Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's REALLY going on here?

Some might have a problem with this- coming from a Canadian; but the last several days I’ve been deeply saddened by the media frenzy, the posturing and jockeying which has been going on in the public media over what I’d call the self-inflicted, public misfortune of Rep. Anthony Weiner.

Yeah, I know, the media have been having a heyday with it- spinning each picture, the most tenuous connections and the thinnest of stories into blazing headline. But as one American contact reminded me last evening while speaking of the majority of the American media ‘the media are essentially whores. That’s how they manage so successfully to distract the vast majority of the American public from real issues and daily realities of their individual lives.’ ‘A most often embarrassing but often necessary.... evil’ was another of my contact’s assessments.

Living north of the 49th parallel, with nothing more than concerned observer status in this current manufactured drama, I could do little more than reflect on this particular assessment, bearing in mind my contact’s deep informed spirituality, their academic credentials & career accomplishments.

One final comment, read late last evening however really saddened me. By a person, publicly identifying as a Christian their quote generated its own headline on one of America’s leading news sites: essentially ‘Unforgiveable! He lied to us!’

I couldn’t help but wonder on what grounds she was making this assessment? As an American? Since when has lying been grounds for forfeiting one’s citizenship ? As a constituent? Is Mr. Weiner the first public official caught out in a lie, or series of lies which did not involve an illegal activity? Or is it that he is refusing to ‘cut off his own head’ as another media wag suggested, and slink off into ignominy?
Or perhaps it is this persons publicly professed Christian faith which is supposed to be the grounds for her judgement and her call for his resignation? Is she actually suggesting we Christians are supposed to have some God-given right to judge each other AND everyone else?

Is it not possible that perhaps... just perhaps, something else could be going on here?
As one ‘blessed to be baptized,’ to quote a dear friend: trying to live out my faith from the particular vocation of a gay Christian, I tend to try to keep at least one eye on the bigger picture, the larger process and life-affirming possibilities one believes are always possible on the dance floor of the Holy Spirit.

How about some critical thinking on the Weiner-gate firestorm? Possibly even self-reflection on the hidden personal issues and woundedness- collectively and individually- behind so much of the self-righteousness noise & condemnation?

i.e. If the best the Democratic Party can do is to abandon Rep Weiner and his family to the whoring of every media hack and potentate- I say shame on you.

I’m talking sacred process here- which also means leaving Rep. Weiner and his beautiful wife to their God and themselves to deal with this. Recognizing that each of them is indeed created in the image and likeness of the living God who has indeed never abandoned them, AND perhaps we might even rejoice in the fact that their life together is about to be blessed with a child.

Of course this would entail according Anthony & Huma the humanity we are usually all-too-ready to claim for ourselves: a humanity which among other attributes includes the ability to repent, to forgive, to heal, to learn and to grow.

My sense is that there are indeed no innocents here- except for the radiant Huma, and she, unlike too many others has not served her husband up to this media feeding-frenzy. Instead she has, I would suggest recognized the sacredness of their relationship, kept her own counsel and got on with her life- with much grace working with her partner and getting on with her job- heading off to North Africa with Madame Clinton- herself another living lesson.

Sacred process you well might ask.

How about- for people of faith at least- the possibility that when media or alternately the course of events, make large certain issues or events there is always- ALWAYS opportunities for us personally to gain insight, to heal or grow- to become part of a solution or on-going process which honors this sacred, wondrous gift of life we have been given. Whether it’s the current recession, imagining a future life for the peoples of Iraq & Afghanistan following the foreign troop with-drawls or the too-obvious effects of global warming: inherent in each is the opportunity to do better, to think larger, to embrace rather than presume to manage or control this sacred gift of Life.

In not-quite-a-word, I’d suggest the media might best STFU on the life and marriage of Anthony & Huma, and, with real grace focus on the lives, courage grace and experience of the people of Joplin; on real alternatives to America’s addiction to petroleum products; on how the West can best help the people of Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia; and perhaps even speculate on what a real communications culture would look like.

My job as a person of faith- as a gay person of faith- in all of this is to uphold Anthony and Huma with love in prayer- and they’ve got both.

God bless you dear Huma.

God bless you dear Anthony.

-love you BOTH!