In my almost 52 years, I feel as if this is the darkest time we have ever witnessed. I don’t need to name it all here, because we know.
I, like many of us, am struggling.
Struggling to make sense of this rhetoric, this nonsense, this pending (what feels like), governmental, pre-genocidal actions. I can’t pray. I can barely even think straight. This is not because Hillary didn’t win. And no, it’s not because I am a “Libtard.” This is because everything that is morally, ethically and theologically sound, is in absolute chaos. It is as if we are walking through this anarchy that is somehow normalized. This demonization of literally everyone, on all sides, is devastating and so unbelievably terrifying.
I am struggling to not hear children calling for their parents. I am struggling to read of or hear something positive and empathetic come out of our Administration’s mouths. I am wondering where this will all go. Because there certainly is no end in sight to the undeniable drive to obliterate everything that is “liberal.” I find that fascinating, because everything I think, believe and care deeply about, is considered troubling to Conservatives.
I really think the Liberal and Conservative brains are wired differently.
With this sad sate of affairs, I find myself purposefully searching for good news. I have found the things that bring us together. That give us a sense of community. Things that make us smile and leave us with hope, not dread. Therefore, in all that is above, all that is unnamed, all that is destructive and urgently detrimental to our spirits, I give you this little bit of good news.
Last week, James Cordon and his Late, Late Show pulled off a seriously amazing Car Karaoke with Paul McCartney. This twenty-minute video is worth every minute. Ever wonder about the story of the song, Let It Be? The story is now revealed.
Just recently, the first Pay What You Can, grocery store opened up in Toronto. Something that should have existed long ago, is finally here. Letting anyone and everyone who should be able to shop, to do so with dignity. It’s about time!
Muslim women are now welcomed to serve as preachers in Mosques and schools in Egypt. This is huge and a giant step forward. Some might be impatient with this and even critical as to the baby steps this seems to be. I’ll take baby steps. They’re better than no steps forward.
This baby squirrel made the news in Anchorage, Alaska. Although it’s now wanted for a felony, I say, Good Squirrel!
Last, but not least, 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won New York’s 14th Congressional District Primary, Outing 19 year Congressional old timer Joe Crowley, who really had no idea that Alex would win, let alone unseat him. Described as a Democratic Socialist, this woman is someone to watch. Perhaps she’ll be our first female POTUS.
These stories may seem like floof and unimportant with everything else that is occurring across the nation and world right now. However, it’s all I’ve got. Whether this says I need to toughen up, or, maybe some perspective is needed – perhaps the Vietnam War era was darker. Perhaps the end of WWII and the knowledge of the Holocaust was darker. Perhaps if I lived in Myanmar and I was a Rohingya, or, in the Central African Republic where Muslims and Christians are killing each other as I write this, or, if I lived in Syria, where war is still ravaging the country. Perhaps I would see things differently. Perhaps.
In the meantime, I send light, peace and goodness to all those that are struggling. And hope. I’m sending a whole lot of hope too.
Karen Leslie Hernandez is a theologian and interfaith activist. With a focus in Christian-Muslim understanding, as well as religious fundamentalism and extremism, Karen is the only theologian who is a Latina and a United Methodist doing this type of theological work in the US. She has published with several media outlets including the Women’s United Nations Report Network, The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue/Studies, the Interfaith Observer, and she is the only Christian to have published an ongoing Op-Ed Column with OnIslam out of Cairo, Egypt. As an instructor, Karen designed and taught an Interfaith Dialogue workshop with Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, and she teaches workshops throughout the Bay Area. Karen has two theological master’s degrees, one from Andover Newton Theological School, the other from Boston University School of Theology, and she did her undergrad at Wellesley College in Peace and Justice Studies. She currently lives in San Francisco, has worked with the United Religions Initiative, is an Ambassador with Parliament of the World’s Religions, is pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at Claremont School of Theology, and she is also a certified domestic violence advocate.