Over the last few days my Facebook page has seen a lot of action. And I've been pretty busy parrying intolerant comments and unfriending people I thought I knew.
This is the first time I have devoted any serious effort or attention to communicating via Facebook but I have learned a lot.
The first thing I learned was that a lot of people consider racism and misogyny to be "opinions" and that a significant number of those "opinion holders" feel that expressing this sort of thinking is their right.
Their sense of entitlement surprised me. I did know about the racism. And, after going house to house for Obama in 2008 and 2012, I had a pretty good idea of how far it went.
But I was unprepared to see people presenting their "position" on racism as if it was something they'd arrived at after long and considered thought. Probably my favorite comment was from a man who called his racist ideology "intellectual diversity" and demanded my respect.
The next thing that surprised me was the way in which misogyny appeared upon my page. Its expression was subtle but pervasive, a current in our use of language that I have somehow missed.
Here is how I caught it.
In voicing my shock and sadness over the results of this election I got a lot of unsolicited Facebook advice. After a while I began to notice a trend. Men were advising me to stop being a "crybaby," quit "bitching" and ditch the "hysteria." Women encouraged me to "support" our publicly abusive president-elect and offered a dozen different versions of "just make nice."
It took awhile but eventually I got it. This is misogynistic bias and it exists on both sides of the gender gap. Both men and women have a lot to learn about what gender equality really means. Something I find sad.
The last thing that jumped out at me, was a lesson learned from some of my more spiritual Facebook friends. Not all spiritual people did this but a significant percentage were a surprise.
I heard these so-called spiritual people plead for national unity and acceptance and - kind of unbelievably - the importance of loving and embracing those (Trump supporters) who don't "share our views." And I have to say irrevocably that this kind of acceptance isn't spiritual at all.
It is true that spiritual people don't like divisiveness or judgment. But that doesn't mean that we will, or should, support those who do. It means that, if we are any kind example of what spirituality really means, we will be fight what is happening to our country with everything we've got.
This is what I intend to do.
So to anyone who is listening -
The real language of division is not the line that I am drawing in the sand or the words I use to explain my thoughts. The real language of division is the terminology that rationalizes what's happening to our country and the words that have served as a smokescreen for far worse things in far worse times.
To me, being a spiritual person is absolutely meaningless if I don't stand up for what I know is right and oppose what is wrong. I hope that most of the readers of this blog will agree. But if you don't, this blog probably isn't where you're supposed to be.
And if anyone is wondering about the picture I posted with this article - meet Paul Robert Schneider, the first Protestant minister to be martyred by the Nazis. Know that thousands of religious men and woman of all faiths followed - many of whom were taken in the early days, before the general population fully understood what was going on.
While it's hard for me to believe that we could ever fall that far, I've been learning a lot of things lately that I didn't know before. Sadly, I do think it's very possible that we are in the early days of something that's very, very dark.
The new government is going to be rehearsed and scripted and much less genuine then it has been in the past but don't be fooled. This is not our path.