Friday, November 25, 2011

Breaking the power hierarchies

I've decided that Jesus was a hipster. But the very best of hipsters. not the snobbish, "I'm so much better than you because I'm environmentally-friendly for not showering for 3 weeks", kind of hipster. But the counter-cultural, I'm going to break the social conventions, kind of hipster. And what better kind of hipster is there?

Story time: A very lovely young man told me like I was like a lovely princess the other day. funny enough, I was utterly offended. I didn't say so, cause I knew his intentions behind saying such a thing (and he's a little eccentric in the first place), but I nonetheless was thinking "ew."

I think that power is one of the worst social constructions within the world. We have these made up hierarchies based on whimiscal characteristics of a person. Someone wealthier than someone else now is 'above me.' Someone 'smarter' is 'above me.' (note: knowledge itself is subjective and constantly changing). Someone with more life experience is 'above me.' Something with higher morals is above me. And, if you don't mind my feminist and anti-racial rants, someone who is a 'man' and 'white' is above me. Ew.

Imagine a world where everyone stood on equal footing. Where we saw a person not for how they looked, what their gender was, how educated they were, how they dressed, how they talked, how much income they had, but instead, discarded it all and treated them like... I don't know... a human. Like myself, or yourself, or ourselves.

Jesus was a total power-crusher. Look at John 4 and the story of Jesus with the Samaritan woman. Here's a woman from an 'enemy' culture, a gender that is far below males (obviously) to the point that women were not allowed to speak to men, nor vice-versa, and from a religion that was considered evil. Add to it that she's had five husbands and is living with her sixth lover out of wedlock. This woman comes to get some water, in the high sun so that there's probably no one else around, and then sees this Jewish man. She's probably a bit taken aback to see a Jew in her community first, but goes about her business anyway, expecting no trouble since she'd normally be ignored.

But Jesus, being his amazing divine self, is like, "Yo - I'd love some water." First, he just talked to a woman (shocker!) and second, by drinking the water, he's going to be considered unclean to enter the Jewish temples. ScAN-du-lous! All this saying that by the end of the story, she's been told that he knows about her past, her lifestyle, he knows her standing in society, but that he's the Messiah and wants to accept her into his revolutionary kingdom.

So awesome. That's my God. just breaking down the power structures. Loving us no matter what. Can I get an amen?

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