The Faith of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

 

Hemingway took me out for a walk this morning. The sun was up and while not really warm, it was at least bright. We walked the Dry Canyon, a walk that we don’t often do because it’s usually crowded. But we took the southernmost route today so we only ran into a few folks.

We had almost finished the walk when we happened upon a group of three women. Hemingway is used to having people comment on how cute he is. He, in truth, has come to expect it. A trait common to too many handsome people, I believe. It’s the dog version of staring at yourself in every window you walk past. He always slows down and grins big at those passing by, refusing to budge until they compliment him.

Of course, the three women did just that. “How cute,” one said. “He’s sure happy,” said another. Covid doesn’t really permit for small talk among strangers, so I just nodded and moved along. I was about five steps beyond them when one of them called out after me: “Is there something we can pray for you for?”

I was a bit startled and not sure I had heard her correctly. I stopped: “What?”

“Do you have something we could pray for you about?” she repeated.

“No,” I said. “Thank you, but no.”

There was a time in my life when I would have thought the gesture sweet. There was a time in my life when I might have offered the gesture myself.

I am long past such a time.

If anything, the gesture seemed intrusive. Why would I confide to a perfect stranger some area of my life that might need prayer? If I need prayer, I rarely tell my own pastor or my own church family. I don’t know if it’s because prayer to me is no longer the magical wand I once considered it, or whether it’s because I no longer believe in prayer of intervention, or whether it’s an off-shoot of just being completely disgusted with anything Evangelical in nature.

Or maybe it’s the combination of all three.

To be clear, I believe in prayer. I pray. It’s just that I believe less in the power of prayer to persuade God and more in the power of prayer to change us.

But after the past four years, I am loathe to participate in anything that reeks of Evangelism or Evangelicals. When I think of Evangelicals now, I immediately associate them with misogyny and racism. I know it’s not fair to paint any group with the same wide brush, but I also know if you lie down with dogs, you are likely to rise up with fleas and no one group has done more to lie down with dirty dogs lately than Evangelicals.

There was a time when I expected Evangelicals to be the people who showed up to help others. I remember being in NOLA in the months following Katrina and seeing church after church step up to help rebuild. Church groups from Michigan and Minnesota, from Georgia and California came with hammers and nails and bottles of water. Even former president Jimmy Carter showed up with his tool belt. It wasn’t the government who was rebuilding. It was the Body of Christ. The government was every bit as ineffective in the Gulf during Katrina as Republicans Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Louie Gohmert, Dan Crenshaw and Gov. Greg Abbott have been in Texas this week.

You know who has been effective in Texas?

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.  The 31-year old Catholic from New York.

Speaking about her own faith, AOC says her first encounter with Jesus came through a cousin who had been imprisoned:

“Christ came to me emblazoned on the upper arm of my beloved cousin Marc. The blue-black ink danced between the bullet scars and stretch marks that graced my cousin’s upper body. Atop this crown-of-thorns depiction was a tattooed banner with the phrase ‘Only God Can Judge Me.'”

Faith isn’t something that AOC totes around like an AR-15, a means by which to intimidate and threaten others.

No. AOC believes that faith is about more than just spittle from a pulpit.

If Jesus came to transform us, then AOC is the living embodiment of what it means to be transformed by the personhood of Jesus.  She isn’t into name-dropping her relationship with Christ. Instead, she has taken to heart the principles that Christ lived by and is doing her damndest to live by the example Christ set. Well, I don’t have to tell you. Listen to what she says about her own faith:

“By nature, a society that forgives and rehabilitates its people is a society that forgives and transforms itself. That takes a radical kind of love, a secret of which is given in the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And let us not forget the guiding principle of “the least among us” found in Matthew: that we are compelled to care for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick and, yes—the imprisoned.”

AOC believes faith should compel us toward caring for others. You know, the way Jesus did. And yet even as I type these words, I know there are those who will read them who mock AOC and her faith. During a week when Texans faced one of the worst disasters to ever hit their state, Governor Greg Abbott, Senators Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Louie Gohmert, and other leaders in the state abdicated their powers, while AOC used her voice and her faith to raise over $5 million to help Texans. While Ted Cruz was fielding phone calls trying to explain why it was he was vacationing in Cancun, AOC was loading bottles of water to deliver to the thousands and thousands of Texans without any.

And Texas isn’t even her state.

She didn’t go to Texas to raise money for her next election

She didn’t go to Texas because voters there will help elect her.

She went to Texas because people are hurting.

Some people run from the burning house. Some people run towards it. AOC belongs in the latter. She ran toward devastation in order to help, not away from it in order to protect herself.

Many of us, myself included, would not go into the homes of our enemies for fear of the wrath they would hurl our way. AOC is not most of us. She is in Texas helping at the Houston Food Bank. Meanwhile, many who claim to be “Christians” are taking to Social Media to hurl hate and insults her way:

“I don’t trust anything this fake female does”

“Has she turned off the gas in her own home yet? Since fossil fuels are so bad?”

“Her district is a giant shithole.”

“She is trying to get people to think she is a good person but really she is a joke and cruel.”

“She’s a communist.”

“Shut this bitch down.”

“I still don’t like the idiot woman.”

And those are some of the tame remarks made about her.

I have loved ones who have said vile things about AOC. Loved ones who claim Christ as their Lord and Savior who have made demeaning sexist remarks about a girl young enough to be my daughter, young enough to be their daughters. They barter in the misogyny perpetuated by religious traditions that have taught for far too long that men are to rule and women are to serve. Too many of my loved ones still hold fast to patriarchal traditions that allows them, even encourages them to demean women like AOC. Women like me.

These are the people who mourned the death of Rush Limbaugh while secretly, or not so secretly, wishing for the demise of AOC.

Religious people.

Many of them Evangelicals.

Some of whom I would have at one time considered close friends and family.

No longer.

As I walked away from the praying women in the Dry Canyon, I wished I had suggested they really needed to be praying for the people in Texas, especially those whose loved ones froze to death, or the ones who burned up in homes trying to stay warm.

I hope one day I embody a faith as vibrant as the one that compels Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to minister to the brokenhearted and downtrodden.

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Christian Bend: A Novel (Mercer Univ. Press).

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

117 Comments

Debbie Derrick

about 3 months ago

I too have lost faith. I remember going to lunch one day when one of the group boldly stood on street corner of 7th and Multnomah and cried out loudly she needed to pray for me, I wished I could have melted into that sidewalk. A coulpe in the group were mortified as well. I have list faith but I try and follow Jesus's example by doing good quietly. Thank you again for another great writing.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 months ago

Perhaps in seeking Jesus we refused to play faith any more?

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Cameron

about 2 months ago

I don’t see this as a loss of faith at all! It is finding the true faith and refusing to wear faith as a mask. Thank you for speaking truth!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

I hope you are right Cameron. I will say it was easier to be told what to think than to think for myself.

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Marvelous Ray

about 2 months ago

With the clear-eyed description of AOC and her reasonable comparisons of appropriate God filled conduct vs. What she is seeing too many evangicals do gives me hope for a better day. Separately, i have never appreciated my father's folley in naming me Marvelous, but I think being "Karen" has got to be a little difficult for a caring woman that I perceive you to be.

Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

I confess to having debated about whether I should change my name in response. It's disheartening. I personally think they should have used Melania or Ivanka as the example. Not Karen. :) Marvelous is a terrific name, though. Please tell us this history of that name. Are you the Tam-A-Las singer?

PAULA BRANSON

about 2 months ago

I do have several questions so is AOC a practicing Catholic and are you Ms. Zacharias a practicing Catholic because if you both are then how do you both support the murder of innocent babies in the womb and how do you support homosexuality which Biden/Harris and AOC all support. Can you please explain this to me. I am one of the evangelicals that you are spewing hate at. Thank you

Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

I thought you knew. We don't just murder the unborn. We eat them, too. Just ask QAnon.

Jacquie Anderson

about 2 months ago

Thank you for that wonderful statement

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Dannies

about 2 months ago

I have always felt that faith and fate are comingled, fused, versus merged. The nuance being individual versus lost into a whole. This was a most refreshing read for me, Thank you

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Jacquie Anderson

about 2 months ago

This is really worth every word spoken from your heart. I am a woman of great faith. Yes their have been times when I too questioned my faith. these times we live in are sickening unto the soul. but a person of true heart knows exactly what to do and how too. AOC is truly a person in my sight of walking by faith. she is like what is faith is defined giving of ones self and not standing waiting on the award. She does it because she gives of herself and not talk about it over a beer or brandy. she does not take this walk for granted. I understand I too am one of those folks. who believe that If I had to walk on water to help someone I would. I know what it is like to be cast into the lions den but knowing that my faith will prepare me. Thank You for this wonderful insight . May your faith continue to grow stronger

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you, Jacquie. I try to avoid people who never question their faith or anything else. A curious mind is a gift, not a curse. AOC sets a good example of all of us. But there are many like her, like you, helpers. Great cloud of witnesses, as it were.

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Steven Howatt

about 2 months ago

"Doing good quietly"? Like feeding 5,000? Was the "good" not as publicly, plainly evident as it was sometimes quiet and personal?`

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Beth Helston

about 2 months ago

Jesus did things quietly? In front of crowds of people if I read the book right.

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Karen R Zacharias

about 2 months ago

By quietly, I mean he wasn't a braggart about it. My failure for not communicating that more specifically.

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Ileana D-U

about 3 weeks ago

Not only is he not a braggart, when he started performing miracles, he told people to keep quiet about it. Remember the wedding at Cana? He tried to tell his mother he wasn't ready to come out yet, but who can turn down the request of a Jewish mother?

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Mayme

about 2 months ago

Possibly the crowds grew after his doing things quietly, not before.

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Raul Cordova

about 2 months ago

Nobody should lose their faith in humanity because it is equal to survival! Humans have change gods and messiahs by country, time and level of collective ignorance...but being rational and working with reality is a constant element, a common denominator that allows all of us to grow, evolve and meet the future!

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about 3 months ago

Amen 🙏🏽

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Richard Mouw

about 3 months ago

Beautifully state,d Karen. I won't pray for you--but I do want to say: Blessings! (-:

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 months ago

I never want to discourage folks from praying for me or anyone else. But thank you for the blessings. I appreciate those as well as the people who take time to read this essay and consider its message.

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Alan Keeny

about 3 months ago

Well written, seriously thought provoking, much appreciated. I might just have to humble myself and take a log out of my eye ... Thank you for pointing to why God so loved the world, and what following Christ’s example might actually cost. Unconditional love, amazing grace. How can it be that I have been granted that, and yet am unwilling to see others as Christ sees them. Thank you!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 months ago

Thanks for reading, Alan. I believe it was Flannery O'Connor who said truth doesn't change according to our ability to stomach it. That's Gospel for sure.

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Leda Buller

about 2 months ago

Truth

Helen Carter

about 2 months ago

Thank you for your wonderful message . It brought tears to my eyes knowing Faith continues to be acknowledged and practiced daily through women like AOC and you. 🇨🇦

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Karen R Zacharias

about 2 months ago

It is humbling for sure. And if these things aren't worth crying over, what is?

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Lucinda Martin

about 2 months ago

You have written the message I have thought for quite some time. Thank you for clarifying my belief.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

You are in good company here.

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Richard Small

about 2 months ago

Thank you Lucinda for saying exactly how I feel also but had no idea of how to express it. Truly a wonderful article. I feel there are a lot of people around that feel this way that are looked at as being sacrilegious or atheists " HELPING PEOPLE QUIETLY " is the best phrase I got out of this. Thank you and Karen again 💕

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Suzi Quall

about 2 months ago

Was so pleased to read this. Thank you. The bend that some have taken to claim religious faith but shed the core of morality, kindness, fairness and sympathy is mindnumbing. My mom was devout, but the cornerstones of her belief were those things that mattered. She treated every human being the same kind and gentle way. Now that she is gone it is so meaningful to me to see that some others operate with the core values I hold dear. Thank you for sharing!!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

I think there are millions of us out here, struggling to understand, struggling to find our footing in a nation that feels so foreign to us right now. I still believe in the goodness of humanity, but I have been hard-pressed by the sheer number of people willing to exploit Jesus in order to advance a racist agenda. IT's probably always been that way and it wasn't as apparent to me.

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Stella Buchignani

about 2 months ago

I agree with your message. the people who spout Christ's message while followed an evil, vile and cruel man, are to me, ones of cold heart. Persons who are leading by example are honorable.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Yes, and AOC certainly embodies someone who leads by doing the next right thing.

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John T Casserly

about 2 months ago

AOC is what I would call a spiritual politician which is the ability to bring spiritual energy into the political landscape--not an easy thing to do. My understanding of Jesus is political. Most everything he said or did had political connections. AOC gets high marks from me for her non-egotistical behavior in a tough environment that she finds herself.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Interesting observation. I would agree not an easy position for her to be in and she handles it with grace and genuine caring.

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Jim O’Hanlon

about 3 months ago

Thank you for this blessed message. Where is the quote from ?

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Jean McCusker

about 3 months ago

Thanks once again , Karen. You touch the hearts of many of us who are seeking a way to follow Jesus. I agree with you about AOC, but wish you to know you are a blessing also. We are called to serve in different ways.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 months ago

Thank you for this grace. The road isn't so much narrow and straight as it is winding and rocky. My footing is often unsure. Perhaps that's why it takes faith?

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Jackie Reid

about 3 months ago

You haven't found Truth yet. Pray. Ask God to show you. Evangelicals are no.more Christian than Trump was a politician. "Try the Spirits." Find the religion of Truth, Life, and Love.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Your very first statement here is one of judgment. Does that bother you? It bothers me.

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Steven Howatt

about 2 months ago

:( Sad, that you see it as judgment. Is every assessment a "judgment" then? If a teacher tells a pupil they do not have the right answer yet, is that? Your character was not maligned...May you see something in the spirit of it that is unknown to me.

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Douglas McFalls

about 3 months ago

The tragedy is that people associate praying as an activity of "religious" people, versus people communing with God, our creator-parent, the Almighty. If AOC asked if she could pray with her - I would say, wow, you bet! Please, enjoy God in all wonder of communing with Him. Don't let any group called evangelical or anything else keep you from enjoying the wonder and power of prayer. This morning I read a quote from Richard Foster. "Seek to discover as many ways possible to keep God constantly in mind." I get what you are saying about the "evangelicals", but prayer doesn't make you one of them. It makes you one of His.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Great insights. Thank you for sharing. So hard to wash the stink off when you've been bathed in it for the years, the way our nation has been. But, yes, nothing can separate us from the Love of God, not even White Nationalists with guns, or religious bigots on the rise.

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Leda Buller

about 2 months ago

Now and elderly person, I was born into and raised Evangelical, and in recent years, I have to acknowledge and agree with the the difficulty of washing off the stink. It takes regular reminders of the wideness of God's mercy that covers us all.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Leda: I do love your thoughts about the "wideness of God's mercy." Yes, important to remember that. So easy to forget it.

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Donna McDaniel

about 2 months ago

Thank you for your wise answer, prayer is indeed communion with God, Jesus spent much time in prayer and He the son of God, how much more should we?

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Lee Gaitan

about 2 months ago

Thank you for putting my feelings into words so eloquently.

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Michael Alan Basham

about 2 months ago

AOC is the real deal. They do come along from time to tine.The problem the alt right wing evangelical Taliban has with her is that they are not the real deal. The MAGA Churches are about controlling the blind and healing their bank accounts and their non-profit political war chests. They are so far removed from the concept and nature of Christianity that there is no longer any semblance of new testament teachings. They are immersed in the old testament thinking...the authoritative, overbearing, domineering, oppressive, fear-based dogma that left the soil of the holy land soaked in blood for generations. They are not about "lifting" people up. AOC is about "lifting people up, and out of their bondage by the alt right extremist that would hold them down and keep them there.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Yes, great insights. Thank you for sharing them. I would also say that AOC's youth & natural beauty works against her with MAGA folks. They expect young and beautiful women to want nothing more than to be married and have children, preferably by someone wealthy. They see wealth as "favor" from God. They see beauty that way too. And the beautiful women in the OT always used their beauty to manipulate men (Esther/Jezebel), so they view women always in a manipulative manner.

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Steven Howatt

about 2 months ago

Hahaha, I never viewed Melania in that way, as manipulative, merely because of her beauty - she seems to me to be a woman of quiet grace. Yes, AOC also seems to see wealth as favor from God, and that the poor deserve that favor at someone else's expense. She is happy to see the poor and downtroden provided for with someone else's money, as is the socialist manner. Of course, the Church has long espoused those same ideals, but always saw it as a responsibility of the Church to collect from individuals, whom they encouraged to take up personal responsibility to give according to their ability. AOC would make it a govenment fiat.

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Phil

about 2 months ago

HaHaHa. Melania's beauty? Aided and abetted by Plastic Surgeons? Quiet grace or whatever you call it? What a joke. Did you listen to her curse about having to deal with the "fukkin" Christmas trees at the White House? A woman who used her naked body in cheap photo shoots so she could find a rich man, whether he's a crook or not? The joke is that Trump is so stupid he thinks Melania married him for his looks. So AOC is a socialist (such an original mind) because she raised money for people caught in a disaster while the states Republican officials made fools of themselves? You're a smug MAGAt.

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Marvelous Ray

about 2 months ago

Excellent rebuff. Tjanks for not letting that Melanie b.s. stand.

Desiree

about 2 months ago

Thank you for making a light of this. Great perspective. One thing we need to remember is that our relationship with God is our own. Just because one is an evangelical does not mean that one agrees with everything every evangelical does. I agree with you and find it very hard to see how far from what Jesus preached and from who he was some have come. It reminds me of the Pharisees wanting to keep the law but neglecting the love. I don’t understand it at all and it saddens me greatly. However one thing I can asure you is that my faith is mine, my relationship with God is mine and not anyone else’s to take away. I love my God and I try to follow closely his example in everything I do. Lets not loose heart even thought we don’t understand it because after all this is peoples opinions and actions and not Gods. Blessings.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Good word of encouragement, Desiree. I think it's easy to blame a family when there is a family member who is an abuser. As the Body of Christ, we have within our midst abusers. It's difficult sometimes to ferret out those who abuse from those who don't. Sometimes it is easier to just walk away and find a safe place to sit. Sometimes we need to do that, but ultimately, we have to return home and sort it all out, the wrongdoing and hold those family members who abuse accountable.

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Mike

about 2 months ago

My initial reaction upon hearing of AOC's actions in Texas was not immediately faith-based, as she had not made any statements regarding her personal beliefs compared with people like Joe Biden and Barack Obama. However, I was incredibly impressed at her going above and beyond the call of duty the way she did. Adding a faith statement as you did added a whole new layer of understanding. She IS the real deal, and I hope God grants her many years to do more of the same!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Perhaps the reluctance to name it as an act of faith is because of push-back to all those religious folks who have embraced misogyny, racism, and nationalism? A push-back to all those who exploit God and the Body of Christ for their own political and personal gain? Or who use it to demean others? I certainly have been a lot more reluctant to call myself a Christian in light of the past 4 years. I just say I'm a woman of faith because I never, ever want to be identified with the sort of religious exploitation that I've witnessed out of the Trump administration.

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B.W.Ash

about 2 months ago

There are many good people in even the Evangelical churches, all seeking to do God's Will. What hurts most are the wolves who prey upon the flock. These phony "Pastors" have sown the idea of Christian elitism and of the uncleanness of all others. They make Jesus out to be as two-faced, egoistic and greedy as are they.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Yes, but there's been an exponential explosion in the Evangelical community of these people. And they aren't all leaders. The pews are full of White Nationalists who are perpetuating misogyny and bigotry.

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Curtis Francis

about 2 months ago

I have read all the comments on this beautiful article by Karen and its your comments that teared me up. I too failed to see the actions of AOC as an act of faith. I am so indifferent to my own faith at times. A few years ago every Christian person was running around with WWJD on bumper stickers but I wonder if the question is still relevant today. I believe Christians should keep the faith of Jesus. Whatever we do should be to the glory of God.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Yes, hard to imagine how we got from WWJD to Whatever Trump wants to do.

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Becky White

about 2 months ago

Thank you for courage to share this. And while you "do not want" prayer, may God's strength, wisdom and an abundance of peace be with you.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Becky: I always want prayer. So thank you.

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Patrice

about 2 months ago

I am so impressed with how AOC is walking the walk.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Yes, me too.

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Sara L Ertl

about 2 months ago

I never read your writings before, but a friend posted this and it blew me away, as it reflects how I feel. As I watch in dismay how people have come to use religion as a political weapon, I take refuge in my mantra, "They'll know we are Christians by our love". There are those who quietly testify by example, who "walk the walk"; I try to let Christ judge the rest. Thank you for sharing.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you for reading. And yes, many have weaponized religion and continue to do so. Sadly.

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Faith Donaldson

about 2 months ago

Raised in an Evangelical church as a preachers kid I was soaked in its absolute teachings. It took time to sort things out and to not throw the baby out with the bath water. It was a season in my life well invested. I have passed through many seasons over the years to become more like the One I have chosen to follow; Jesus. In these last five years I found my voice to speak up and counter the lies that fell over our country. Doing so has been one of my greatest teachings. All the persecution I received from friends and family have been worth what I gained in finding freedom and in understanding that I have not been called to be complicit in my faith. Thank you for what your wrote here. It is always good to hear the unique experiences and insights from other Companions on the Inner Way. It is often the road less traveled but worth taking.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Faith: I'm still struggling not to throw the babe out. These past 5 years have been a time of stripping all the luster off all that I cherished so. And, yes, it's been difficult. So many who have abandoned me as "lost." I remind myself that cult members don't know they are in a cult or they wouldn't be in it. You can't see what you can't see until you see it. No one thinks they are in a cult when they are in it. By the same token, I spent many years living the lie of patriarchy and conditioned to the embedded misogyny until I didn't. The recognition has been costly.

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AF Roger

about 2 months ago

People can and do respond differently when challenges and needs arise--as both the COVID pandemic and the winter storms have shown us. Not to disagree with but perhaps to expand on what Mike said above, AOC did not go "above and beyond the call of duty." No, what she did IS the call of duty to all of us. And to perhaps recover a bit of the Old Testament from the trash heap, there is no higher calling than that of Genesis 2:15 where humankind is given the dual responsibility of both "tilling" and "keeping" the earth. that includes not only the non-living elements of creation but all of the living ones as well. To perhaps put it more tangibly, by divine design we humans are wed to this planet earth and through it to know both our God and each other. We are to make a home for ourselves here, physically, emotionally and spiritually--without in the process unmaking the home of everything else. For to do that, we unmake our own home. Likewise, we not only have a calling to "walk the talk", we have an equal calling to "talk the walk", to give voice to the project of living a life of humility and love that inspires (literally "breathes into") more of the same. How can I be an inspirer today? How can we all be?

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Steven Howatt

about 2 months ago

Well spoken!

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Gerry Gipner

about 2 months ago

Long, but well worth the read. I'm an admirer of the fiery bartender. "Serving" should be a "right of passage" for all before entering adulthood. I know she is more than that, much more. Great grandma "G"

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thanks for sticking with the read and sharing your own thoughts. I agree, serving should be a rite of passage.

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Manuel Sanchez

about 2 months ago

It became so easy to become jaded when white nationalist Christianity appropriated and then twisted Christ’s message by adding hatred in order to gain power by wrapping it in a flag and a cross. Your article is elegant and poignant and taught me much I did not know about AOC and her faith. The lies and propaganda can be viral, and to the carnal, enticing. To the ambitious and narcissistic, a means to an end. To the ignorant and desperate, an opportunity for self delusion and justification.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

So easy to be jaded. The one thing I held fast to and still do is just this simple thought: God is good. Somedays it's all I could do to trust in that one thought. People I thought would never embrace a White Nationalist agenda have done just that.

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Mary Lopez Perry

about 2 months ago

I enjoyed reading your article about your walk with Hemingway. I was so happy to see that AOC reached out to people that were in need of help. I have been so confused by the Evangelicals' reaction to current events. I am a born and raised Catholic. My extended family lives in San Antonio, Texas. They went through some difficult times during the big freeze but they are strong, resourceful and resilient. When people are suffering my inclinations are to help.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Mary: I am so sorry to hear that you had family who went through that very hard week in Texas. I hope they are getting what they need now. I am astounded by the charges so many are facing to their energy bills. I can't even imagine. And yes, I think we ought to notice when people are doing good works. I, too, have been terribly confused by Evangelicals as of late.

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Thurma Hilton

about 2 months ago

I appreciate your thoughtful, loving, and insightful article. You have given a rich and wise voice to my inner thoughts and feelings. I am delighted to have been able to read this particular article. I will certainly look for others. Thank you.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you for reading and sharing your own thoughts.

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Warren

about 2 months ago

IF AOC's faith was real, She would not have issues campaign finances violations.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was accused of campaign finance ...https://www.businessinsider.com › Politics › News Mar 7, 2019 — A conservative group accused Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of campaign finance violations, but experts say the charges are overblown · Rep. · In an ... and there's more.... AOC's chief of staff ran $1M slush fund by diverting campaign ...https://www.washingtonexaminer.com › politics › ocasi... Mar 4, 2019 — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's top aide funneled over $1 million in ... AOC's chief of staff ran $1M slush fund by diverting campaign cash to his own

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Warren: Being accused of something is not the same as being guilty of something. The allegations against AOC regarding campaign finance have all come from the very partisan, very right-wing sector. In fact, the link you provided for the Washington Examiner is in fact not a reliable or credible source. It's a right-wing website. I suggest you give a read to these articles which explain in depth the origin of the accusations and the impact: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/aoc-campaign-finance-complaint-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-dan-backer-trump-coolidge-reagan-a8853901.html and this from the AP: https://apnews.com/article/03c8c4d1cdd24b11b742470cc1dc4bba. I think we are all quite aware right now how partisan our country is and how we should be wary of investigations coming out of one party vs the other. I suggest you step back and reconsider what it is you think you know about this young woman.

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Allen

about 2 months ago

Well said and duly supported with evidence, Karen. It does my heart good, as a composition writing instructor, to see you take on misinformation and misleading rhetoric so effectively. It does my soul good to know that a painful spiritual journey and my confusion over these past 5 years aren't solitary experiences It has been horrifying to see people dismiss their humanity, relinquish their love and empathy, in service to hate and division.

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Karen R Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you, Allen. Usually I get accused of ad hominin attacks. Perhaps justly so. :)

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Ruth Tekell

about 2 months ago

It isn't her faith; it's her character, her values, her morals. Even atheists have them. AOC and many others are inspired by what they believe Jesus to be, or to have said. But I think they are inspired by those stories, images, or myths because they are decent, kind people to begin with. Religious beliefs often give people a sense of direction, comfort, purpose and hope. But to tell yourself none of those things can exist without faith is lie. We are all the result of many influences, culture and role models being some of the strongest. A million variables come together to produce an AOC or a Jimmy Carter, or a Donald Trump. The problem with christianity is that it refuses to attribute any good to anything but a supernatural force that no one has ever seen --tattoos notwithstanding, and no one can even agree on.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Ruth: I don't disagree with anything you are saying. I am a woman of faith so I write from that framework. However, I am not a person who thinks the only people who do good things with their lives are people of faith. There are, as you note, a million variables that compel a person to do the things they do - good or otherwise. There are a lot of problems with Christianity, perhaps none so great as the corporate bastardization of Christianity. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful reflections. I appreciate them.

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Ruth Tekell

about 2 months ago

Thank you, Karen! That was a refreshingly honest response. I was a person of faith, a conservative christian in my youth and twenties and grew up in a southern baptist church. I have faded memories of what it was like to feel sorry for atheists, and could not comprehend how anyone could believe something could come from nothing. How could they cope with mortality without believing there was more? And that is the question that unlocked everything for me: Although it wouldn't occur to me until many years later, I eventually realized that one must either know where you go when you die, or invent something to fill that horrible void. I was also fortunate enough to grow up in a time and place where skepticism and critical thinking were valued, which made it possible for me to liberate myself from the cultish environment of the religion I was expected by my family to follow. I studied physics and became a scientist--the only thing I ever truly wanted in my life, a passion from my earliest childhood memories. Maybe it was because I grew up with the space program, or maybe it was the characters I saw on television who always saved the day in their lab coats and with cool reason and logic. But my pursuit of it gave me a perspective on the universe I didn't have before, a way to think about existing that I found deeply authentic and comfortable; In my darkest hours, I find I do actually reach out, and I do have faith, but not in the same way I did before. Rather, it is my faith that those same processes of my brain that gave rise to the scientific method of discovery, are also a product of the universe itself and the laws that govern it. I have faith that such perceptions are correct, although it isn't blind faith. It's more like faith in the process of 4.5 billion years of life on earth and faith in that which organized atoms and molecules into replicating lifeforms in the first place. Most importantly, the connectedness of this perspective quite naturally gives rise to all the highest morals of christianity and other religions that teach us to care for one another. My sense of wonder about the universe is only deepened as I am able to embrace the whole of it without fear of judgement. So if I reach out, it is to acknowledge the universe from which we all arose, to manipulate in anyway possible energy and matter in ways that do not defy the laws of nature, but work within them. I find comfort in knowing how the myths of heaven and hell arose and that I won't really go to hell when I die, just like everyone knows we won't fall off the edge of a flat world if we sail beyond the horizon. Someone once asked me "what about a sense of purpose?" I ask you now, does it seem like I'm missing one? And to put that into perspective, imagine yourself being born into an undeveloped country, the third world, modern day Syria for example. A "good" day is one you live through, one in which you found fresh water and food and no one you love was killed by a bullet, a bomb or sarin gas. Then there's us. During this pandemic, what outrages people here the most? A contagious disease and half a million dead, or not being able to leave their homes to shop, to eat at restaurants and go to bars, not being able to leave their homes where they have fresh water, food, shelter from the elements, and unimaginable wealth compared to so many others in the world. This obsession of finding purpose is, in my opinion, reserved strictly for the bored and privileged. Karen, you seem like you are on a journey. I hope you don't mind me sharing all this with you, but it seemed like you could embrace it. I truly hope you find all the joy and wonder I have found in my journey, despite the pain and suffering which is inevitable with life.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Ruth: I have read through this post many times. It is so deeply thoughtful. I love so much of what you say here, but especially the part of how your connectedness to science only deepened your sense of wonder and awe. And how that connectedness gave you a deeper appreciation for the highest morals of Christianity and other religions. Yes. I didn't come to that connectedness through science - I'm not wired that way - but rather through creativity and imagination. I moved away from the church taught rhetoric of "us" against "them" and began to think of the world in terms of "us all." Like you I grew up SBC. I was fortunate as a young girl to "be loved to Jesus" by the members of that church. I've also had the advantage of being mentored by some truly wonderful preachers. Truly Godly men. Not misogynists. Dignified and compassionate men. I think they set the standard for me. They were not anything at all like what I've seen on the national stage in the 80s with the Moral Majority or what I've witnessed over the past few years as Evangelicals (not all but too many of them) moved to cult worship of a craven idol. But even prior to the advent of Trump, I began to witness the bastardization of the church as it moved to "corporate worship", and a revamping of churches to a corporate structure with the pastor as CEO. Then upon research, I began to understand the exploitation of the masses by the church, Catholic and Protestant, though I focused mostly on the one what I knew best, the Protestants. Further studies and awakenings helped me understand how the church has misused its powers to remain in power, how it has served and serves yet as a means to oppress women and people of color in particular. Obviously, there are all kinds of exceptions to this model, including my own fortunate encounters as a youth. Still, once one is made aware of the exploitation, it's difficult to dismiss it as an aberration. Then along comes Trump and Falwell and Graham and I witness as some of those very people I admired and respected in my youth embrace Trump and I am left mortified. I see the ways in which Graham even this week uses his platform to divide people and it pains me. While I remain deeply attuned to the Creator, there is so much I question. I find myself praying often: Lord I belief, help my unbelief. But I refuse to embrace any faith that leads me to fear others because they are different. We are meant to be a warm embrace for one another. If we can't be at the very minimum that to one another, then I think we've missed the entire point of Creation altogether.

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Steven Howatt

about 2 months ago

"...if you lie down with dogs, you are likely to rise up with fleas and no one group has done more to lie down with dirty dogs lately than Evangelicals." I am troubled with this - not sure there is truth in the saying that evangelicals should take to heart (of course, that is the problem with many cute little sayings - they are not theologically directive) . What did Jesus do? He was know for being a friend of publicans and sinners, and had a reputation because of it. Isn't that what that saying is about? And yet, evangelicals want to adhere to the example of Jesus, as a generalization. It is curious to me that, when you were naming people/officials that did not help Texas, you left out the name of the President of our country, who has considerable ability to energize FEMA and other resources to respond to crisis. Especially as a former President was roundly criticized by the media and those of a particular political persuasion for not taking action to get a federal response to crisis moving, and the current President was also MIA on Texas. I have NO idea about AOC's faith, as she does not verbalize about it, that I have heard. Lots of folks do good deeds, thinking that is all that is needed to secure their place at the table. If she does not give the glory to God, then the glory is all to her, and is no sign of faith at all. Perhaps, even, she feels a bit guilty, as a large part of the problem in Texas is a reflection of Green New Deal policies that have made the electrical grid in Texas very unstable and unreliable in unusual weather and circumstances.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Steven: Your comments are full of inaccuracies. I do my best here to avoid circulating conspiracy thinking. Biden did allocate FEMA & monies to Texas ASAP. Green energy isn't Texas's problem. Big Energy is. But I suspect you know all that and came here purposely to perpetuate lies and conspiracies.

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Diane Kleinman

about 2 months ago

There is no such thing as a new green deal yet. you were hoodwinked by the Governor's blame game. She is right the federal government offered help right away and the state that tried to secede from our union just this past January accepted it readily! Thank you for the honesty of this essay. You and Jon Pavlovitz out there showing courage. That is not easy right now.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you for reading Diane. I love John's work.

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Drew Newnam

about 2 months ago

Thank you. I always remember, when people discuss prayer, the 11th step of the Twelve Step process: "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." What many prayer-focused people miss is that second part, meditation. In terms of prayer being baring your soul to God, or the Holy Spirit, as Jesus advised, this is the part where you quiet your mind--your wants, needs, pain--and actively LISTEN! Listening is the big part missing in what we call communication today, and listening to Spirit should be the starting point, in my view. As you practice listening to Spirit yourself, you can begin to listen to Spirit in others. In my own life, the practice of Insight meditation--aka mindfulness practice, which is NOT a religion--has opened up my contact with Spirit. The practice of shutting up my own thinking has humbled me and made me more receptive.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Practical and helpful insights, Drew. Thank you for sharing them. I agree that listening to anyone - God or neighbor - is an art we need to practice more often. Hard to do with neighbors right now, given the physical constraints of a pandemic. But that does open up more time for listening to God, or the potential for it. The other caveat to this, of course, is that too often we mistake the voice in our head as the voice of God. They aren't not the same, although we only have to look around us, or within us, to see how often we mistake the two.

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Mary Edly-Allen

about 2 months ago

This spoke to me on so many levels. It is as if you read my feelings and thoughts and put them into words. Thank you.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you for reading, Mary. What was it CS Lewis reportedly said about friendship: That moment when you look across the room and see in another's eyes, "You too?". The inability to see that familiarity of thought within the Evangelical community that has risen to the forefront in the past 5 years, has been isolating for so many of us. So I'm encouraged to have you here.

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Patti adkins

about 2 months ago

This so disturbs me in so many ways. Once again because of what I believe and who I believe in I am being put down for it or being put in a category because of someone's opinion of how they see things or believe. Yes it is beautifully written. I just know that there is good and bad in all things. in the world I live in people are still doing these things. They are praying with and for each other, they are feeding the hunger, providing help to those in need. So only God can judge, take those words and please stop judging all of us because of the conduct of others. I am so tired of the Christian community being called out as so called christians. I have always tried to live out my faith and be example of what Jesus, not the world we want me to be. God knows the content of our hearts and he also knows why we do what we do.. Our conduct in life needs to match the words we say....with God we can't play both sides of the fence and that is something I do observe in the society we live in.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Patti: Do not read this as an attack on you. Or any attack on anyone, really. It's just more insights to a struggle I've had over the past 5 years as I watched a community that I once found home within, rise up to embrace White Nationalism, a cult leader, and to further embrace misogyny and patriarchy. This may not have been your experience and if so, I'm glad for you. As you can see by the comments here, it has been the experience for many of us within the faith community. If Evangelicals don't want to be associated with the insurgency on our nation's Capitol, if they don't want to be labeled as racists, if they don't want to be judged for being bigots, if they don't want to be considered a cult, then more and more Evangelicals need to speak up against all of those things. The Evangelical community currently has aligned itself with Donald Trump. They continue to embrace him with the same fervor they did when he caged children, executed black men, embraced dictators, paid off porn stars. That isn't to say you individually have embraced him. That's to say a large and outspoken populous of the Evangelical community has embraced him and continue to embrace him, calling him as God's chosen. This creates great division within the faith community as those of us who know that Trump's actions are in direct violation of the character of God. This division creates an inner struggle for many of us. You are lucky if that hasn't been an issue for you. So please don't assume this as an attack upon you personally or your faith walk. Thank you for reading and sharing your important thoughts, and giving me an opportunity to clarify mine.

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PAULA BRANSON

about 2 months ago

I am not sure if you are Christian or Catholic but there is only one way and that is through Jesus Christ He is your Savior not Mary no amount of good works. I know a person who just posted this article who says they are Catholic but is married to a transgender that is an abomination so please do not be a Pharisee. Just because an ex bartender AOC comes and servers in food bank does not make her a Saint. IF ALL PEOPLE in the US and around the world would go home and take care of their own families especially men then this world and country would not be in the shape we are in if MEN would stand up and do the right thing instead of women thing they need to be in charge of everything. The world would be a better place. SO spare me all the blaming on Christians because when the Rapture comes this world will be in such total chaos unimaginable Revelation.

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Paul Virgilio

about 2 months ago

Thank you for this article. It identifies the heart of Christianity. I have always thought that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has the interests of her constituents and the country in her heart. Her response to the catastrophe in Texas did not surprise me at all. Four years ago, my wife and I became guardians of a 9 year old girl, and her 13 year old brother. Our daughter, now 13, is questioning religion in general. I told her that regardless of where her faith life leads her (or doesn't), Christ's teachings, and not the sometimes skewed interpretations by humans, are always sound words to live by. I will give her your article to read, highlighting AOC's quote - - it is very timely. Thanks again.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Paul: Thank you for taking the time to read this and to share your own journey. I will continue to try and seek out those who like AOC embody the character of Christ. The ways in which AOC is demeaned and the hatred that is directed towards her is not at all unlike that which I've read about in the Gospels. Your daughter is fortunate to have a dad who understands that faith, like freedom, isn't something that can be forced upon another person. The moment faith becomes a mandatory obligation it is no longer the thing God intended, but rather a construct by which to control the masses.

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Gail Outlaw

about 2 months ago

Thank you so much for this whole discussion of faith. It was a beautiful exposition of the personalness of so many people's relationship with God, that I think gets lost in the discussion of religion. It is not all rules and regulations and God frowning at us.. It is the personal relationship with God and Christ that each of us experiences that helps you love your neighbor as yourself, the greatest commandment, not just the ones who live next door and look like you, but the darker ones who live down the road who are suffering. That was Christ's message, "Whatever you do to the least of mine you do unto me." I heard a lot of that being expressed here in many voices. I made me cry. Thank you.

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Karen R Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you, Gail, for sharing your tears and your own thoughts with us.

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Lauren Galucki Hoade

about 2 months ago

This article resonated with me on so many levels. Thank you for your honesty and for addressing the patriarchal traditions that continue to allow for women like AOC to be dismissed, insulted, judged, ridiculed, etc. She has been an inspiration to me over the past year, and a reminder that God calls us to serve and love and not to judge (Only God can judge me)

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James Miller

about 2 months ago

James It comes to my mind that the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10: 25-37) is a story about "stereotyping" for both good and lesser. You see the one you would have expected to be of aid was the Priest, who passed by on the other side and left the wounded man. Or the Levite, given the place of honor since the days of Moses, but who also passed on the other side. It was the Samaritan who not only gave aid, he bound the wounds, and gave up his own place of riding to deliver the wounded man to an Inn where he paid for his care and promised to pay any additional expense the innkeeper might incur when he next returned. AOC helped to raise $5 million to help the people of Texas ~ a Republican Red State ~ while other members of the local political hierarchy traveled by on the other side.

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Barrett W Horne

about 2 months ago

Thank you for this, Karen. It is my first encounter of your writing and thinking and I am deeply impressed and grateful. For what it's worth, a few thoughts occur to me. Firstly, I am nervous of labels of all kinds. While I appreciate that we need labels in order to make sense of the world, I am always reminded of (if memory serves) George Box's declaration that "all models are wrong, but some are useful." The same can be said of stereotypes and, I would suggest, labels. I say this thinking about the label 'evangelical'. The term was once a useful shorthand, mostly distinguishing historically orthodox Christians from other Christians who were less concerned about historical orthodoxy. In many ways, it was an insider 'family term' with little meaning outside of the larger Christian 'family.' Those days are long gone and the term has become so bloated with associations as to be useless except perhaps as a tribal marker--whether one of pride or approbation. And this seems to me a major issue with labels. They easily and often feed into our human propensity to separate the world into 'us' and 'them'. They become reduced to a shorthand that dehumanizes the 'thems', eliminating the need to deal with nuances and context, with the complexity of being human. Resisting this takes significant effort on all our parts. But it strikes me as being at the heart of Jesus' ministry and example, for whom every human being was infinitely valuable, wholly unique, and unimaginably loved. (Bruxy Cavey writes powerfully about this in his book, "The End of Religion," which I recommend highly.) Anyway, all that to say I am grateful to know and follow Jesus. I am grateful for the Bible. I am grateful for the saints who have gone before me and are my mentors and examples in so many ways. And I am grateful for the examples of wise and generous service that I see in the lives of so many around the world--whether Christians or not--making a difference for good in the world, loving their neighbours in often sacrificial ways. So I rejoice with the good work of AOC. And I pray the Lord's prayer daily, with serious intent. (Worth reading Tom Wright's reflections on the Lord's Prayer.) Well that's a very long thank you. We press on, doing the best we can and trusting that nothing in God's economy will be wasted.

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Karen R Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing your own thoughts Barrett. I loved that quote about labels. Had never heard it before but will use it now. Language does place constraints on how best to dialogue about the troubling matters of life. I suspect most of us don't want to be lumped into a category, whatever that category might be. It goes against our desire to be seen, to be heard. Still, guilty as charged here. I use the term Evangelical in the most defined way as the community of people most responsible for elevating Trump to the post of presidency and for being the people who continue to elevate him to a god-like status. (Did you see the insurgents gather for prayer on the Senate floor after they had used violence to attain access? We can probably be sure there wasn't an Episcopalian among them). But I do know plenty of Evangelicals who did not storm the capitol and who have rejected all things Trump. So yes, labels are constraining. And like you, I, too , am so grateful for those like AOC who actually live out lives in service to others, whether they go by the label of Christian or Muslim or pagan. Their lives are living testaments of grace.

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Maureen E Richards

about 2 months ago

A very good sister-friend posted your writing on FaceBook and it speaks to my struggles as a "Black Catholic" woman. Thank you for touching on all of my own feelings and for making them clearer. It is good to know that I am not the only one who struggles. Even before Donald Trump came down those escalators on that fretful day, I decided to run in the opposite direction from evangelicals. My experience with them left me uncomfortable with how political they were, handing out ballots for example and telling their congregation how to vote. I speak from experiencing this after visiting a friends church. It all seems so "fake" and I would leave their services feeling empty. But, the evangelicals are not alone. As a Catholic, I too within the last few years have struggled with my faith. Especially, leading up to the last election. I struggle with going back into a predominantly white church with people who I know are one issue voters. People who pray the Nicene and Apostles Creed and yet vote for a man who spreads hate, create policies that hurts people and lies constantly. Lies that have caused over 500,000 Americans their lives. The silence of my Church in the face of police violence against people who looks like me is a hard one to deal with. I now understand why my children will have nothing to do with the church. Why so many young people will not get involved.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Maureen: So glad your friend sent you here. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I remember when we were handed voter cards at church in the 80s telling us who we ought to vote for. (Thank you, Moral Majority). I quit attending those kinds of churches a decade ago. We have a couple in our current church family who put up yard signs during this last election. One Biden sign *her and one Trump sign *him. I stopped to visit with them while on a walk one afternoon and asked them how they managed to live in the same household with such diverse views. "We don't talk about it," she replied. I didn't know whether to admire them, or pray for them. How do you put up the yard signs but not talk about such diverse viewpoints of the world. I suppose it gives those of us who believe in inclusion to practice it. :) Fortunately, our pastor has not been silent. He navigates the issues very well. But yes, like you, I understand so much more clearly why people have walked away from the church. And no, it's not just Evangelicals but they have been the loudest voice and the deepest pockets behind this White Nationalist movement.

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Cliff Williams

about 2 months ago

Nice! Thanks for writing this.

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Tim Morway

about 2 months ago

Thank you. This was so enlightening. People kept telling me she was pro-abortion.

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Frances Navarro

about 2 months ago

What a beautiful article. I’m from Texas, south of San Antonio, I can tell you that I would have never imagined that I would be in the mist of this horrific snow storm. I was scared to death , not so much for myself, but for my 70 plus year old Sister. We spent short of five days with no electricity or running water and in bitter cold in our own home. The cold felt like it was piercing my skin. I often checked myself because I felt I was bleeding because my skin was so dry that and my lips were cracking. I was mortified. More than anything I cried in silence as I laid in bed next to my sister, and my spouse, all of us in the same bed, in the same room, huddled together trying to stay warm under every single blanket we owned. I can still feel the weight of the blankets on me. I slept very little the whole week, for fear that I would wake to the death of my sister as she is so fragile due to her health. I feared that she would not be able to endure the piercing cold. We lost all our food for lack of electricity and more importantly I lost all my medication, insulin for lack of refrigeration. I say all this not for sympathy but to paint a picture of the madness that surrounded us. I could not fathom how this could happen could be happening. I know others probably had it worst than us. We are still trying to recover, but as I read this article I felt warmth for the first time since the event. While I did not benefit from what AOC has done for Texas. I appreciate and value her efforts and am grateful for all her efforts because I know many of my fellow Texans will benefit. I have faith much like hers and believe her efforts are beautiful and genuine. I sent love and appreciate through my to her I know somehow, some way I too will recover. I will work to buy my medicines again. I will find a way to fix all that is broken due to this storm in our home. More than anything I am eternally grateful that I didn’t lose my sister. I am grateful she made it through. I will pray for my fellow Texans and for more AOC to find their authentic selves and that they may learn to serve much like she has. God bless her and God bless you, Karen Zach. Thank you. Your article has woke me up agin.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 months ago

Frances: How you find the emotional energy to share this harrowing story is beyond me. It hurts just to read it, to see the three of you piled underneath all those blankets, fearing freezing to death. I had a pastor friend who died in the wilds of Canada after falling through an ice bridge. He left behind his wife and young children. I had run into him at the outdoor shop in the week before his trip. Such a kind and good man. When he realized he wasn't going to be able to get out of the situation, he wrote notes to his family. As a journalist, I had to report on his death. I thought of him last week as I read about the various people in Texas who did freeze to death. I recall the details of what happens to a person's body in the midst of hypothermia. Those were my thoughts from afar as I witnessed the sufferings of those of you in Texas. It was frightening for me even though I was safe. I was angry at those in power who put the masses at risk. Much of the suffering could have been avoided, most of the deaths would never have happened. All that fear that you and your loved ones endured, endure yet, didn't have to happen. It all came down to money, profit, political power. All of it. Even the deep freeze itself. I am thankful you lived to share these stories, that your sister did as well. But I wish it had never happened to any of you. I wish there was a way to make people care. I don't know the answer. When I read about the very politicians who made the decisions to inflict this pain and suffering on the masses then fleeing with their families, that disturbed me even more. So of course, to see AOC who can't earn one single vote by helping in Texas, raise millions to actually help it touched me deeply. I'm glad you found a warm place here. I am praying for all of you who suffer yet. And I know millions are joining me those prayers and in donating and finding ways to be of service.

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Todd steere

about 2 months ago

This is why so many people who do operate in this faith be vocal in their deeds and words. The hypocrisy of religious people is always exposed as it was in Jesus’s ministry. We are called to be the light shining and not to hide that light.

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TWayne

about 2 months ago

Obviously, I am always impressed by your heart which is also the core of your writing - but also, wow, what an impressive discussion this post created. You know I'm praying for you babe!

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Regina Queen

about 2 months ago

Thank you for being a truth-teller! I love her too

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Sarah Bell

about 2 months ago

As a fellow Texan, I especially appreciate your words.

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Diana Trautwein

about 2 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you. So very well said.as always.

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Jill Bird

about 2 months ago

AOC is a blessed young woman that is brave and unwavering in her attention to serve,.protect and help other's that are in need of her support.. Asking nothing for herself she forges ahead in perrel to fight for her deep beliefs!!! ❤️🙏😊🐦😙

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