Sweetheart I'm an American.
As a woman who is a childhood sexual abuse survivor- having a president elected into office who believes it is okay to grab women by their pussy feels like a betrayal. This is a betrayal by the people of this United States who cast their ballot for him.
This is a betrayal by those individuals who listened to rhetoric and not their own souls and therefore have voted without any sense of being in touch with their humanity.
This is a betrayal by the religious community who instead of focusing on spiritual values has sold their soul to a rigid value system. This is where the intolerance starts. Religion- not spirituality kills grace and acceptance. Because how can you accept others if you believe that you are not acceptable and that you cannot even trust your own heart- because "the heart is wicked and deceitful above all things". How can you extend kindness and love when you are taught that love means being subjected to a certain version of God- one that is punitive, vindictive and authoritarian.
And since this is where I come from- the depths of redneck, republican, evangelical christian america, and because these are my people and my culture I will absolutely rebuke it for what it is.
Hateful intolerant, ignorant and committed to it. But worse than anything so many in my culture are not spiritual leaders who reflect the values of Jesus who is the Prince of Peace and not war- and yet they believe that God has sanctified them in their cause and therefore they are not wrong. Their version of God has given them permission to be right and never bend and to never need to question opposition- because any opposition is the opinion of sinners.
Yes I am angry. I am very angry and I am heartbroken and grieved. I will not apologize for this censure because who is going to censure those that have committed crimes against humanity but the members of their community who know better who understand the cost and who have suffered because of their communities appalling behavior. So yes I will without regret censure this as intolerant and unacceptable behavior by my culture, by my community and I will stand tall and not bend or make these words easier to hear. They will never learn until they swallow this bitter pill and experience the hate of their beliefs turned on themselves.
I do not have much privilege within this community and culture of mine- but I have learned to be the witness who will wear red anyway- and despite fear and having faced this heartbreaking intolerance myself so many times I am still privileged enough to call them out.
I am an all American country girl who was raised evangelical republican. I know how to hitch a trailer and how to shoot a gun. I know how to do what cowgirls do best- say it straight, simple and with a smile. I know how to get things done when I am the only one there to do it. I know how to be stubborn, fearless and focused. I have screamed at 1200 pound animals and I stopped my father from pushing me into walls because I pushed back.
I am an American girl, true blue and grit. Who better to tell evangelical white america that they are full of horse shit and they wouldn't know Jesus if he sat down next to them in church.
I will not hold your hand and tell you that I understand that you meant well. I will not blame the decision you made on feeling that you were subjected to liberal elitism. There is no excuse when you are faced with a moral decision and you choose wrong. The divisive politics in America are not an excuse for you electing a president who has no God but himself and who believes that it is acceptable to hate and persecute others.
There is nothing wrong with your values.
Faith, family and community are so important to me. And I have seen the people who supposedly value this above all else- destroy it. I believe there is something about a simple life and growing up in the country that gives me these deep roots. I believe that you don't have to have a lot of money or be elitist- I still think snobby people have a stick up their ass. I will always be a country girl. I love trucks, horses and cowboys in wrangler jeans. I genuinely believe that at the end of the day these country values are no different than liberal values. All we really want is to have a good life and to care for our loved ones and family- and we care about the political policies that affect them.
But what we are seeing now is so far from those values and the real and beautiful spiritual heartbeat of rural america. Having values or being a country girl does not mean you need to be ignorant and intolerant or to hold fast to the idea that your religious beliefs excuse you and make you right. If you think this I don't think God has given you permission or shown you his will- in fact I am pretty certain you might not be talking to God at all.
I have seen the religion I grew up with be a weapon- I have seen rural american values become a weapon. There is no excuse for what you have done.
You have betrayed me, you have betrayed the women in your lives- mothers, sisters, daughters. You have betrayed the minorities of this country for whom you should have been a voice for. Jesus was the voice for those who had little or none- he rebuked the money lenders for being in the temple and he sat with the woman at the well who would have been considered unacceptable and heathen.
I can only imagine if he were really walking amongst us this week- to see a money lender elected to the place that is a representative temple of our beliefs and humanity. I can only imagine the heartbreak that millions of women and girls like myself have just been deemed invaluable and that our bodies are not our own- that we are just things and that it is okay for abuse and violence to be enacted against us.
Women and girls are so often told that it is not okay for us to be angry because that makes us bitches. But I think we have every right to be angry and every right to express it. I think we have every right to censure and rebuke hateful and violent behavior and policies. At this moment I do not need to understand the opposition- I don't need to understand those who believe this way or to try to speak to their level so they can hear me. I have done that and I will not walk on eggshells when what you need is a kick in the ass. I am entitled to my anger at this moment- these beliefs do directly affect me and those I love. It is not my responsibility to hold your hand and make you understand. Not at this moment.
Let girls be angry, let women be angry. We are entitled to it at this moment.
And angry is not the same thing as hate. I still believe that you are living breathing human beings whose lives have value.
This hurts- this is such a huge betrayal and I will not protect you from hearing how much it hurts or the consequences of decisions you have made.
In the end what I will hold onto is what still makes me a proud american girl- and to quote Lady Grantham "Sweetheart I am an american- have trunk will travel". I will do what I need to do, I will be hopeful I will be stubborn and I will endure. If I have to yell at a few podunk rednecks along the way so be it. Ultimately I still believe in tolerance, education and communication. Without dialogue we are nothing- we cannot connect with one another and move forward.
I am a former country girl and abuse survivor. I enjoy blogging because I find it personally therapeutic. It also allows me to share my experiences with others, and bring to light issues of abuse. I write under a pseudonym for my personal safety as well as to negate any potential legal trouble over sharing my story.