National November Blogging Month

This blog has been pretty vacant for a while, so you may not have browsed it much. You may not have visited the About page to learn that I don’t really write much anymore. You may not have read some of the older entries from a year or two ago in which I struggled with college, work, and writing.

Let me sum it up: I used to fancy myself a writer, and starting in high school I took writing kind of seriously. Not serious enough to practice at it, but I certainly wrote a lot even if I didn’t craft it to the extent I should have. I had a few things published in very low-end anthologies, I blogged a lot, and I finally began learning to not make basic, amateurish mistakes once my college professors started tearing apart the things I called sentences.

Writing was something I had to do. I wasn’t happy, and writing didn’t make me happy, but it made me happier than I would have otherwise been. It was a creative outlet in an uncreative life. It was something I could control and own.

And then I became truly happy. I met April and stopped writing poetry. I got a good job and stopped writing altogether, at least during my personal time. I lack the interest and passion to craft fiction. I just don’t care enough to write poetry. I think that I have some thoughts and feelings I could share, but I prefer just talking with friends and with April about those rather than blogging about them.

Thus ends the summary. This blog post is to communicate that I think this may be changing. I have to include words like “think” because I’m not entirely positive, but I’ve had this simmering feeling inside for a little over a year now that started around the time the current election cycle began. I can’t call that feeling “discontent,” because it’s less passive and more angry. I can’t call it fury or rage because… well, let me unpack this a bit.

Here’s where I am: there are a lot of people out there who claim to represent Christ and the Church, by which I mean the greater Christian Church which is made up of all believers, and I think they do a poor job of it. As CS Lewis writes, I could never judge whether or not someone is Christian, but I can probably tell whether they are a good or bad one. Generally speaking, though, I don’t care if people misrepresent the Church. I may think they’re wrong, but as long as they’re not harming others, I don’t care. This is why Mormonism, which I consider not true, doesn’t bother me. Ditto on Hinduism, or voodoo. So if a Christian disagrees with my theology, or I disagree with theirs, and their life doesn’t reflect my theology, that’s fine.

Differences in beliefs are totally OK… until you use them to persecute others. And then you claim that the Church, and by extension Christ, is on board with your hatred and persecution. That’s when my hackles start to rise. I’ve been Christian for about 11 years now, but I was actively anti-Christian before I converted, and I was not-Christian for longer than 11 years. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of hatred, which is one of the things I’ll be writing about this month. Hating and persecuting people isn’t something Christians should do.

And to get to the point (around the 600 word mark–conciseness is not something that college taught me, sadly), I perceive a lot of hatred and persecution in the Grand Old Party, or the GOP, which is the political machine of the Republican Party. I have stopped referring to this group as “Republicans,” because I know a lot of fine Republicans who are kind people and who feel similarly to me. We may disagree on economics or social matters, but they are content to let me have my beliefs just as I’m content to let them have theirs. The GOP is not content, though, and they have co-opted the name of my Lord and Savior. That bothers me.

So my writing isn’t prompted by mere discontent, nor is it prompted by rage. If anything, it is prompted by a growing frustration with the lies and misrepresentation. My God is not a god who calls people to hate; to bless millionaires and curse the poor; to patronize and disregard; to persecute the unbeliever; to make life harder for widows and children. My God is not a god of the 1%, or the 47%, or the 53%, or even the 99%, but of the 100%.

If  my writing is prompted by anything, it is by the desire to set the record straight, and by the gentle nudging of my Lord. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a crusade. I wrote on Google+ yesterday that I was hesitant to write at all for the same reason I usually keep my mouth shut on matters of politics and religion–I don’t want to get in fights, or cause turmoil or discord, and I don’t really want the stress that can come from writing things that oppose an entrenched group. All day yesterday I was listening to the song Short Change Hero by The Heavy and remembering a recent passage in a DragonLance series I am re-reading. Tasselhoff Burrfoot recalls something his father told him:

“What did your father say?” asked Fizban gently.

“He said kenders were small because we were meant to do small things. ‘If you look at all the big things in the world closely,’ he said, ‘you’ll see that they’re really made up of small things all joined together.’ That big dragon down there comes to nothing but tiny drops of blood, maybe. It’s the small things that make the difference.”

So, at least for the month of November, I want to do a small thing. Every day, I’m going to write a blog post. Some days, I may have very little to say. It might be about something that happened at work, or a book I’m reading. But I want to be aware of what is being said and done in this country and around the world, and I want to address some of the injustices or lies. I can’t make people stop lying. I can’t make them do things right. But I can at least write something to the couple of dozen people reading this to let them know I disagree with those things and why. I can at least offer another perspective from a Christian that shows how the Bible and our faith advocates something different than what is being perpetrated in our collective name.

I’ve decided not to do the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), because I don’t want to write 50,000 words of fiction. But I think I can probably do a blog post per day. It may be something small, but it’s my something small. And who knows, maybe it will make a difference.

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