Protest

Protest:          

 (Noun) A statement or action expressing disapproval of or  objection to something.               

(Verb) Express an objection to what someone has said or done. 

If you’re like me, ever since November 9, 2016, your Facebook newsfeed has been filled with images and articles about protestors. Being that I’m friends with both sides of the aisle, I see posts that both praise and condemn these protests. The ones that make me laugh the most, are the videos of dudes with a certain shade of neck, sitting in the driver’s seat of their vehicle, screaming about how these pitiful little millennials are so sensitive that they can’t handle the outcome of the election.

( I’m not even kidding. They are literally the exact same video, just with a different “driver.” A white guy wearing sunglasses, says a few things nice and calm, then gets right up in the camera, and screams out his opinion. Then he says a few more things calmly, and then goes right back to screaming into the camera. Like seriously dude, I think you need a Xanax or 20!) 

Given that these anti-protest posts have become so commonplace, I wanted to share a few musings. 

1. For folks who are so displeased with protestors, you sure do protest just as much as the people you condemn. By the very definition of protest, you are a protestor. You are expressing an objection to what a group is doing and saying. But I would counter that the difference is that those protestors know what they are protesting, while you only appear to protest a perception. 

2. Make sure you know what you are objecting to! I hate to make a blanket statement, but without fail, every person who is telling these protestors to stop protesting, are calling them “whining liberal millenials who can’t handle the outcome of the election.” This is simply not true. In fact, I would counter that if that is what you think of the protestors, you have not done due diligence to actually learn the truth about their message, and why they are protesting. And until you do so, you are objecting the actions of a characture that you have drawn up, and not reality. 

(To be fair, all of us can learn to communicate better, so that our message is clear. As one of my college English professors said, communicate in such a way that it is impossible to be misunderstood.)

3. Do you even know your own country’s history? America is a country founded on protest!!! What was the Boston Tea Party? Protest accompanied by strategic acts of vandalism! What was the Declaration of Independence? A written notice of protest! What was the Revelutionary War? An act of treasonous protest! If we had lost, we would probably still be subjects of the Crown, reading about the colonial uprising of 1776. What was Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? A presidential protest. What was the Suffrage Movement? Protest. What was the Civil Rights Movement? Protest. Whole cities were economically crippled due to sit-ins and boycotts. How did we get a minimum wage, a two day weekend, end child labor? By protest!  As you object to protestors, you are using rights afforded you by the act of protest!!!

Let me finish with this: Vandalism is not protest. The videos you see of people smashing windows and setting cars on fire are vandals, not protestors. As Trevor Noah said, “Be careful that you don’t become what you are protesting. Protest is like sex. You can be loud, you can go all night long, but the moment something starts to burn, you should probably stop.”

So let us march on!

A New Song to Share

I am a musician at heart. If there’s ever one thing that has brought me the most comfort, it’s music. Likewise, if there’s any one thing that pumps me up the most — for better or worse –it’s music. As my old friend Eric used to say, “Music tames the beast, but it also riles it up.”

In addition to its comfort, I have also found music (more accurately, the poetry of a song — its lyrical content) as a way to express the spectrum of emotion and need. A broken man can grab a gun, or he can grab a pen, paper (iPhone in my case), and a guitar. Like David in the Psalms, music and poetry can become the source by which a person can be brutally honest with God that no well worded prayer could ever express. David often went in angry, defeated, and broken, but came out whole, and ready to begin again. 

Likewise, music and poetry is the voice of protest. As I learn more and more about how the Irish and Scots fought against the tyranny of England, I have found that their greatest fighters, fought through song and poem. You might recall the scene in Braveheart, “Outlawed tunes, on outlawed pipes.” (The English weren’t stupid, ya know! They knew what those songs meant.)

So it is with great fear and trepidation that I share the poetry — the lyrics — to a song I wrote recently. Why so fearful? Because, it is a song about my frustration with the American Church in general, and it is also a personal lament about a dark time in my life when I was outcast by a church. (I would venture into specifics, but there will come a time for that in future posts.) 

This is a song that I am currently calling “Liars and Thieves.” (And no, it is not a reprise of Jennifer Knapp!)

I was told to leave on a Tuesday.

” You can’t stay here, as long as you’re friends with ‘THEM.'”

“Just pack your bags, we’ll handle it from here.”

And they read my letter on Sunday, that I didn’t even write.

“We’re not sure what happened, but we wish him well.”
Liars and thieves at the altar of Grace. 

Thin veneers leave a bitter taste. 

Don’t you try to hide it anymore!

You played the bride, but you’re just a whore. 

But I still wonder why it came to this. 

I just hope it was worth it to you.
I see them while grabbing coffee. 

They smile and wave like nothing is wrong at all. 

“Let’s just pretend like everything’s alright.”

All the fake pleasantries that I can hardly stand. 

“How’s your wife? What’s her name again?”
Liars and Thieves at the altar of Grace. 

Thin veneers leave a bitter taste.

Don’t you try to hide it anymore!

You played the Bride, but you’re just a whore. 

But I still wonder why it came to this. 

I just hope it was worth it to you!
You’re just a lying  hypocrite!

You’re such a lying hypocrite!

But I guess I “don’t recall!”