So yeah, I have not written much here since December. For the most part, that is because of my distress about the outcome of the US presidential election. I had really believed that the US was moving forward to a time when we were able to protect all our citizens, put in place protections for our land and water, start to get more equitable in behavior between men and women in terms of pay, society and sexual consent, and protect workers rather than corporations… Do I need to go on?
Yeah, I was deluded. I admit it.
As a white, formerly straight, Christian, cis woman, under-descriminated (against) and over-educated, I was blind to the pain that a lot of people are in. I did not realize that white supremacy still put lives of people of color at risk systematically. I did not realize that poor whites would eat up the propaganda of fascists if it made them feel better about our capitalist economy moving their jobs to third world countries where corporations could pay the people there pennies to do work for which Americans would demand dollars. I did not realize that Americans would swallow outright lies if it meant that they didn’t have to face realities they did not want to face.
Wall Street executives gaming the system.
Systematic racism in our society, government, and institutions.
Systematic sexism in our… oh, wait, I’m repeating myself.
44-and-a-quarter, I thought, was clearly a celebrity has-been, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and unprepared for dignified executive power. Hillary Clinton was unarguably the most qualified presidential candidate America has ever seen.
What could possibly go wrong?
Um, how about “everything”?
And if I had not always been a student of World War Two, and a student of the Holocaust, I might possibly not blame myself for my short-sightedness.
But I have been.
So I do.
And how can I possibly own my credibility as a writer if I am so blind as a citizen, a historian and a theologian?
(All of this kinda makes my writer’s block a little easier to understand, if I look at it that way. And we all carry this kind of baggage to our writing projects…)
I’ve spent a lot of the last ten months writing fiction, particularly fiction that prioritizes the relationships of queer people despite the prevailing social narrative that marginalizes them, people of color, and others, which the (straight, white) general public doesn’t understand. When I started writing many years ago, I wrote fantasy: reimagining the world the way I wanted it to be.
Seems like three+ decades hasn’t changed much.
But anyway, now that I’ve figured out what my problem has been, I can start to fix it. Or in Christian terms, do penance, from the Latin, paenitentia, regret. So I pray:
God of all mercy,
I confess that I have sinned against you,
opposing your will in my life.
I have denied your goodness in my neighbors,
in myself, and in the world you have created.
I repent of the evil that enslaves me,
the evil I have done,
and the evil done on my behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen me
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that I may abide in your love
and serve only your will.
Prayer from: Enriching Our Worship. New York: The Church Pension Fund, 1998. 19. (Language changed from first person plural to first person singular. Italics mine.)
Translation of Today’s Blog Title: My fault, my fault, my most grievous fault.
Translation of Amen: Let it be so.
Well, you are not alone in feeling deluded. Many of us “overeducated” academics never took seriously for a moment that the most qualified candidate (perhaps ever) could be defeated by the least qualified (and altogether despicable) candidate. And we held on to that belief until Election Day. So the past 10 months have been all disbelief turning into disgust- not about the voters but about our now-President. So we have also had to confess our blindness to the sense of alienation felt by so many of his supporters. Your prayer is well chosen. And the Episcopal language takes me back to my Anglican youth. Though now steeped in over 30 years of New England/New York Congregational/Calvinist tradition and language, we have recently been worshipping with the Lutherans and regained a taste for ancient liturgies. So thank you for words that ring true at this moment. Blessings on your journey. BTW where did you do your Th.M (or is it M.Th?)?
LikeLiked by 3 people
What used to be the Episcopal Divinity School, which is now a part of Union Theological in New York City (MATS).
I think you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. So many of us were deluded. Complacent? So busy with our lives that we thought things would all turn out OK. How could they not? Well, now we know. We just need to act, now. Activism in all things. Keep going.
LikeLiked by 4 people
You weren’t the only one who was deluded. Every national poll, a 3-mililon-voter majority, and I were similarly shocked and disturbed by the outcome.
LikeLiked by 1 person