I’m sure you’ve seen posts like it. I’ve seen it before.
The other day I saw it again – something to the effect of:
When people post about gay pride they’re heroes.
When I post about straight pride I’m a bigot.
That might not be the EXACT wording, but you get the idea.
Straight people complain about those who tout gay pride.
White people complain about those to promote black power.
It always comes down to the same argument: If it’s okay for them to be proud and promote their empowerment why is it wrong for me to be proud and promote my empowerment?
The answer is simple, really. I don’t need to be proud and promote my empowerment because I’m the one in power.
Think about it. What we’re really talking about is the language of power and disenfranchisement. People who have typically been looked down on, discriminated against, or held down (socially, politically, economically, etc.) use language to bring their causes to light.
Why should those of us who are in power complain about people promoting their empowerment while we are not able to promote our own power?
Jesus isn’t about promoting our own empowerment. In fact, biblical faith is all about supporting the disenfranchised and unempowered. James 1:27 says:
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
The widow and orphan were individuals who had no chance to care for themselves; no family to lean on and no chance for making something of themselves. They were outsiders in society.
Jesus’ ministry was financially supported by women, people seen as less-than in the grand scheme of society. He regularly ate with social outcasts.
Jesus wasn’t about keep people from being empowered – he was all about loving people regardless of their status.
As Christians we ought to be leading the way in making sure that the disenfranchised are treated with equality and are given justice. Even when we disagree with someone’s life choice, we don’t have to make a stink about the language they use in their search for empowerment.
Those of us in power don’t need to flaunt our power in the face of others.
So, white people – stop complaining about “black power.” You don’t need to promote white power (you’ve already got it).
Straight people – stop complaining about “gay pride.” You don’t need to promote straight pride (you’ve already got it).
Men – stop complaining about women’s rights. You don’t need to promote men’s rights (you’ve already got them).
Do you get the picture? Rather than being upset when the disenfranchised rise up, we ought to be asking, “What can I do as a Christian to show love and support in a way that honors God?”
And maybe, just maybe, if those of us “in power” started behaving this way then those “without power” would have no need to make empowering statements – because WE would be the ones demanding justice in the first place.
And THAT is a message worth sharing with the world…