Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rage

I am feeling it these days. It's welling up like a fountain in my chest--and threatening to become a tidal wave.

Not good.

Mostly I am angry at injustice--and at the people who perpetuate it. (I'm angry with the Hydra too, but--unfortunately--I can't blog about that.)

I am angry at the willful ignorance that passes for politics these days. I am angry about a citizenry that won't do its homework, makes gods of lying "entertainers," and rewards politicians for negative and downright dishonest advertisements. (And on that last, I'm talking about ALL of them--not just one party...) Make. It. Stop.

I am angry about people who promise the moon and have no intention of delivering. I am particularly angry about people who do this while asking for my money and my time/vote.

I am angry about a society that puts profits before people, and actually rewards the robbers while it throws people out of their homes into the streets. I am angry at the selfishness of those who "have"--determined to deny their fellow citizens a decent standard of living and some security because it might mean they have to give up some frills in their lives.

I am furious with people who have the power to help others--and refuse to do it.

I am angry with people who say "Have patience"--people who don't have to worry about being homeless or going without medical care or being denied the chance to marry the one they love. People who can afford to "wait" for justice for others because they already have all the "justice" they need.

I am angry with people who were born on third base but who have somehow convinced themselves that they hit a triple. Who believe that they have earned what they have--without ever once examining the unearned privilege of their race or the socioeconomic status of their family of origin or their heterosexual orientation.

I'm angry about racism, sexism, homophobia--and I'm particularly angry with "Christians" who use our faith to oppose caring for the least among us and who bully, lie, and hate in the name of Christ.

I am angry about a society that apparently requires the suicides of seven kids (that I know of) in the last month--and the countless more whose names are known only to God--before it wakes up to the fact that meanness permeates our culture and that we are, in essence, murdering our children when we tell them it's not okay to be different.

I'm angry with the church--which also bullies and manipulates and treats people in shameful ways and brings disrepute on the Gospel.

Today, I am particularly angry on behalf of those who are abused by the ordination process. It is difficult enough to be called by God--to feel that you have no choice but to give your life in ministry to God's people. But to have to endure hazing (and I use that term on purpose) by those in the church to be able to exercise your call is the height of cruelty. I am furious with people who call themselves Christians and inflict this viciousness.

Finally, I'm angry at myself. For not doing more. For allowing this impotent rage to bleed into my life and my relationships with the people I love. For being less than God calls me to be. For being the Pharisee, rather than the tax collector (Luke 18: 9-14). For failing to love my enemies and to pray for them.

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatoris.

46 comments:

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I just needed to get that off my chest....

Giles said...

Amen!

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Thanks, Giles. Welcome to the neighborhood...

PJ DeGenaro said...

Rage on, Doxy. Your anger is righteous.

Fran said...

What Giles and what PJ said.

Lindy said...

That seems pretty reasonable to me, Dox. The world really has gone a little mad, maybe a lot. You're on target, I think. Right on target.

Keta said...

Righteous, in the best sense of the word.

JCF said...

I'm sad I'm not as angry as you are, Doxy. I wish I had more energy to be angry about others, instead of just Being All About Me. :-/

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Lindy--I miss the Blessed Molly Ivins. She could hit the targets with humor...which is ultimately more effective than rage, I think.

JCF--Since I am angry FOR you, I think you can focus on taking care of yourself for a while. That's what friends are for. :-)

Paul said...

Preach it, Sister! I have not been ranting much lately but I'm pretty ticked off at all this stuff too.

I also believe "The Process" is, more often than not, terribly abusive. Those of us who endured it in pursuit of what we felt was our call were and are certifiable.

Especially enraged at what passes for "Christianity" in the minds of many and is really a spiritual disease that corrupts and brutalizes the image of God. It is so pervasive I do not wish to be considered a Christian. Friend of God, follower of Jesus, fine, but not "Christian." That lumps me in with too many abusers and the beaten-down, passive, lazy abused who have thrown away their brains in "obedience" to evil leaders.

IT said...

I hear you. Our country is collapsing backward into a wallow of stupidity and deliberate ignorance.

Doorman-Priest said...

It all seems pretty reasonable to me!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Doxy, all you say is so very true. I'm as appalled as you, but I can't stay as angry as you. I can't live with such anger.

And I'm throwing this out as an honest question. Was it ever much different? Weren't there always those in our society and every society who were ground underfoot? Think back through the crazy history of just our country.

And in the history of the world, didn't certain Christians always play a part in grinding the poor, the widow, and the orphan underfoot, and worse, in torturing and killing? Christians have strayed away from the Gospel throughout their history, leaving us to look back and find much to deplore and much to be ashamed of. It is only ever in a few isolated communities that the Gospel is lived out in anything like a faithful manner.

At the present time, I believe that things have not yet got bad enough in this country for people to wake up and see the ever more unequal society that we have already created, no matter what party is in power. Unfortunately, we may need to be governed by rightest crazies for several years before the majority in the country will see that their ideas are dead wrong.

And when folks do wake up, which way will they go? Will they lean toward a strong man to whom they will cede great power to save them from themselves? Remember that Hitler was elected.

As I see it, we are bound to do the good that each of us can in our small sphere of influence, realizing every step of the way that we cannot perfect the world, and that we will have to settle for doing what we can do, with the help of God's grace. Remember, even Jesus did not transform the world of his day. He was killed by the the people around him.

DookieD2 said...

Amen... I'm right there with you Doxy! ... and why was my validation word "fatiless"? I think the blog gods are trying to tell me something. :)

motheramelia said...

I feel your anger and wish I could express mine as well as you do. Many years ago a good friend expressed his views about working in a situation where he stood between young Palestinian youth throwing rocks and Israeli troops with their gun. "Sometimes I want to say: a pox on both their houses" is the gist of his comment. I feel the same way about politics this year.

Cecilia said...

Doxy, I'm not feeling rage, I'm feeling fear. It hit me one morning when I was listening to a story on Morning Edition about all the US mayors who are being recalled this election-- there are something like 30 of them, all over property taxes. It hit me, suddenly: Everything is crumbling. That's how it feels to me-- like these things we could depend on, such as-- major party candidates agreeing on what is or is not in the constitution-- are no longer dependable. I'm finding it terrifying. I agree with Mimi. What will be left?

It feels good to have kindred spirits out there.

Pax, C.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Paul--honey, I hear you. For quite some time, I've had a blog post in my draft folder--it's entitled "Leaving Christianity Behind." One of these days, I'll get mad enough to finish it and post it... ;-)

IT and Cecilia--I agree with both of you. I think this is a terrifying time--and I worry about the same thing Mimi mentions. In times like these, people start looking for a autocratic leader to "save" them. :-(

Mimi--I know you are right. It has ever been thus. But it doesn't HAVE to be. And in an era where we are at least nominally democratic, people have multiple opportunities to help create a better world for themselves, their neighbors, and their children. Maybe I cannot encourage--or shame--them into doing it, but I feel called to keep trying.

(Also, I suspect a lot of my rage is just displaced from He Who Must Not Be Named. Feh.)

DookieD2 and Mother Amelia--thanks for commenting!

eileen said...

I could have written this myself...between injustice happening at work, and the world feeling like it's falling apart, I just walk around feeling wound up at tight as a spring.

Feh on it all. I wish I could shake some sense into the world, but it has historically proved itself to be immune to such shaking.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

You took the words right out of my mouth (and probably cleaned them up). Thanks Doxy!

Leonardo Ricardo

P.S. Thanks Doorman Priest for getting me here.

JCF said...

JCF--Since I am angry FOR you, I think you can focus on taking care of yourself for a while. That's what friends are for. :-)

Aww.

{{{Doxy}}}

Hey, can I get y'all's prayers? I have a job interview Thursday! :-D

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Leo--I've been known to use colorful language before. I suspect if I had started cursing I wouldn't have been able to stop!

Eileen--if you'll hold it, I'll punch it. ;-)

JCF--now that's the best news I've had all day/week!! I will definitely be praying. Let us know how it goes. :-)

Grandmère Mimi said...

JCF, prayers for your interview, m'dear. The Lord be with you.

Grandmère Mimi said...

In my post, I meant "rightist crazies" not "rightest crazies". The crazies are not right about anything, and they are making me crazy so that I can't write right. :-)

Jim said...

Let the people say Amen!

FWIW
jimB

it's margaret said...

Prophetic, m'dear. That's what it is.

God bless you in your anger. Turn those tables in the temple dear sister.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Preach it sweet Sister! And may God be with your righteous rage!

Ruth M said...

I suppose this is a really bad time to mention an article I saw in passing, that talked about how GOP candidates are receiving an awful lot of money from corporations who received an awful lot of bailout money...

paulas said...

Right there with you, Doxy, including the part about letting the rage bleed into the rest of my life and my relationships. I'm usually a lurker, but I also want to let you know that your post, "Just Love," from several years ago, has been one that I have passed on to countless friends and enemies, and it has led to a few changed hearts. That one, and Grandmere Mimi's confessions of a recovering homophobe. Thanks for letting out the rage and the hurt and the hope in ways that are more useful than you may ever know.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Mimi made me laugh! :-)

Margaret--I'm just following in your footsteps, dear. Thanks for being such a good example.

(((Goran)))

Ruth--Why am I not surprised? Grrrrrrrr.

PaulaS--Wow. What a great gift you just gave me! I'm not a prolific blogger and I've never worried much about that--I just blog when I feel moved. But lately I've felt as if I really had nothing to say that was worth reading--there are so many other bloggers who are sharper, more eloquent, and more timely. To think that my words have actually made a difference is both gratifying and humbling. Thank you!

whiteycat said...

Thanks to MadPriest, Mimi, Margaret and all the other great folks who are enraged at the current state of the country, church, etc. And Doxy, thanks for expressing what I've been experiencing. Together we can change our own lives to reflect love rather than greed and hate.

Suzer said...

You must have been reading my mind! (Or maybe I'm reading yours.) ;)

Glad that you are much better than I at putting these thoughts into words. Thank you for the rant. It feels good, at least, to know that others can see through the bs we seem neck deep in as of late.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Whiteycat--that's the trick, isn't it? To balance the anger at injustice, greed, and cruelty with loving others and refusing to demonize.

I wish I were better at it...

David said...

I'm with Paul* on the "Christian" thing. I'm more convinced than ever that this term has been lost to the haters and bigots :P

*(no, no...the "Paul" above, not the Apostle ;)

8thdayplanner said...

This is excerpted from “The Ripple of Hope” speech by Robert Kennedy :


“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”



It’s not much in the face of so much prejudice, injustice and hate. Hope. It’s all I can come up with.

Ellie Finlay said...

Truly excellent, Doxy.

I've linked to it on my Facebook page.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Thanks so much everyone. Especially you, 8thDay--I am going to print that out and hang it above my computer where I can see it.

Hope is everything.

Erika Baker said...

Doxy, this is a brilliant post, thank you. And thank you DP for bringing us here. And thank you all who commented, I want to say YES!!! to every single one of you.

Alcibiades said...

God Bless you, Doxy! Agree with everything you say except one thing: you ARE doing the most important thing of all when it comes to fighting the darkness - speaking out threatens the Pharisees and bigots in ways that those of us who don't worship a deity of fear and hatred can't even begin to imagine.

Voices like yours bring courage and strength to those of us tempted to despair at power of those pretending to speak for God. Thank you!

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Alcibiades!!!! I hope all is well with you and yours, my friend.

And thank you. You have definitely brought courage and strength to some folks Down Under. I hope one of these days you'll have the time/energy to start blogging again. (But no pressure--I've had my own issues about that, as you can see by my sparse posting for the last few months... :-)

Alcibiades said...

Thanks Doxy! All's fine here - I'm still managing to irritate lot's of people who deserve it, but between being a house-dad and making life miserable for one of Oz's most unscrupulous corporations there hasn't been time to do much more in the blogosphere besides lurk and keep praying for everyone.

Hopefully things will be a little less hectic very soon....

MarkBrunson said...

Well, yeah.

I've been saying.

Welcome to the world of rage.

I've progressed to incendiary, and am quite willing to just cut a swath of destruction and death through the U. S. in particular and the world in general until they grow up and get grateful for what they have and grateful enough to share it out equally.

That's why I keep saying that it isn't too much suffering doing all this, but not enough. Look at the Tea Partiers - upper-middle-class suddenly finding themselves without the luxuries and privilege the rest of us have never had. People suddenly horrified over the suicides of gay teens because they've never been made to look before. It's spoiled kids, suddenly unable to insulate themselves from life's hard knocks.

"It's so unfair! I hate you (world, God, everybody else)!"

Erika Baker said...

My comments seem to get lost in the ether...
I wanted to say thank you to Doxy for the marvellous post but also thank you to all commenters for your responses. A wholehearted YES to all of them!

Caminante said...

In addition to anger, I am feeling the depression that had settled on me during the eight years of the stolen presidency and which started in 1994 when Newt the Snoot took over the House of Representatives with his Contract on America. I feel as though we had one year of hope and it has been snatched away from us. The system is horribly broken and we are not much better off than many of those countries on whom we look down.

Diane said...

Amen, Doxy. It's true. everything you say is true.

how can we NOT be angry?

Lapinbizarre said...

47% of Democrats in an AP poll feel that Obama should face a challenger in the 2012 primaries. I blame the current situation in no small part to his ongoing eagerness to engage with a Congressional Republican Party that has no interest whatever in compromise, and his unwillingness to do the same with a Democratic "left", which he now tells to quit sulking and get out and vote.

Second Doxy's welcome, Alcibiades.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Lapin--I have been astounded at the President's attitude toward the very progressives who worked so hard to get him elected.

Will I vote on Tuesday? Of course. But no one should be surprised that progressives are disillusioned. As Susan Madrak, of Crooks and Liars said in a conference call between the White House and liberal bloggers last month, I'm tired of being the girl they want to take under the bleachers, but won't be seen with in the light of day. (Love the term "hippie-punching," btw...)

The President himself told us we should hold him and his party accountable. Had the Dems shown some party discipline, and had President Obama spent more time courting his base rather than trying to work with Republicans who made it clear from the outset that they were going to torpedo everything he proposed, the Dems wouldn't be facing the serious prospect of a bloodbath on Tuesday.

If they hadn't spent so much time trying to act as if progressives are the problem, many of us would, once again, be pouring money in their coffers and hitting the streets to campaign for them. The young people and independents who flocked to vote for President Obama wouldn’t be regretting their idealism and embracing the cynical belief (which appears ever-more grounded in reality) that it really doesn’t matter who’s in charge because Big Business and those who "have" will always win in the end... :-(