Good Samaritans and Pharisees

Christians and the current political climate have been leaving a bad taste in my mouth for quite a while now. So, what the heck. Let’s write about it when I should be sleeping. I feel like I’m watching the story of the good Samaritan play out in modern day America with oppressed and marginalized groups being the man beaten and left for dead, the religious leaders being the mainline evangelicals/white nationalists, and the good Samaritan being those who stand up for the oppressed and marginalized groups.

But really, that’s not quite right. Because that makes it look like those of us who are more progressive and liberal have the moral high ground in ways that maybe we’re not quite ready for. We like to think of ourselves as the heroes of this story, but are we? Are we really ready for this hard work? This is tough, dirty, bloody work. Particularly for those of us who are allies and don’t experience this marginalization firsthand.

Mostly I say this because it wasn’t that long ago that I was on the other side, parroting what my conservative parents taught me about God, the Bible and Jesus. I don’t have one of those stories of Jesus saving me from debauchery (read: not approved lifestyle by fundamentalist standards). I don’t have a woman at the well conversion story. I was one of those who condemned and looked down on the woman at the well.

Most people would look at my life and see someone who’s kept all the rules and was the “good kid” in the family. Someone who tries not to rock the boat and just blend in so that you don’t notice me. That’s a lie. I do want you to notice me. But I want you to see the real me. Sometimes I’m not sure though. I guess you see what I want you to see.

You may think I look like I have it all together. I don’t have it all together. This is a lie of a recovering Pharisee who would walk by a person left for dead because I have to cross off all my religious rituals. And Jesus has rearranged what I thought my life should look like. He must have a sense of humor because He knows how I love knowing exactly what’s going on and love planning my life out. What I could never plan was that God doesn’t fit neatly in my boxes and checklists. I spent most of my life trying to do all the “right” things because my perception of who God was depended on following a list of rights and not following a list of wrongs.

That’s how I was taught. Until I became the person who got beaten on the side of the road and got overlooked by the religious crowd. Because God made me a lesbian. So many of us won’t sit in the uncomfortableness of another’s life and help protect them from those who would do them harm. Most of us only see our need to be approved by God and ignore our neighbors bleeding out in the street, suffering from panic attacks and suicidal ideation, being assaulted because of orientation, sexual identity, race, or gender. And sometimes we’re no better than the Pharisees on the other side and have adapted our own version of look good by promoting good by not actually doing anything at all.

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir on this one, but our fight is far from over. It’s only just begun. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty for the work set before us in loving everyone better and seeing the humanity in everyone and defending that humanity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s