so many people adopting moronic behaviors? Why is it all so absurd? I know there have always been stupid people and crazy behaviors, and I have not excluded myself in all of this, but this is really getting weirder and weirder all the time! (And, BTW – I live in So Cal where we have our own fair share of mindless dweebs.) The Houston Asterisks cheat and get away with it, but a Dodger pitcher gets suspended for the equivalent of 22 games for throwing a wild pitch and making a crybaby face. The President continues to accuse black candidates of being in this country illegally and other bizarre claims. Other people think that staying home safe is a violation of their religious right to corporate worship! Others think that wearing a mask causes dental problems! What is happening?!
I am baffled by the recent barrage of memes and comments people are posting on their social media. First of all, why has faith become so politicized? I doubt that Jesus would be a democrat or a republican and I really do not believe that government is going to fix our problems. The ONLY thing that will fix our broken, fallen, sinful world is a Savior! For the record, it is my faith that does not allow me to ignore things such as the spread or risk of Covid 19, by example. I could respond to other current events in similar fashion; It is because of my faith that I submit to authorities placed over me, love my neighbors as myself, avoid usurping God’s role as Judge, and do my best to protect the lives of the vulnerable. This is why I wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, connect with others via Zoom and worship online at home. It is my desire to exemplify the heart and actions of Christ. I fail often but I cannot see angry, hateful rebellion as an appropriate answer in scripture.
One of the stupid things that is messed up is how people think that by posting short answers and comments to deep and complicated issues they will build bridges and convince everyone that their view is the best one, or that they will actually change someone’s mind! Actually, It doesn’t really do anything but cause more division; it builds a wall because no one is really open for debate. Rather than accepting criticism or another perspective, more comments are posted OR deleted. I have been on both sides of a severed friendships because I expressed a different or opposing view to a broad generalization. It reminds me of what I call the banner people (aka Jonahs). Banner people are the ones at the end of a parade or sporting event (google if you can’t remember what such public events are) who shout brimstone sermons through a megaphone or carry tall banners with Bible verses. They don’t really care to win people to their side as much as they just want to be heard and spout judgment on others, like Jonah did on Ninevah. We need to be discerning, gentle and thoughtful as we share our convictions so as to not harm our witness.
How about all the conspiracies and controversies? It seems that when systems fail, so does logic and reason! In an effort to explain away fear blame becomes contagious. So, it would seem, does all sanity! Calling something a hoax or a lie may make people feel better but also increases paranoia. Perhaps that is why people are jumping to conclusions and excusing the current administration – they too have bought into such nonsense out of fear! (Microsoft and Bill Gates using a vaccine as the Mark of the Beast?! Really?!) I agree that this pandemic has taken an already self-absorbed culture and made it even more myopic and selfish, if that is even possible. Yet, we are to have a spirit of power, love and self-control rather than one of fear! Further, gullibility is not a spiritual gift! As followers of Jesus we are to people of truth. Falling for and spreading conspiracy theories does not honor the Lord.
Stupid is as stupid does. Why does everything have to be in black and white (no freudian slip intended) God made the word in living color! Why can’t people care about BOTH Covid 19 AND child sex trafficking at the same time? Why can’t people believe that Black Lives do Matter without coming to the assumption that the statement is exclusive and red, brown, yellow, white, rainbow and every other hue are less important? Why do people assume that because Trump is a republican that he will make biblical decisions and that all democrats are in favor of abortion. And, on a side note, how can believers want to repeal the Johnson Amendment yet not want government to meddle in their hiring practices (among other things), forcing them to hire transgenders, etc.?
Then there are the people who believe that there is only one issue to consider in our country and that is the issue of abortion. I am not in favor of abortion but I am also not in favor of other crimes, social ills and policies that threaten our democracy. Additionally, I find it interesting that Republicans are willing to side with a serial adulterer and womanizer and sociopathic bully who has NO faith rather than a practicing catholic, who by adhering to his faith would be against abortion, just because he is a Democrat. Perhaps this divide goes all the way back to Jimmy Carter, a Democrat and a godly man, because the religious right decided that voting republican was the way Jesus would have voted. Back in that day, the goal of the religious right/moral majority was to take control of a political party. And that is what has happened! (For the record Jimmy was in good company with other powerful and godly democrats, including Billy Graham).
While I can agree with the support of a conservative Supreme Court, I do not understand the attitude toward minorities and immigrants (which we all are, unless we are native Americans), the defense for separating migrant kids from their parents, and the push against gun control any more than I can understand the defunding of the police, destroying the postal system or denying climate change! It is all so crazy!
Then there are the issues of character. I am not sure it is a good idea for christians to excuse away the immoral character and the irresponsible words of the current POTUS, while at the same time assuming such a person is anointed by God, which I have heard said. In fact, he has even referred to himself as the chosen one! I don’t see how Matt. 7:15-20 can be justified, which warns against false prophets. And Jesus spoke often against materialism and money, whereas Trump brags about his wealth. And then he had a photo op in front of a church, holding his Bible upside down, a symbol of the occult. I just don’t get it. The unbelieving world sees our heightened hypocrisy and our sinful duplicity. The fact is that, even though the democrats have had it in unfairly for POTUS, he has admitted to to illegal business practices. He did misuse the authority of the office for personal gain and in doing so he has damaged the reputation of the country. 20 years ago Clinton did the same thing! Neither should be ignored, minimized or excused. Wrong is wrong. Character counts. But perhaps my key issue is POTUS’ cavalier attitude and mean-spirited speech. There is no rationale for such disrespectful behavior – Jesus does not tell us to stoop to that level, but to live the golden rule.
So I am at the end of my rant – for now – and will end with the sad statement I began with – “Stupid is as Stupid does”.
I reread this and I am not sure I should even post it – so it may be deleted soon! Thanks for reading.