Choose Love

Though I have long identified as such, in 2020, I find that it is hard to be a conservative, Christian woman. Although that whole full-time mom, full-time engineer thing was a real treat, this has little to do with the pandemic. I did hear a great talk on life during COVID that addressed the extra stress that has been added to our lives because things that used to just be actions have now become decisions and sources of stress, leading to decision fatigue, and probably exacerbating what I’m about to discuss, but it’s not the source.

When I say that I’m conservative, note that I do not say Republican. (Full disclosure: I am a registered Republican, but only because party offiliation is a prerequisite to primary voting in Kansas.) I don’t really believe in party politics, but I recognize that on the national scale, it’s hard to get away from. As a Christian I believe that God is the is the final judge and jury, and that it is only my responsibility to love others. There’s a little more to it, but it mostly boils down to that. I also believe in the separation of church and state, and that this Christian responsibilty falls on individuals and the Church, not the government.

I believe in COVID-19, and I think it’s ridiculous that anyone is still calling it the Chinese Virus. I think you should wear a mask during a pandemic because I love my Grandma, and I assume other people also love theirs, and medical professionals around the world have said that masks will help protect our grandmas. I also don’t think the government should require us to wear masks, nor do I think they should have to. I believe in personal responsibility, and holding people accountable for their actions.

I have good friends who are police officers. The video of George Floyd’s murder still makes me feel physically ill when I picture it, but I don’t regret watching it. I still think we need adequate funding for law enforcement. I am, however, here for a conversation and looking for something to change. I am not here for hate or violence from either side of any issue.

However, I’m getting off-track, so I digress.

Today I’m talking politics, but not because I want to get political. In 2020, the party faithful on both sides of the aisle (or chasm?) have made literally EVERYTHING political, even personal hygeine. And not only is every thought or action now political, but it’s all or nothing. I’ve seen countless social media posts that say if you believe/say/do “X”, you can’t believe/say/do “Y”. All I’ve really seen to fight this mentality are some passive-aggressive Venn-diagram memes that basically say “nuh-uh” without even saying that much.

I’ve hit a point where I feel like someone needs to say something, and I guess it might as well be me. I’m here to say that I am a person. I have a brain. I can make decisions and hold beliefs without your input, direction or permission. I can say and believe not just “X” and “Y”, but also “Z”. I don’t want to get into the weeds on every issue because persuasion is not my objective. Most likely you already have an opinion, and I’m not likely to change it. I’m just here to say that I’m not ok with being told by every self proclaimed influencer what I can and cannot believe anymore. As a culture in general, we’re either forgetting or ignoring the escense of humanity.

I was really moved by the words Jacob Blake’s mother shared this week. If you have not, please listen to them. We have to stop letting others tell us what to do, say and think. We each need to look to our God or within ourselves, and follow our own hearts and heads, and we need to respect others right and ability to do the same. Personally, I want to follow Christ’s example and choose love over hate. There’s a hymn called “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”, and the title pretty well sums up the message. If you disagree with everything I do/say/think, I recognize and respect that as your right. Thankfully, someone else has to sort that all out in the end. Today, I’m simply here to show you who I am, with love and empathy for my fellow humans, and to encourage you to do the same.

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