What If He Came Back As A Woman?

September 7, 2008

There’s a comment that we used to make when I was younger that went along the line of, “When Jesus comes back, she’ll be a woman.”  Sometimes various adjectives or descriptive phrases were added singly or in combination.  These might have included Black, Latina, Lesbian, single mother, welfare mother, and so on.  The point of it was not to be sacrilegious or disrespectful, neither to God, women, nor minorities, but rather to raise consciousness.  God is in everyone, but especially in and on the side of the powerless, the poor, and the humble.  Inspired by the Sermon on the Mount, we see God most vividly in those marginalized by society.

I don’t call myself a Christian these days, having adopted a more “cafeteria style” spirituality.  Other traditions also call us to respect the weak and uphold the dignity of all, however humble.  I hold this dear as an essential truth, whatever else I may believe.

Turning to a baser realm, that of politics, the last week or two has seen a new gender reflectiveness.  Today, “he” has come back as “she,” and she does not honor the poor.  Speaking plainly, I see Sarah Palin as a new Ronald Reagan, and yes, she scares me.  Like Reagan, she appears with charisma and wit, sugar-coating a bitter message that comforts the comfortable while ignoring the afflicted.

We like her, we love her, she makes us laugh.  She seems like the woman next door.  Granted, I live next door to a lesbian couple on one side and an ethnic Chinese family on the other, so let’s call her a “woman-next-door” archetype, if not in reality.

Reagan was the most successful political figure of my lifetime, and although I would have loved to socialize  with him, I disagreed with ninety percent of what he did as President.  Now Palin comes, touching many of the same emotional buttons for so many people.  And once again, I fear she will convince those “Reagan Democrats” and their children to vote against their best interests.

I live in a state where a quarter of the people have no health insurance.  That figure goes up to one-third of the people in Harris County, our largest urban area.  In many parts of the state, what Texas calls “indigent care” is only available for persons who make twenty-one percent of the poverty level or less.  That would be $179 a month for a single person, and care for the uninsured is being reduced.  And yet, we Texans and we Americans keep electing those sugar-coated conservatives who campaign on “God, guns, and gays.”

When Jesus comes back, right now I visualize her as a big Black woman.  She will not have a gun.  She might be gay, she might not be, but she won’t care if you or I are.  She’ll look and talk sort of like Loretta Devine, as she appeared in the movie Down on the Delta and the TV show Eli Stone.  She’ll be a person of size, with a heart so much bigger than all the junk in her trunk.  And yes, there’ll be children and grandchilden, and and a huge extended family of which she will be the center.  Her moral authority will be clear, and she will be grounded in love and responsibility, turning first to help the helpless, and then to encourage all to take responsibility to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.

And no, she will not sound like Sarah Palin.

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2 Responses to “What If He Came Back As A Woman?”

  1. Zorya Says:

    You may remember that I got in with a church similar to Palin’s when I was in college, and stuck with the Assemblies and Church of God for many years after that. The idea of someone with that world view in the White House is frankly unsettling.

    Health care for low income children is a bit more accessible here in Ohio, but we are having a devil of a time getting it re-established for Jacob. Many hoops to jump through, and even with half of Jesse’s income going to gas for that delivery van he drives they still may not qualify.

    We would put Jacob on our health insurance if we could, but the insurance company would turn it down.

  2. absoluteguy Says:

    Just turning 59, my health insurance premium has gone to $655 per month. This is higher than my rent payment in the “seniors only” building in which I live. I don’t expect the cost of insurance to decrease as I age but it feels odd that at a stage of life when health insurance might be most desirable that it is less affordable. Insurance should be a “level pay” premium calculated over an individual’s expected life span, not in proportion to probability of use. Oh, I guess that means I’d support national health care. Yep.


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