Just Because You're Human Doesn't Excuse You Being An Asshole

I've found two major theories in how people accept humanity. Based on the way these ideas are implemented, the repercussions are drastically different. The first theology of humanity is, "oopsie, we're all human" therefore we should basically excuse all shitty behavior. The subtext is that we're pieces of shit so we can't set boundaries, defend ourselves or condemn abusive behavior. Anything goes because we're forgiven! I saw this reaction when Josh Duggar was forced to admit he was a terrible hypocrite (my words of course!) who advocated for women not showing their knees and then repeatedly lied to his virginal wife so he could go play with women who wore jeans (not allowed for his wife) and loved sex toys. That's not an "oopsie, we're all human" moment. That's a "you're a terrible abuser who deserves to lose his livelihood and the family you've built on total, deliberate deception" kind of moment. Sometimes the conservative Christian idea of redemption invites abuse and this is a good example. Because many Christians level the playing field of sin and make everything evil the same, we can see someone like "Poor Josh" and excuse his behavior with no evidence of remorse or life change. If he says the right words, he's good to go. And guess what? His wife is pregnant again. 

Another good example is any time Trump has ever claimed Christianity and then shown zero evidence of faith in any action in his life. But I don't want to talk about him. 

The result of this theology of humanity and "sin" is enabling abusers, silencing victims and not giving perpetrators the opportunity to experience real, life-changing consequences for their choices. It's always someone else's fault (in this case, the Devil, according to Josh). The perpetrator is actually the victim! We fail everyone involved and shame anyone who doesn't forgive the person who isn't remorseful. When someone is remorseful, their ways change. Until that happens, they're playing you. Sorry. (Again, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP...damn, didn't I say I didn't want to talk about him?!)

The second theology of humanity is, "I embrace my humanity, have compassion on myself and then extend that towards others." For me, embracing my humanity, giving myself grace and learning to really feel compassion for myself, my limitations and my human-ness has made me a much more gracious, understanding person. Do you see the difference? In the first scenario, we poo-poo Josh Duggar. In the second, we feel grief for the shitty theology that taught Josh that the subjugation of women was okay and hold sorrow for his wife and children, who will be stuck with him forever. It's not about judging them. It's about being sad for what they're living in and outraged at the perpetuation of his behavior. 

It's in embracing my humanity that I cannot tolerate letting abusers roam free. It's in seeing Josh's wife suffer humiliation and a total lack of options and freedom that takes the conversation off Josh's "sin" and onto her as a human deserving of dignity and respect. It's in seeing myself in refugees, Muslims, people of color and the LGBTQI community that propels me forward against bigotry. The first approach continues blindly following bigotry while the second unveils it and fights back. We must see our own humanity and the humanity of others in order to make our society a more tolerant and safe place for everyone. Somehow the "we're all human" thing only extends to other fellow conservative Christians. How does that apply to the "illegals?" It doesn't. They should have known they'd be threatened with deportation while going through a miscarriage in custody. What about all those POC getting arrested and killed? They should just behave. Like I do in my ivory tower. Where is the "we're all human" in those cases? It doesn't apply. Somehow it never does.