Working Class White People, We Need to Talk
I understand your pain, because I feel it too.
I was socialized to believe I was growing up privileged only to discover that life is hard. As a cis white male, the messages I received through media and culture told me things would be easy.
Then I found out I was gay.
But that’s not really my point here, and I hope you were able to get past those first few sentences. Because my gayness hasn’t even been the primary root of my oppression.
What really shattered my illusions was finally figuring out I was working class. The promise of economic freedom would be dangled before me, but it would never be mine. And if I dared to ask why, they would tell me it was straight people. It was black people. It was homeless people. It was me.
I know the media has really got all this twisted for you, but after all they are in service of the rulers. Their job as protectors of those who lord money and power over the people is to perpetuate confusion and shift the blame away from our oppressors on to you and me. But this blame shifting goes deeper than simply from rulers on to ruled. Far deeper.
The thing sucking our life out of us isn’t our oppressed neighbor who also wants to be free. And it’s only indirectly even those who are oppressing us. When it comes to how we structure our world we need to be wise like serpents about who they really serve, even as we seek to be peaceful like doves in addressing that problem.
Let me explain.
I was also raised Christian, and though I wandered away from that for the first 20 years of my adult life, I’ve come back to it again. After all, does not the creator promise to stand with those who have been humbled, did the divine not walk directly among the least privileged classes of Roman occupied Israel? I want to be clear here, the Jesus I’ve come to know in my wisdom is not the Jesus of conquest — the flag waving white Jesus that builds walls between nations, between men and women, between slave and free.
It’s the Jesus who is victorious over even death itself, a Jesus who tears down those walls in the name of triumph over the evil one, a Jesus who died to set us free of worldly power by transforming us into spiritual beings capable of revolutionary love for each other powered directly by the source.
This is the Jesus who blessed a same sex partnership, disrupted the capital punishment of a sex worker, affirmed that workers are worthy of our pay, and declared that the state had no authority whatsoever — that all authority is his, and his alone — and then promised to share it with all who ask.
This is the power we, his people, must ask for. And with it we can defeat our enemy.
The Republican Jesus that is worshipped on TV declares that Trump is lord and savior, but that is a lie. The Democratic Jesus that “catholics” like Joe Biden worship is a patronizing, self serving, agent of exploitation that sits at the table of the moneychangers rather than overturning them. As agents of the Father of Lies, they take our minds captive with human philosophy and promise a salvation that will never come, for they are incapable of delivering it, for they are not our savior.
They serve themselves, they serve their love of money, and they serve a power of darkness whose defeat is inevitable, but whose defeat the Jesus I serve has invited us to participate in.
Working class Americans of every kind, do you want to win? Then turn away from worshipping the state and ask the creator for that victory. Try this prayer:
I come to you now in humility with reverence and awe.
Your power created all that is, all that has been, and all that will ever be.
You knit me together in the womb and you will receive me when I leave this place.
Yet while I am here, my love for neighbor and love for you have caused me to deeply mourn.
I mourn the suffering of my neighbors both near and far.
I mourn the wickedness in high places that seeks to destroy us all.
I mourn the confusion, and the pain, and the death both physical and spiritual that surrounds me.
In the beatitudes you teach that those who mourn will be blessed, and in hope for that blessing I seek you now.
The blessing of mournfulness *is* that we seek you, from whom all blessings flow.
Father, will you fill us up with a desire to seek you fully, to be wise, to make peace, and to love our neighbors as we love you?
Father, will you pour down your presence, and your blessings of faith, wisdom, peace, and love for neighbor?
Father, will you light up our spirits with your divine power that its brilliance may be seen by all, and through that power your children shall triumph?
Not over political enemies, for our enemy is not flesh and blood, but over the dark powers that rule this world, over darkness itself?
Thank you for the hope that through faith we can approach you directly for mercy, lovingkindness, and blessings in abundance if we only seek you with all our hearts.
Thank you for the promise we accept in faith, that as lights to the world your power is available directly to us if we only ask.
I seek you with all my heart for the glory of your kingdom in the name of your son Jesus Christ, and by the spirit of holiness which he sent as our helper I make my petition known.
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by the author.