Sunday, January 22, 2017

Coming Out Is Hard To Do


Worthy of a read. I have no understanding of gayness, but assume it is looking at a man like I look at a woman in "desire mode". There tends to not be lot of deep thought related to that ... looking at a tall cold glass of beer on a hot day comes to mind as a similar sort of non-intellectual endeavor. If the species needed very much intellect for feeding, fighting, fleeing and, er "procreating", we would likely either be a lot smarter or "not" (as in not existing).

Liking beer, scotch, tobacco, chocolate -- or not, never seemed to be hugely intellectual to me either. There is the "addiction factor" of course -- I used to really enjoy smoking a pipe, but I gave that up and it wasn't too hard. I still enjoy the occasional cigar, but it doesn't average out to "weekly", so not much addiction factor. Eating too much for emotional reasons? BIG addiction factor -- really hard to give up eating though -- and it tends to not end well.  Sometimes we have to totally fight STRONG urges to even survive, let alone be "moral". Just ask a "recovered" addict.

I can imagine that the "secrecy factor" can be significant  -- the long term religious person doubting their faith, marital infidelity, being a victim of abuse, and likely an abuser, lots of addictions, etc. It would be interesting to note the percentage of the population that has "no secrets" vs "significant secrets" vs "secrets that are thought to be at an acceptable level"(whatever that means!). It's difficult to even put categories on such things. Having had some personal experience plus experience in talking to others, I'd guess that the totals for "having done or been the victim of something that has or occasionally causes moderate or greater guilt" is well over 50% of the population, possibly close to 90%? Who knows? they call them "secrets" after all! "Redemption" is an idea that doesn't apply if there is no sin -- and it doesn't apply politically. As Hillary reminded us, Trump voters are not merely "deplorable", but "irredeemable".

As the guy in the column says:
Worse than Mr. Trump’s inconsistencies, however, are those of his detractors. They cite his lack of inclusiveness yet discount that tens of millions of Americans voted for him, and he won 30 states. I am as afraid about acknowledging that I voted for Mr. Trump today as I was about being gay yesterday. There seems to be as little understanding of my political views as there was about my sexual orientation.
I suppose there is really no irony there at all, but it feels that way to me. If we take the old "10% gay" number that is thought to be VERY high (1-2% being closer), 30 million out of our 300 million population would be gay. Therefore, that a significant percentage of 60 million Trump voters now feel reticent to "come out" would be considered to be "progress". People feeling uncomfortable because they have desires that go against natural law and human mores for thousands of years is "unacceptable" you must love the sin AND love the sinner.

However if 2x+ the old number have thoughts counter to recently expounded "progressive" positions, then them feeling uncomfortable and staying "closeted" is GOOD! From the "progressive" POV, all that is required is to increase sanctions against them until they TRUELY "get their minds right" -- the idea that people would CONSIDER a position different from "progressive" orthodoxy is bad enough -- that they would find the gall go "come out" and admit it is totally beyond the "progressive pale"!

Certainly Trump supporters know that they are a "minority" in any way that counts, the much vaunted Hillary "3 million" more popular vote being the most meaningless part. As I lament to boredom, at this point, Trump support is DEFINITELY counter-cultural. You can lose your job, friends, social standing, etc -- and as "progressives" would say, that is only the beginning -- as evidenced this last weekend, they may want to attack you physically or even attack your kids. Proper thought must be maintained! My guess is that their big worry is that it might actually become acceptable to think differently from them! (the horror)

Is being a "minority" really bad? Women are in fact a MAJORITY, yet a million of them marched yesterday because they don't feel enough like a majority after the inauguration. The Davos crowd is in somewhat of a funk because Brexit and the US election didn't come out as they wanted. Eight of them have as much wealth as the bottom half of the planet, and if we counted the whole 3K attendees, it would likely be 2/3's or even 3/4s, yet they don't quite feel "powerful enough" since not everything is going their way.

My Packers are getting killed while I write this -- yet when Rodgers claimed they could "run the table", I thought he was crazy. They did WAY better than I would have expected getting to this point --- but since they didn't win it all, I feel the pangs of disappointment.

My current section of study in DBT -- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (a class I'm teaching) is "Distress Tolerance". Life is painful, sometimes very painful (like your spouse or child dying), sometimes ridiculously smallish painful (like your team losing). Even when you are part of an elite that has over half the wealth on the planet and fly around in beautiful private jets, life comes with "distress". The higher our expectations, the greater our distress.

As we have known since Genesis, our nature is to believe that each of us has a right to "be like God" -- or at least like what we assume God is like. When others are not what we want -- they vote for Trump, they cheer for another team, they don't worship as we do, they practice something (typically sexual) that makes our skin crawl, they don't "look like us" (they are way too fat, way too beautiful. the wrong color, smelly, etc), we feel various levels of "discomfort, disgust, hatred, anger, etc".

DBT would tell us that "our feelings are valid" -- they ARE the feelings we have. Claiming that we "shouldn't" have them is counterproductive. Nobody as ever used reason create love or remove disgust. Most all of us have tried to overcome feelings with logic and reason, and we can often do a darned good job of "faking it" -- or at least we think we can. Usually, everyone pretty much "knows" at some level so we are really having a "circle fake".

In DBT, the idea is to "breath deeply", allow time to pass, "allow the solution to find us". This somewhat mumbo jumbo is called "wise mind" ... we all know what they are reaching for.  (2:50 is the admonition from Obi Wan if you are in a hurry).


Christ went over all this 2K years ago and offered to change us so that our "still small voice" was aligned with good rather than evil. So aligned in fact, that it was just barely possible to see the potential to ACTUALLY love our enemies!

Search your heart -- what do you "know to be true" about the "million woman march" or the protests at the inauguration? Do you feel the love and understanding for the vast majority of those 60 million Trump voters by the marchers/protesters, and a strong encouragement for them to "come out" so they could practice "radical acceptance" of their views of religious freedom, the need to maintain a culture that can somehow be identified as "American", the value of hard work, thrift, as much self determination and responsibility as possible? How about the radical concept of  local and even individual control of who uses a bathroom or even associational freedom as to if you need to bake a cake for a wedding that is against your religious sentiments vs selling a dress to Melania Trump that is against your political sensibilities?

What is "progress"? Having 60 million in the closet vs 30 million? Who decides that is "progress"? Davos Man? The New York Times? Harvard? How many people you can get to march or break windows and burn cars?

Will there ever be diversity of thought and love for even our enemies on a broad spectrum, or is "war" either via politics or direct means the lot in life of the failed state of BOistan forever? Reason will never get us out of our pit -- yet Christ created a way.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

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