One has to learn how to be objective and then live intentionally trying to be just that…objective. Having been in Calgary 17 out of the last 21 years and now a Canadian citizen, I have been watching the presidential election circus and as a dual citizen, I am embarrassed and saddened at the actions and words from both candidates ceasing to shock me any longer. In fact, when I turn on the news, I expect to hear absurdities instead of platforms, lies instead of truths, deflections instead of plans, blame instead of leadership. Not once have my Canadian friends or my congregation cracked a joke about my country of birth or thrown the circus below our border into my face. Thank you.
The headlines of porn cameos, a shimmy, a fat Miss Universe, sexual harassment, zero accountability, affairs, I could go on and on, has captivated the world more than who shot J.R. and that was big folks…that one held millions around the world prisoner for months. Our appetite for the bizarre is bottomless. Why? Why do we keep flipping from channel to channel to get yet another biased perspective about two people degrading one another? I have been trying to find vocabulary to explain how watching all of this makes me feel and today it hit me. I feel like I did as a young child when my big brother talked me into going to the Freak Show at the Texas State Fair. As I looked at the human beings with their deformities and exotic ways of contorting, I felt scared and ashamed. I also felt sad that these people believed they had no other way to earn a living than to be exploited by self-centered managers and voyeurs who bought a ticket to laugh at another in order to feel better about themselves. I began to cry out of fear and shame and asked my brother to leave the tent with me. I shared my feelings with him and he apologized for taking me to “the show”.
The people in “the show” were real people. They had feelings, needs and dreams just like everyone else on the planet. The people in the United States are real too. And I feel helpless to bring healing to a system of governing that began with the best intentions yet currently exists as a Freak Show for the rich to run, the super-packs to empower and industries meant for healing to exploit.
The blind are leading the blind, the hungry, the hurting, the dying, the trying and the ones who have given up on being a voice in a good and just system. How do we become the change we wish to see when the stage, the system, the world we live in inside our community and home, is not respected by those with more of everything?
We step back and become objective and remember that every life matters. Everyone has a voice and we are responsible to offer our voice for the highest good of all, especially those labeled a freak. We are citizens of the Holy, not consumers of souls. We can own our desire to feel smug as we click through the channels, imprisoned in apathy instead of free to be empathizers who can make a difference. We can feel disdain for our choosing to be entertained by the circus. We can refuse to allow our lives and the futures of our children to be dominated by obscene intentions. We can be objective and realize that we are the people in control of the thermostat for our government. Our taxes, our voices, our votes, our awareness of what is just and life giving for ALL, our choices, what we accept, what we allow, is the homeostasis of where and how we live. Our hands are not tied. We are citizens of the Holy and we are here to bring create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. As long as we have the right to choose who leads us, as long as we have the freedom to create a system that functions on a higher bar of authenticity and honesty, as long as we understand that one voice can ignite a collective voice that can bring justice and liberty, we can dismantle the theatre we have co-created with those who lead us and build a new way living together.
I believe God desires us to be a people who share our gifts and our strengths with one another. Perhaps I am watching the United States implode and deconstruct itself to make room for real change. I cast my vote, I shared my voice but I am not finished. My letters to the local government leaders in Tarrant County Texas are on their way. My letter of gratitude to President Obama and First Lady Michelle is still in the works. My letter to the next President of the United States is pregnant and in labour. America is the Land of the Free where we have the hard-earned privilege to lift our voices and cast our votes while many voices we share the planet with are silenced under dictatorship. Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom. I wonder, do we think and live as people who are truly free or have we accepted a freak show that exists on the sweat of our backs? Are we a people worthy of our freedom? We’ll see, that’s for sure. The show’s almost over. CLICK.