Thursday, October 11, 2012

Room for the Outcasts

Back in 2008, when asked in an interview by Vanity Fair magazine who his hero is, John Cusack answered this:

"Let's go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful..."

Back in 2008, it was the last American presidential election year. Four year laters, here we are again with less than a month away from voting.   I'm a registered independent who usually doesn't get offended when statements are made about either the right or the left, unless maybe when it is a completely unfair statement. The statement Cusack made is fair at least in the sense that this is how many from the right are viewed either because of media or bad choices of individuals.  Often times the right seems like it has become a sort of caricature.

I have known plenty of compassionate Republicans who live the kind of life that would make it impossible to associate with any kind of bigotry. I've known Democrats who don't agree with all the Democratic Party's beliefs, but there is far too much about the Republican party that they cannot support.

When I have, at moments, felt embarrassed of being a Christian in my life, it is not because I am embarrassed of Christ. I have felt embarrassed to be associated with the caricature of those who become much more concerned by the letter of the law than the spirit of the law. Those who would hold up signs with hateful language on it, but have never once helped to feed the hungry are no representation of Christ, and they are an embarrassment to the Christianity I try to live. 

As I'm writing this, I'm watching the VP debate between a Catholic Xer and a Catholic Boomer.  When an election is on the horizon, it is always a struggle for me.  Sometimes I feel exhausted and almost apathetic toward the political world.  I struggle with the too-white smiles and the spin and the soundbites and I wonder what the point of politics even is.  Other times, when I am able to get past the frustration and engage more, I struggle with who to vote for as I wrestle internally with all the issues on the table because of all the morality that is at stake.  Either way it is a struggle.  And it should be. 

I do not regret the times in my life I have been subversive.  We can all make more room in our minds for being subversive against the too powerful.  I do not regret the times in my life that I've surrounded myself with the outcast.  We can all make more room in our hearts for the outcasts. 

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