Delivered at Ames UCC
on November 13, 2016
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
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ASSUMPTIONS AND FEAR
I don’t generally like to assume how people are feeling or what they are thinking. It isn’t fair and it can be dangerous. Plus, my personality and my training tell me to do otherwise. I like to assume the best about people and so I want to understand who they are and why they are and how they got there.
I doesn’t mean I respect where everyone ends up. I have no patience or respect for those who publicly pronounce their hatred of others, for those who organize whole institutions around the destruction of those who are not Christian, or of people of color, women, or queer.
Neither does Ames UCC. This is a church that has always stood on the side of people who have been hated for those reasons. We do not all do so from the same political party, but we agree nonetheless.
So I will take the risk in assuming that if you are here today, if you have chosen to a come to a place like this, you have experienced some kind of grief, if not actual fear, since Tuesday night.
Fear of the voters who chanted “Jew S. A.! Jew S. A.!,” fear of the voters who laughed at or dismissed a man who treats women’s bodies as objects for his own pleasure, fear of the voters whose children approached other Black kids in Ames to ask if they knew they would be slaves again soon, fear of the voters in Boone who keyed “die fag #trump” into the cars of two women, fear that those voters’ voices will not only grow stronger and more emboldened, but also translate into law that will reduce protection and rights.
In other words, even though I know we are not homogenous in our formal party affiliations at Ames UCC, I know that we are united in our condemnation of such behavior.