Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Speaking faith to fear

After spending 8 hours with my mom, my representative sample of one from small town middle America, I'm firmly convinced that the most important thing we can do to bring change in our world for the better is to patiently and skillfully work to dismantle the firm grip that fear has around the bible-belted waist of this country.

My mom and I discussed the upcoming presidential election. She is worried. She thinks we're all going to hell if Hillary is elected. If she gets the Democratic nomination, my mom is voting for whichever Republican wins, regardless of who it is, and in spite of her conviction that none of them is worthy to be president. Obama would be okay, she thinks, but she's afraid to vote for someone with a Muslim background. When I pointed out that he isn't Muslim, she said, "I know, but he comes from that background." Um, okay? Nevermind the problem with thinking that someone with a Muslim background can't lead. Which do I address? The obvious misconception or the underlying ridiculous fear? If I had it to do over, I'd skip the misconception and jump right to the fear.

Fear, my friends, is evil! It steals common sense from otherwise educated and capable people. Are we going to let them remain in fear's grip without naming it for what it is and challenging them to be people of faith?

7 comments:

Yankee, Transferred said...

Fear IS evil, you are right. It's one reason I hate GWB.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Preach it, sister!

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Songbird said...

Amen.

Sue said...

Amen to that!

Katherine E. said...

Exactly!

concretegodmother said...

Isn't *everything* bad a result of fear? Aren't hatred and racism rooted in fear?

It makes me think of the movie that came out several years ago, "Defending Your Life," with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks; in the film, the whole purpose of our lives on earth is to learn to overcome our fears, and we keep being sent back (reincarnation, sort of) until we get it right. And while the movie is a comedy and not theologically sound and all that, it really made me think about what I both do and hesitate to do because I'm afraid. Your post resonates with me.

Mary Beth said...

Did you hear Obama's speech from Boston last night? He talked about how fear is the worst thing going for this country.