There is a documentary going around called “The People vs. George Lucas.” A bunch of geeks got together and said, George you’re ridiculous and we love AND hate you and here’s why. And they filmed a bunch of people complaining about the direction Star Wars took and lambasted him about all the wrong turns he made with his series.
For the record, I fully endorse this.
But it got me thinking about how Mr. Lucas created the concept and he can do whatever the heck he wants with it. And yet some will argue that once he put it out there it becomes like the “property” of all of us as a collective. Like our outrage is fully justified because we can rationally argue the finer and lesser points of the entire franchise from epic introduction of episode 4 to colossal letdown of episode 3.
It’s not a perfect metaphor because of course George is no Jesus, but stick with me. The Church in its many incarnations has gotten so far away from the original intent that it’s easy to say that Jesus just let it run amuck and what was he thinking? George Lucas is laughing all the way to bank, well, except he may not be laughing or ever have to actually set foot in a bank what with the innernets and stuff, but you get my drift.
Jesus, also not laughing, says, CHURCH! I love you with all my life and death, but boy you suck. You suck at loving each other. You suck at loving everyone else. You suck at studying the things I left you (aka the Word of God). You suck at talking to me (aka prayer). You suck at making priorities. You suck at picketing all the least offensive things to Me when you should be picketing yourselves for sucking.
Ok, there’s no way the Son of Man would say suck that much. But again, hopefully, you catch my drift. It makes me incredibly frustrated and sad and angry that people carry the Name of Jesus around and drag it through the mud.
And more than that, there are those who are really at heart more upset that they are “lumped in” with hateful, self-righteous judgmental jerks than they are with themselves for letting those people define who we are and making conscientious strides to rid the world of those preconceived notions about what “christianity” is.
I am saddened that stereotypes exist as a general rule. But they happen and there are so precious few people who can rid themselves of demographic and classification and category when interacting with others. From the moment you meet someone you start down a road of classification – putting that person into a bin with a label on it. I say get rid of the labels and treat each person completely separately from the next. I say stand back from the pigeon-hole and view the complexity of every individual with Grace and Hope.
But until that happens in each and every one of us roaming this planet, we must fight ignorance and bigotry with the only weapon strong enough to defeat them: relationships. Get to know someone beyond borders and boundaries. Establish communication that is more about listening than directing people to what you think. Understand them and help them if they actually want your help or even have something they need help with. And most of all, love them. I think it’s called like “the Golden Rule” or something like that… and when you love another person, you see the Face of God. (paraphrased from Les Mis by Victor Hugo. in fact a great book for discussing the riddance of stereotype and discrimination)