A social media pass-along that was popular about four years ago is making its rounds again. I want to gratefully acknowledge the work of the original author and add my own perspective to it. The piece explains how the fake news and social media worlds have tried to redefine me. (That would be the corporate ‘me’ – all of us white, American, over-60 types.)
I will tell you up front I reject the new definitions and if you read to the end I’ll explain why. I still enjoy what he wrote because it is poignant and thought provoking. I’ll send a note of regrets to the author of the original monograph if I ever learn who it is because what he wrote is well done. I just think I need to add some qualifiers of my own. So here goes. My additions are italicized.
I Used to Be A Normal Person and I think I still am mostly normal, except when I make a joke and my young grandchildren just shake their heads or roll their eyes!
As a man, I used to think I was pretty much just a regular person, but I was born white, into a two-parent household which now, whether I like it or not, some define me as “Privileged”, a racist & responsible for slavery. Some say tax dollars should be taken from those who never owned slaves to pay reparations to those who never were slaves. The logic in that escapes me.
I am a fiscal & moral conservative, which by today’s standards, has folks try to define me a fascist because I plan, budget & support myself. I assume that has to do with fascism’s strict regimentation of society and the economy, but the rest of the connection escapes me completely.
I went to High School, paid my way thru college, earned a degree, & have always held a job. But I now find out that these same folks try to tell me I’m not here because I earned it, but because I was “advantaged.” I suppose I was advantaged that I lived in a country that permitted me to get an education if I chose to continue, even if I had to pay for it after the government gave me 12 or 13 years of ‘free education’. I was advantaged because I had parents who taught me to earn what I desired and not expect it be given to me and I saw my parents scrimp and save, sometimes ‘borrowing’ from our allowance in our piggy banks to buy milk a few days before their own pay day even when they were both working long hours to make ‘ends meet’. I always saw them pay back that which they ‘borrowed’ from us, too. I was advantaged because I had parents who loved me enough to go with me to church, often three times a week, regardless of the weather. So, to those who claim I was ‘advantaged’ – you are sort of correct but not in the way you think.
I am heterosexual, which according to some “gay” folks, now makes me a homophobe. In inserted the word ‘some’ because to say here, that all gay persons would think of me as a homophobe because I am heterosexual is as prejudiced and demeaning to all gays as it is to all non-gays. We may not always think and act as individuals, but we are responsible for what we think and do as an individual and should not be cast into any mass definition no matter what side of the issue one finds themselves.
I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel. If the actual definition of infidel is one who does not believe in the god of Mohammad, then I accept that moniker gladly. Does it mean I hate those who define themselves as Muslims? No, absolutely not! I absolutely adore and love some who profess the Muslim faith, or have it as their heritage, with whom I shared many life experiences. I long to see them again and I pray for them very frequently. Some of them are among the finest people I have known.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment, which pushes others to label me a Defacto member of the “vast NRA gun lobby” For many reasons I am a member of the NRA but I fight against and speak strongly against some of the things I disagree with in the organization. The NRA does much good; but they do not speak for me, nor does anyone else speak for me, excepting, the representatives who have been elected by majority vote to do so. Still, to those I regularly make my singular opinions known. My voice is my own, and if I do not choose to use it, the fault is mine not the systems’.
I am older than 60, who some would say makes me a useless person who doesn’t understand Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. That, to quote a television personality of the 1970’s, is ‘straight off the stable floor’. (Col. Potter, M*A*S*H played by Henry Morgan)
I think & I reason, and I doubt much of what the “mainstream” media tells me, which makes me a “Right-wing conspiracy nut” according to people whose opinions mean nothing to me.
I am proud of my heritage & our inclusive American culture, making me a xenophobe. Having spent over fifteen years ministering across Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Near East while also having an ‘adopted’ Filipino daughter and her family, also numbered in my grandchildren, that too is buffalo bagels.
I believe in hard work, fair play, & fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which today some say makes me an anti-socialist. I am against socialism as a political platform alongside Communism. I am also against socialism as an economic theory. I am for the caring for those who are least able to care for themselves, particularly widows, orphans and the infirm. It is the responsibility of individuals, families and the universal church, however, to provide for their care and not the ‘government’ I.e. taxpayer. If family members would meet their responsibilities to the best of their abilities and the local churches would heed the command of Christ to care for those, particularly those of the household of faith, rather than expecting the government to provide the safety net for all things; then the high prices of prescriptions and health care could be driven by the economic forces responsive to a capitalist structure rather than a no-price-is-too-high welfare system.
I believe our system guarantees freedom of effort – not freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me according to some a borderline sociopath. Those who truly know me, know I am not ‘borderline’ anything. I am either all in or not at all. If I were truly a sociopath, there would be no question!
I believe in the defense & protection of America for & by all citizens, now causing me to be defined as a militant. Former President Obama became infamous for saying about those of us in the mid-west, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Thus, we become either considered militant or just plain bitter. I saw an interesting quote recently concerning gun control. It said, to the effect of, “There are 393 million gun-owners in America. If we were the problem, you’d know it.” Bitter Militants would be a force with which a left-wing socialist dare not reckon.
I am proud of our flag, what it stands for and the many who died to let it fly, so I stand & salute during our National Anthem – so I must be a racist according to this myth woven by the ignorant unknown mass of society.
Here the original author wrote using sarcasm to make his point:
Please help me come to terms with the new me because I’m just not sure who I am anymore!
Of course, that isn’t true, or it wouldn’t be sarcasm. But in all honesty, I know exactly who I am and my sixty plus years so far have helped me to be more certain of it than ever. (This is the part I promised at the beginning).
I am a child of the One true God, creator of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The triune God who exists from eternity past and was not created but is Creator who exists as One God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son-Jesus Christ who came as Messiah and lived a sinless life, was crucified, buried and resurrected completing payment for the sins of all mankind giving grace for forgiveness to all who believe and repent, who reigns on high for evermore, and God the Holy Spirit who indwells every born-again believer sanctifying them as they grow in their Christian walk and calls the unredeemed allowing those who are dead in their sins to know their sin condition and leads them to repentance. I am not perfect but am being made complete. I am positionally already in heaven so I need never doubt or question what will become of me when I die.
The original author wrote:
It all took place over the last 8 years of Socialist Democratic political control; (I believe he is referring to the Obama administration) it’s time to finally get rid of these fools. (He is referring to the quantifying of persons by some obtuse methods as he lists above. I’d prefer to be more specific on who to ‘get rid of’ and if he wants to use the term fool, I’ll let him, but I might have another term I’d use!)
He concludes in great sarcastic form:
If all this nonsense wasn’t enough to deal with, now I don’t even know which restroom to use… and I gotta go more FREQUENTLY!