A List for Skeptics & Critics
Posted on May 7, 2013
I’m not a cynic. I’m not a pessimist.
I am, however, a skeptic. I am critical, sometimes to a troubling level. I tend to furrow my eyebrows in disbelief a lot. In fact, this is what I often look like:
What makes me skeptical and critical and eyebrow-furrow-y? As a liberal, a feminist, and a Christian, the list is long. Oh, boy. Really long. Here are some basics.
As a liberal:
- I am skeptical of any legislation or policy that almost exclusively benefits people who already have a ton of privilege in society. Rich people, White people, Christians, etc. If someone is passing legislation to improve the lives of a group of people, and that group of people already has it really really good, I’m going to be skeptical of it. I might not reject it. It might turn out to be good policy. But I’m going to question it a lot before accepting it.
- I am critical of people who think that laziness and greed are character traits belonging to most poor Americans.
- I am skeptical of politicians who say one thing and do something else. Yes, I realize that’s all of them, from my governor Mike Pence (who says he opposes “government takeover of healthcare” but signs a bill that imposes medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers as a way to restrict the number of abortions) to Barack Obama (who claims to want a more peaceful future but who uses drone attacks to create more enemies in order to kill a few of them).
- I am skeptical of anyone who uses the phrases “reverse racism” or “colorblind,” or who denies the existence of institutionalized racism.
As a feminist:
- I am critical of the patriarchy.
- I am critical of male pastors who elevate maleness above femaleness, especially if they do so while insisting that no, they don’t mean that men are better than women, they just mean that God specifically created men to do more important, more recognizable, more intellectual, and more dynamic things than women, and that while men have a whole world of opportunities available to them, God designed women to be mothers and mothers only.
- I am skeptical of lesbian, gay, and bisexual groups who oppose or ignore transgender rights.
- I am skeptical of Men’s Rights Activists. Because Misandry.
As a Christian:
- I am critical of a world where “Christian” is more closely associated with a particular political party than a set of beliefs.
- I am skeptical of people who claim the don’t interpret the Bible based on their own experiences and beliefs, but who rather “just read it and believe it.”
- I am critical of the pro-life movement, which ignores real, practical ways to reduce the abortion rate and instead focuses on villainizing pro-choice women and punishing women for having sex.
- I am skeptical of the idea that sometimes gets floated through progressive circles that Christians are automatically stupid, anti-intellectual, blind, or irrelevant.
- I am skeptical of the idea that it is somehow acceptable that we live in a world of such great wealth, and yet there are children who are hungry every single day.
- I am critical of people who believe that the body, which scripture calls the temple of the Holy Spirit, is something disgusting, vile, or in need of constant revision.
- I am skeptical of people who deny that we are having an affect on our planet, which we’re supposed to be taking care of, not destroying.
I don’t like having my eyebrows furrowed all the time.
I try hard to recognize the good in the world where I see it. I think about God’s goodness a lot, and about the fact that the individual stories of life may be tragic and devastating and frustrating, but when they are combined together, they create an epic, beautiful novel of humanity. I choose to focus on the good things people are doing in the world and try to get involved with those things. I raise my voice in hopes of making a difference.
Sometimes it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by lists like this, because they are so long and so comprehensive. There are so many injustices in the world. I wish I knew how to stop a single one of them.