You never know where you’ll meet a member of your tribe

The Friday Photo
July 29, 2016
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Wednesday afternoon I stopped to get gas after picking up some groceries in Milledgeville, the “big” city to the west of my home town of Sandersville. A small SUV pulled up at a pump diagonally to mine. The driver, a woman maybe in her mid 60s, jumped out of her car and started walking toward me, smiling as she approached me standing at the rear corner of my car.

With great enthusiasm in her voice she asked me where I got my bumper sticker. She looked so happy, like she had finally come across another kindred soul, that she gave me a high five and immediately started telling me how worried she is about Donald Trump becoming President.

I replied that the racism and hate people feel comfortable sharing is horrifying, adding that the judgmental attitudes about people who don’t look or behave like them is stunning.

She said she’s taken issue with people she knows who judge gay people as sinners, saying that her response has been, “Do you believe God made everyone, and does God make mistakes?”

From there she said friends and family had turned away from her after she came out as gay, and that others in her family have been treated similarly.

Think about that- a family shunned one of their own, not because she was a murderer or thief, but because she wanted to date women instead of men.

This woman then looked at my car tag and realized I live in a neighboring county, and she said, “You live in Washington County and you have this one your car? You are a brave woman.”

It’s not so hard to be a privileged, white, straight woman driving around rural Georgia with a Democratic pride sticker on your car. When it helps you find members of your tribe while doing the ordinary things in life, it is even easier.

Thank you Bonnie, for extending your hand, telling me your name and story, and saying We Are Stronger Together.

Now this? Enough already!

There are lots of good people in North Carolina on both sides of the voting booth and the aisles in their churches. As if North Carolina didn’t get enough national media attention with passage of Amendment One by voters earlier this month, now Pastor Charles L. Worley and his followers at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden have shifted the spotlight back to rural North Carolina.

Pastor Worley preached that the “solution” for lesbians, queers, AND homosexuals (reduntant? Worley doesn’t care or even know) is to build huge fenced-in areas, put the women in one and the men in the other, air drop food to them, and just wait from them to die off because they can’t reproduce.

If it sounds unbelievable, see and hear it yourself:

When Anderson Cooper asked church member Stacey Pritchard about Worley’s sermon and the intent of Worley’s message, Prichard couldn’t explain her way through it. In fact, if she had had a shovel in her hands, she couldn’t have dug the hole she put herself in any faster or deeper (and she also seems to have a problem with understanding the facts of the Holocaust and current events).

Citizens in the area are organized and have planned a peaceful demonstration against the hate speech spewed by Worley and supported by his followers. This Sunday beginning at 11:00 people from across the country will be in Maiden to peacefully demonstrate opposition to the hate-filled message preached at Providence Road Baptist Church.

Want to go? Follow the Catawba Valley Citizens Against Hate on Facebook for details. Would you like to support their grassroots work to stop hate speech in their community? You can donate to Catawba Valley Pride to help pay for flyers, office supplies, and all the other things that must be bought to make grassroots outreach successful.

You’ll be in good company if you get to Maiden because I know several of my friends (including one who is a minister) will be there. You should join them.

I can’t get to Maiden because I have to help aging parents this weekend. Unfortunately I am afraid there will be other opportunities to demonstrate against hate speech. What a shame.