Jesus is a Feminist

Everyday I check the Facebook section of what happened on this day, usually full of laughs of my former old self. I came across a status expressing how excited I was to go the bible study that night and I saw my old youth pastor, Travis,  commented. I removed him and several others from my friends list a while ago, but I decided to check in on him.

He seems to be doing alright, he’s still working for the church, extremely passionate about his job, and him and his wife are expecting a baby next month. I’m incredibly happy for him.

Scrolling through some of his most recent Facebook posts and I see one that says “Remember when your life didn’t suck so much back when you use to go to church?? Yeah maybe you should go back.” I doubted this post was directly at me, after all Travis was the kind of guy who would send out massive texts to the community inviting them to church saying” Be there or be square.”

Yet I imagined that it could be about me. After all I ,by his definition, have I become one of those former youth kids he mentioned in one of his sermons that have run away from God. I didn’t attend church anymore, I don’t listen to christian music or give my weekly donation to the church.  However, to be quite honest that didn’t bother me as much as I’m sure it would have 6 years ago. So I began reminiscing on all my old church days I look back on the 10+ years I spent in SeaCoast Grace.

There isn’t a time in my childhood I don’t remember learning about God or attending Sunday School. Each week I would arrive in a dress and a bible in hand, reciting the verse I had learned the week before. Most of my memories at my church were good ones, carnivals, pizza parties, vacation bible school filled with the simplest, yet most important lessons the bible could teach. God loves you, and he wants you to love others.

Time went on, and the lessons of the church intensified, I met young aspiring pastors, such as Travis, with a passion for bringing the community to the church. I wanted to befriend them, and be just like them. Travis and the other pastors were telling us every week to invite friends, throwing lavish events with young modern music, and wild games trying to attract the youth. It wasn’t long before my classmates started to show up to my church. I gained a hierarchy when they entered my sanctuary, I was better than them, they weren’t true Christians.  They partied and played while I prayed, volunteered my time with children and to the church. I wrote journals during the prime christian years of my life. The entries now are good for a laugh; my friends often quote it, one even used a passage as inspiration for a monologue. Reading back on them it’s hard to imagine how incredibly closed minded and judgmental I was.

I don’t read my old journals to necessarily make myself better , nor am I here to write about my transformation from a hateful christian to someone who is a feminist who supports burning down churches. Instead I keep them as a reminder of why I’m fighting as hard as I too make sure the message of love and acceptance is the main the one I’m trying to spread, like Christians are suppose to do.

Let me be clear as well, a person filled with love and acceptance is not the person who rants on Facebook about boycotting a movie with a gay agenda or screams at planned parenthood for murdering babies, but then adds ” I love all people” to sugarcoat their post. Saying “Love the sinner, but hate the sin” is nothing but a person using God as justification for their own hateful and judgmental prejudice.

Yes of course, not everyone  with a religious background is like this, however the sad reality is an extremely loud majority of people are. 60 million people voted for Donald Trump, regardless of their reasoning, there are self proclaim Christians who believe that he is the candidate God would have wanted America.

This not only contradicts the idea of freedom of religion in this country and the separation of church and state, but there’s literally a whole book, that explains why Jesus would never support a man like Donald Trump- it’s called the Bible.

And while I’m bringing up the holy text itself, if one were to read it carefully they would see: Jesus is a feminist

Jesus would have supported the BLM movement, and he would have looked at the LGBTQA community and say “You’re welcome here, I love you, I’m sorry people have taught you otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with your love for another human.” He takes the women who have bee hurt by men and reminds them of their value. And he would have undoubtedly found room and hospitality for Syrian Refugees. Jesus frowns upon those who protect their wealth over humanity and has called out hypocrites who criticize others for acting as if they are better than anyone else. He spent time with the sick, the poor, the outcasts, the ones that the so called Christians would not dare come close too. He shares love equally despite age, gender, race, sexuality, and wealth.

Intersectional feminism is about the political, economical, and social equality of the sexes, regardless of sexuality, religion, etc, if you don’t think that God isn’t supportive of a movement such as that, then quite frankly, It’s not a God I would want to worship.

Just because you go to church does not make you a good person, and in the past 4 years, I’ve met more accepting humans outside my church community, who have supported me and everyone else more than the church ever has. And I don’t believe me pushing my Christian background onto them will make them a more valuable human, because they are amazing exactly how they are; and I don’t wish to change that.

Being a queer, a feminist, and a Christian can be a lonely feeling, because it seems like the you can’t be both. I have found despite the endless hatred I have been shown by the Christian community, love actually is all around. I see it in my  Grandmother who taught me that being gay can’t be a sin because how can love for another human ever possibly be wrong, I see it in my manager who hugged me and told me not only they were proud of the person I had become, but God was too; he knows my heart and no one ever gets to tell me otherwise.  Above all I find God’s love in the children I once worked with, and the children I get to meet everyday.

Jesus once said:  “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

For a child lives their life with open-mindedness and love. They soak up things like a sponge, and grow up unaware of the evil around them. So they love before one is taught to hate, to look at colors and see one as good and the other as bad, or to think that we must value lives of certain people over another.  It was the years of my early youth, where I truly remember having a wild imagination seeing everything in bright colors and with happiness. To often it’s when a child grows up they lose their sense of acceptance, but I truly believe that Christianity is meant to restore that childlike feeling and let it shine through the world.

I’m eternally grateful to have to opportunity to continue to grow into the woman that I know God wants me to be, but I know I wouldn’t be this passionate if it wasn’t for the powerful women that have empowered me through my life. The greatest lesson I’ve learned was one the church never taught me; it is not your religious belief, the amount of times you pray, the hours you spend at a sanctuary that makes you a beautiful person, but it is your treatment of others around you and of lesser privilege. It’s standing for a movement that reminds people that matter who you are, where you’re from, how any person has ever made you feel, you are so incredibly important to this world.

 

 

Socialization of Jay

(I actually really liked this Socialization essay I wrote up for class so this is me just saving it to my website because there are some lines in here I’m really proud of- carry on friends, this one is for me)

 

From a macro-sociological  perspective, it seems everyone is effected by the society around them, but smaller societies that get to work with a person individually can alter the socialization of them. For instance, everyone is impacted by the rules of this country, though how they choose to react is all determined on the different aspects or important details to a person’s upbringing, also known as their socialization the process in which they’ve learned the norms, values and behaviors of society. Everyone has experienced some form of socialization, including myself. I exposed myself to the mass media at a young age and that played a significant part in how I grew to be, however more specific communities such as my education experience, my religious faith and even the economy had an extremely meaningful purpose in my life.

My father always told me he knew before I started school, he wanted me the have the best opportunities for my education. My earliest years of schooling taught me the basics of how to act in society, more than my home life ever did. It was through school I learned or improved upon my literacy and grew admiration for figures in authority, giving them respect. School was the classic of all norms to me, everyone my age was in school and I actually enjoyed school, well the learning aspect of school. It was strange for me to hear that someone didn’t want to learn. However, I find there are more latent functions of my education socialization than there are main functions, school as far as I remember was where my first source of friendship began. Being surrounded by 20 other kids taught me how to wait my turn to speak instead of sharing what was always on my mind, allowed me to listen to other voices and was my first introduction to diversity. Up until my years in school, I was only familiar to what my parents had taught me, which was an exceedingly strict upbringing. It amazed me to see how many children could do things I couldn’t. This discovery continued up until I was in high school, but the shock factor eventually went away. School is where I discovered my passions for writing and performing, and what I wanted to do once I got to college, all of which were supported by teachers, creating a sense of security and haven for me. At the time I was in my own little bubble unaware of the outside world. My creativity was always highly encouraged; my district was exceedingly well known to do well in the arts. My schools emphasized success and measured in one either proving themselves talented in the Academics, Athletics and the Arts. I heard my city everywhere in the paper “ Los Alamitos wins nationals again” My school had money and had pride in everything it did and only hired the best of teachers and coaches. When funding was cut for the arts, parents stepped right in. I traveled across the country staying in 5 star hotels for national competitions they we’ve won. The teachers I met guided me through some of the most difficult times of my life, each one leaving a part of themselves along with me. Los Alamitos gave every student who fell behind the chance to pick themselves back up again, from the beginning I was surrounded by an environment that cared for my future and my well being. I had so many amazing teachers I considered being one for the longest time. But Los Alamitos was a blessing and a curse to me, while it developed my pride in myself and created my ability to dream big and know that I’m capable, it created a bubble sense in me that was significantly popped once I got to college. Everything I thought I knew about support was no longer around me, and to even hear about the programs from other students I had met, opened my eyes to my privilege and how lucky I was. Perhaps Los Alamitos developed my ability to dream big for my life; that was their goal and their goal was met, but by becoming increasingly aware of my privilege it has become a passion of mine to assure that others are given the same opportunity.
Despite going to a well off school in a wealthy neighborhood, one would assume that was the economic background that I came from, but that was far from true. My parents both never attended college and my mother is an immigrant who was a stay at home mom until I was around seven when she got a part time job working in my school cafeteria. My dad made most of the income in a small production company. We were a lower middle class, and sometimes it felt like we might have been even lower than that. Living with my grandma, because we were unable to afford a house, I learned how to conserve and live perhaps not as glamorously as most of my classmates. Due to not having the financial ability of other students, it impacted my social life; at the time, that was my normal. While all my friends were able to afford cars and leave the house whenever they so please, I still had to wait for a ride from my parents and it depended on their work schedule if I was able to be with my friends or not. My Dad also wanted to save money on the phone bill, so I didn’t get a smart phone until I was 17 and didn’t even have the ability to text people until then either. This made it difficult for me to communicate with my peers. And while I now cannot imagine my life being socially cut off, that was my normal at the time. Though the main point of not having things like a reliable phone or transportation was to conserve money, it created a sense of insecurity in me because I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough to fit in with the people at my school. My senior year I was accepted into a small private liberal arts college in Manhattan, and I was more determined than ever to go there, but the tuition was 50,000 dollars per year. My family was not in the financial situation to send me there, or really send m anywhere outside of Orange Country; hence why I chose CSUF. While the main point of this decision was due to a lack of finances, it sent me into a spiral of depression. I spent my first year of college on campus, not sure how I was going to get by in life with a barely above minimum wage job and living cost being so expensive. When I was offered a job at the Disneyland Resort, I had a choice to make because the pay was less than what my job at the time was paying me. Everything I had been taught was to always stick to where the money is, and I knew that technically I would be more stable in a job that was paying me more, able to save more, just like my parents had taught me. At first when I chose to work at Disneyland, I faced backlash from my parents who were concerned with my finances. However, after a year and a half went by since I went against what my socialization had taught me, I’ve found myself significantly happier. Disneyland is a job that supports me financially first, but it’s acted as my life support, my future career, my dream come true.
I remember knowing the word “God” was before I can think of anything else. Raised in Christian home, my relationship with the church developed a sense of what was good and what was bad. I understood from a young age I had a heavenly father who loved me ever so. Sin was evil, and I lived my life knowing that, I shouldn’t lie, I shouldn’t deny God, and I should always be kind. Of all the stories. my attention span was always drawn to the stories of kindness and the selflessness of others. Evil and temptation was everywhere, but my church taught me to choose good in every situation because anything in between is a lukewarm Christian and is just as bad as a sinner. Though the purpose of me attending church was to develop a relationship God, I gained a part of myself that wasn’t from God. While I do believe it is because of my years of devoutness that I have such a strong conscience and passion for helping others, I grew exceedingly quick to judge things that weren’t in my eyes the right thing. The classic topics about homosexuality, drinking, sex before marriage, abortions, were abominations and so incredibly taboo. As I entered high school and became exposed to different scenarios temptation, and even falling into some of them I grew out of my judgement. But because of my Christian, I carried a sense of guilty and self-hate for a long time. Even after I had stopped attending the church, and gone off to college nearly three years ago; I still felt a sense of unease whenever someone mocked Christianity or even brought up subjects about drunkenness, and other topics I had grown up taught to hate. However with the help of media, my job, my school, friends, I turned my passionate heart that I was told was a gift from God, into one that is speaks up against violence, hatred, and proudly stands with other intersectional feminists and other queers.
I’ve always been influenced by media, because everything is some form of media. Whether it was news reports about violence talk would make my heart cry out or watching the Oscars, I was fascinated. I turned to all forms of social media for such as stories, spending hours on the computer clicking article after article educating myself that made me want to be a writer or actors that gave m inspiration, or where I would rely on my biggest source of news. While the main function of media was the network or share news with family and friends, ultimately it was social media is what created my friend base, it’s where I met the love of my life, where I learned about diversity and have created connections with people from around the world and began to educate myself. I’ve learned how to be socially polite and aware from things as small as knowing not to double post on Instagram, to elaborating to a homophobic misogynist why they are in fact incorrect in the most formal and intelligent way that I can. Though I still consider it rude to be on one’s phone at the dinner table, or that a text message is not the same as talking in person, I’m grateful for social media because it’s through educating myself I have been able to take my privilege of my education, my economical career at The Disneyland Resort, and the God given heart full of passion for equality and put it all to good work.

According the Emile Durkheim,The Manifest Functions of all the areas that contributed to my socialization are obvious. School was meant to educate me, A lower income family was simply supposed to mean I didn’t have as much money, a religious background taught me about God, and social media gave me access to the outside world. However, I personally believe that it is through the Latent Functions, I developed my true sense of socialization and sense of place in this world. Durkheim would say that it is due to the Dysfunctions or challenges to the different Structures of my life, I ended up the way that I am; frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way.